Now we have the Phillies and Padres talking trade again, this time for Cole Hamels, but Dennis Lin reports that Wil Myers will NOT be part of the equation. Edward Creech also reports that the Phillies are looking to move Ryan Howard as they rebuild their franchise and Howard is not getting any younger – or much better.
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Now that the excitement of the trade is over, the Padres are realizing that Cameron Maybin and Wil Myers will probably be their center fielder. With that realization some fans are only imagining speedsters like Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson hitting balls between the gaps and running around the bases. That being said, while jerseys of Justin Upton and Matt Kemp are already on sale, no jerseys of Myers are yet available.
So what are the other options the Padres DO have if they want to go after Cole Hamels? Hamels is a native San Diegan and Uni High School Grad, so the bigger question is twofold:
1) Can Wil Myers be the Padres centerfielder?
2) Will Cole Hamels end up a Padre some other way?
In answer to the first question, Carson Cistuilli of Fangraphs notes that traditionally corner outfielders who move to center lose about 10 runs a season. That being said, Myers has played 100 games in the majors in center field so he might project better than that, and hopefully his home run potential and other run producing talents will make up for the pathetic offense provided by Padres outfielders last season. Personally, I’ve always thought the Padres would be better off trying to have an outfield like the old Tampa Bay Devil Rays when they had a young Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, and B.J. Upton or similar the defense and speed first crew the Royals employed last year. Decidedly this year’s squad would be not quite as fast and athletic, but how much would it really matter with Cole Hamels in the rotation?
As far as the second question, up to this point, the Padres HAVE avoided trading Cashner or Ross in any of the other trades. They still have Hunter Renfroe, Austin Hedges, Matt Wisler, Casey Kelly and several other top prospects. How much IS Preller willing to sacrifice for the near future and the “potential” of the farm system prospects for hoping to win right now and energize a team and fan base that hasn’t seen such aggressive moves in decades. Could going after Cole Hamels be the trade that does see a Matt Wisler or Casey Kelly leave the Padres fold? It would be a bold gamble that if goes right could result in a championship – if goes wrong could cripple the franchise for years.