We reflect on when Trea Turner was included as the final piece in the San Diego Padres trade to acquire Wil Myers. What if he wasn’t traded?
When the San Diego Padres acquired Wil Myers in December 2014, Trea Turner was the final piece of what ended up being a three-team trade involving 11 players. Myers was coming off a down year with the Rays, posting a .222/.294/.320 line with six home runs and 35 RBI in 87 games.
Turner was selected 13th overall by the Padres in the 2014 MLB Draft out of NC State, where he batted .321 with eight home runs and swiped 26 bags in his junior year. He earned the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the best shortstop in NCAA baseball.
After being drafted, Turner played 23 games for short-season Eugene and 46 games for Single-A Fort Wayne. With the latter, he posted a .369/.447/.529 line with four home runs and 22 RBI to go along with 14 stolen bases.
He appeared to be the shortstop of the future, which is why it was so confusing at the time he was traded. Not more than six months passed, and the Padres had already given up on him. Turner, of course, has been a staple in the Nationals’ lineup since the 2016 season. In 2018, he played in all 162 games, batting .271 and stealing 43 bases.
Since 2015, the Padres have plugged in a different shortstop every year, including Alexi Amarista, Alexei Ramirez, Erick Aybar, and Freddy Galvis. All had mixed results, but a strong argument can be made that the Padres don’t acquire Fernando Tatis Jr. if they hadn’t sent Turner packing.
Turner was good for a 3.3 WAR in 122 games last year for the World Series Champion Nationals. Tatis posted a 4.1 WAR in just 84 games. In all, this trade will benefit the Padres long-term, but at the time, it was hard to see the direction that new general manager AJ Preller was taking with the team.