As the Padres turn their attention towards improving in 2017, one necessary step to take as soon as possible is coming to terms with star outfielder Wil Myers.
A.J. Preller is back to work, and it is officially time for the San Diego Padres to look towards what they need to do as 2017 approaches. Of course, there is a lot of work to do when it comes to the uncertainties of the pitching staff. But the front office’s top priority should be resigning the players that they want to resign as soon as possible, especially Wil Myers.
An all star and a standout young outfielder, Myers is often considered the future of the Padres, or the “face of the franchise”. While these descriptions of Myers are justified, the 25-year-old’s future in San Diego is certainly in jeopardy.
Myers is eligible for arbitration entering 2017, and has many options. While he isn’t a true free agent until 2020, Preller and the Padres should be looking into coming to terms with Myers for a long term deal immediately.
As San Diego’s top outfielder, Myers made $523,000 last year as he was signed only through 2016. But doubling his previous year’s offensive statistics in every category, and crushing 28 homers in 2016 against just 8 in 2015, Myers is undoubtedly expecting more. This may mean another one-year contract with the Padres, or a long-term deal with San Diego or another team. Regardless, Myers is quickly becoming one of baseball’s most coveted stars.
The Padres will certainly need to compromise and give up some players during their lengthy ongoing rebuilding process, but Myers is simply not one they can afford to relinquish. His offensive numbers warranted him an all-star game start, where he hit cleanup. This sort of youthful thunderous bat is exactly what the Padres need to retain.
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Especially since the Padres struggled in 2016 driving in runs. They had a severe void in the middle of the order, one that only Myers at this point can fill. Plus, San Diego’s promising minor league system and prospects who just recently made their major league debuts provides optimism.
Allowing Myers to walk would be extremely counterproductive, even if it saved the Padres a lot of money. For a young team which is growing up together, losing the one player with experience who can still be around for the long-term would be a devastating blow. No matter how far away the roster is from competing, it would totally reverse the direction it is currently going in.
As far as what this means for Preller and the front office, they definitely need to get busy working out a deal. Resigning Myers, preferably long term, will mean a pay raise, and possibly other sacrifices. But San Diego can’t cower. They can not afford to lose Myers, even if it means matching or topping an appealing amount of money thrown the young player’s way by another team.