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San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals, Tampa Bay Rays Make Blockbuster Trade Involving Wil Myers

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Recap

Get ready because this trade is certainly a doozie. The Padres, Nationals, and Rays have agreed to a trade that involves 11 players, the most important being Wil Myers. Here is a breakdown of what each team is receiving:

San Diego: Wil Myers, Ryan Hanigan, Jose Castillo, Gerardo Reyes

Washington: Trea Turner, Joe Ross

Tampa Bay: Steven Souza, Rene Rivera, Burch Smith, Jake Bauers, Travis Ott

Now a breakdown on each player involved:

Wil Myers- Once a top ranked prospect, Myers has seen his ups and downs in recent years. The AL ROY in 2013, 2014 was less favorable for the outfield. Last season he struggled with injuries, only playing in 87 games. For his career, Myers has a .258/.324./400 line with 19 HRs and a 105 wRC+ in 734 career plate appearances.

Ryan Hanigan- Hanigan is a 34-year-old veteran catcher. Known much more for his defensive than his offensive production, Hanigan provides 1.2 WAR last season for the Rays despite only playing in 84 games. He will be part of the solution to replace the recently traded Yasmani Granda.

Jose Castillo- Only set to turn 19 in a month, Castillo has only seen action in rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League. He has only pitched about 35 career innings as a pro, and so far it is unclear whether he will develop as a starter or reliever.

Gerardo Reyes- In his first season as a pro for the Rays in 2014, Reyes showed an ability to miss bats in Low A Ball. The 21-year-old, he is still at least two seasons away.

Trea Turner- The Padres first round selection in this past 2014 draft, Turner hit .369 with four HRs and moved through three levels (Rookie Ball, Low A Ball, and ended the season in High A) of their systems. He currently is a shortstop now, but some scouts are unsure if he will stay at that position.

Joe Ross- Entering the 2014 season, Ross was viewed as one of San Diego’s ten-best prospects. Finishing off the season in AA, Ross pitched a combined 121 innings with an ERA around 3.90. He improved his K/9 rate and reduced his BB/9 rate, answering some of the command issues that surrounded the younger brother of Tyson Ross (also of the Padres). 

Steven Souza- Souza saw a piece of the big leagues at the end of 2014. In AAA with Syracuse last season, Souza hit over .350, showing nice power with 18 HRs in just 96 games played. The outfielder has a strong combination of power and speed, as detailed in this Fangraphs article.

Rene Rivera- The 31-year old Padres catcher served as their primary backstop last season. Catching in 103 games, Rivera provided a surprising combination of strong defense and consistent offense, providing over a 114 wRC+ and strong defensive numbers. 

Burch Smith- Smith started seven games for the Padres in 2013. After showing unimpressive results (6.44 ERA), and dealing with injuries, Smith spent the entire 2014 season in the minors. Smith has been very inconsistent with his control, but he may see some time as a long-reliever next season.

Jake Bauers- In A Ball last year for the Padres, Bauers hit .296/.376/.414 with an impressive 10.9 BB%. The first baseman does not hit for much power, but his ability to see the plate is certainly viewed highly by scouts. The 19-year-old is still a few seasons away from reaching the Majors.

Travis Ott- The last prospect in the deal, the 25th round selection in the 2013 draft has seen mixed results so far in his young career and does not really project to reach the Major Leagues.

Our Take
Jeremy Losak
Editor in Chief

Souza is a great prospect, and a great piece to get in return for Wil Myers. Myers struggled last season with the Rays and was wearing out his welcome. San Diego continues to add to their offense, but gave up a really good prospect in Turner. There is a possibility Hannigan ends up being the starting catcher for San Diego this season (or he will at least serve a backup role). I think the Nationals lost talent in this trade, but with Souza’s path to the big leagues blocked, the Nationals were probably better off moving him.

San Diego is ready to make a run at the NL West. With the addition of Myers, they potentially have an offense that they have been missing for a long time. Myers has struggled in the past, but he is young. If he improves this year, the Padres need one more solid pitcher to make a run at the West. Let’s see what else they can do this offseason.

The Nats are the clear winner of this trade. Souza was blocked in Washington with Werth, Span, and Harper manning the outfield. They turned Souza into an interesting starting pitching prospect and potentially a long term replacement for Ian Desmond.

The Rays have replaced Wil Myers with a player who can probably produce 90 percent of the value Myers brings to the team. In addition, they have upgraded at catcher and acquired some prospects. Certainly a defensible trade.

The Padres are gambling on Wil Myers upside. Myers was a top prospect not long ago and had an excellent showing in the 2013 season. 2014 was a disappointment for Myers as he was plagued by injury and a lack of production. Additionally, trading Rivera clears the way for top prospect Austin Hedges to take over at catcher. While the Padres did trade two former first round draft picks, neither ranks among the top four prospects in the Padres system. This is a gamble worth taking.

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