With the San Diego Padres signing Wil Myers to a six-year extension, the organization is putting a good portion of the club’s future in the hands of the 26-year-old.
Balancing the concerns and desires of fans with what makes sense in the long term is what makes a general manager’s job so difficult. And sometimes, success is only possible by taking a leap of faith and hoping it works out.
For the San Diego Padres, this leap of faith has been taken, as it has been reported that the club will sign star first baseman Wil Myers to a six-year extension.
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A.J. Preller and the Padres are sending a message this offseason by extending both Myers as well as third baseman Yangervis Solarte. The organization is informing fans that the long term is the primary goal, and some of the pieces are already in place for the team to become a World Series contender.
Myers is often considered the heart and soul of the club, leading them in run production, serving as the only Gold Glove finalist, and representing them in the All-Star game at Petco Park. Bringing him back not only makes sense based on his skills, but in order to establish continuity with a young core.
But by no means is it simple for an organization like the Padres to put $80 million in six years towards any player. The expectations will be much higher for Myers, as he has not yet made $1 million in a single season. A pay raise and long term stability like this could backfire with some, only further proving the trust the franchise has in Myers.
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Still, the 26-year-old is a complete player, which is rare in today’s MLB. There are no glaring weak spots in his game, as the stats show. Hitting .259 in 2016 with 28 home runs and driving in 94, the middle of the order run producer is only going to get better in this respect.
Defensively, being Gold Glove finalist at first speaks for itself. Reliability is something San Diego cherishes, and Myers exhibits this with the consistency of a .998 fielding percentage.
Even speed can be considered a strength for Myers. The native of North Carolina swiped 28 bags in 2016, and was only caught on six attempts. There is so much the Padres can do with a player like Myers in the lineup, opening up all sorts of opportunities.
As much as this extension is about what Myers brings to the table, it is also about leadership and consistency. Securing a player like this for this kind of money proves that the Padres are serious and have a plan to build a team for the future with some of the pieces they already have. Investing in Myers is one major step towards establishing the core of the future Preller envisions.