With the Padres in need of pieces for a rebuild and Wil Myers about to hit arbitration, Jon Heyman is reporting that San Diego is open to trading away their surging young outfielder-turned-first-baseman. And if they do make him available, don't be surprised if the Red Sox throw their hats into the ring. They haven't really figured out their left field situation at any point this season for more than a week or two.
Chris Young has been putting together a couple such weeks in June, doing excellent work for the Red Sox in place of Blake Swihart in left field which don't get me started. But while Young and his 1.122 OPS on the month are making it look like the Sox had their left fielder in-house all along, the reality is that he's still best as a platoon bat, with his numbers vs. RHP unimpressive even after the unreal tear he's been on. You can certainly be a starting left fielder with huge numbers against lefties and mediocre numbers against righties, but it's not exactly optimal given how many of the latter there are in the game.
But if we're looking at Wil Myers as the answer to that situation, well, there's an obvious problem: he's right-handed. He does have reverse splits, but they're not terribly significant, and have that hitch where the numbers vs. RHP are far more power-focused while Myers tends to get on base a lot better against LHP. That kind of suggests Myers does see the ball better against lefties, and just hasn't run into as many homers. While nobody wants to hear about small sample sizes when we're talking 1200 plate appearances, the reality is that platoon splits don't stabilize for quite a while, and with these being so close, it's actually probably a decent bet that Myers will ultimately be like most batters: better against opposite-handed pitching, worse against same-handed.
Really, I expect many will say that the problems extend further. They'll say that Myers just isn't very good, or that the Red Sox don't need to be paying big for an outfielder under team control through 2019 when they've got a guy like Andrew Benintendi on the horizon.
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To the first point, that's really not fair to Myers. We all remember how bad he was in 2014, but he rebounded a decent amount in 2015, making his 124 wRC+ performance in 2016 thus far that much less of an outlier. And we really have to remember just how young Myers is. He won't turn 26 until after the season is over--this could very well have been his first season in the majors and nobody would have blinked an eye at his age. Myers is very likely to be very good.
To the second point, while Myers has mostly played as an outfielder, this season has seen him play almost exclusively at first base, and do reasonably well there. And while the Red Sox' needs right now are more for a left fielder, in the long term they're going to need a first baseman, and Sam Travis is far from a guarantee.
That being said...it's debatable how much Myers really would do for the Red Sox over what Chris Young can do for them as a starter, even if Young is not as good as he's been in June. Myers will likely cost a small fortune in prospects while the Red Sox can possibly find an even more effective addition to pair with Young for a much lower price, even if said addition isn't as outright talented as Myers, or an answer for first base in the next few years.
By simple virtue of being one of the bigger available names at a position of need for the Red Sox, Wil Myers will inevitably be linked to Boston in the weeks to come if, indeed, he's available. But the Sox can probably find a better fit for a lower price.