In a shocking three-team trade, the Washington Nationals, San Diego Padres, and Tampa Bay Rays agreed to move 11 players. The Padres will get outfielder Wil Myers, pitchers Gerardo Reyes and Jose Castillo, and catcher Ryan Hanigan. The Rays will get catcher Rene Rivera, pitcher Burch Smith, first base prospect Jake Bauers, pitcher Travis Ott and outfielder Steven Souza. The Nationals get starter Joe Ross and shortstop Trea Turner as a player to be named, per draft rules (Turner was a first rounder in 2014, so he can’t be traded until June).
Myers is the centerpiece of the deal. He won the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year and was the centerpiece of the deal that would send Wade Davis and James Shields to Kansas City. Myers hit just .222/.296./.320 last year, but was battling a wrist injury most of the season.
Others with big league experience in the deal include Ryan Hanigan, a platoon catcher that will head to San Diego, Rene Rivera who found success for the first time last year at the age of the 30 for the Padres after bouncing around his whole career. Steven Souza was called up to finish the season with the Nationals and is best known for his diving play to save Jordan Zimmerman’s no-hitter and Burch Smith who had a 6.44 ERA in seven starts with the Padres in 2013.
The Rays kind of got ripped off here. They gave up four guys to get five, and Wil Myers was the centerpiece of the deal and has the chance to become one of the better outfielders in the game. The worst part for Tampa is that both the prospects Washington acquired are much better than anyone they’ll get.
Rivera had a fluke season last year and shouldn’t be more than a back-up in 2015; he’s 30 and had one semi-decent season and a downgrade from Hanigan. Jake Bauers is 19-years-oldand has hitting potential, but I don’t ever see him being more than a league average first baseman at best. Travis Ott will go to Tampa, he’s young and wasn’t a high pick, but has impressed so far, and could be good or flop, Tampa must like him though. Souza is considered the crown jewel of the deal, but he wasn’t viewed as a great prospect until his breakout season this year.
Souza is definitely a downgrade on Myers, and he’s actually a year older. Souza has great raw power, and in order to become a great player, he needs to keep hitting like he did and hit homers, or else he could end up as a fourth outfielder.
Burch Smith was a middle round pick and used his good fastball to move up the ranks quickly. Smith is still a bit of a risk and disappointed in his first stint in the bigs, but might have been overmatched. He got hurt last year and needs to recover, but he could become a solid four starter, and has the potential to become even more. I think he’s truly the best talent the Rays got in this deal.
Still think the Rays got the worst end of this, as it’s an extreme sell low on Myers, and it’s not even as if he is a salary dump.
The Nationals might have gotten the best end of the deal. Joe Ross, who was a high pick and has been solid so far. Ross has the potential to become a two starter and just adds to the depth that the Nationals have with starters and starting prospects.
Trea Turner could give Washington a replacement for Ian Desmond. Turner was drafted out of college and killed it from the beginning of season last year to the end. He could really be an All-Star and is a great hitter who is super fast. Turner might be major league ready as soon as next season. All of this for Souza, a guy blocked by Werth, Span, and Harper.
The Padres got a good deal too. They had to give up two really good prospects and two middle of the road prospects but they got back two young pitchers who have some good potential on top of upgrading Rivera by getting Hanigan, who is a great defensive platoon type.
Wil Myers has some issues, as Dave Cameron of FanGraphs suggests his plate recognition is off, as even before his injury he slumped. Also moving to PETCO can only really hurt Myers, but he will survive. He may only end up in the 25 homer range now, but I tend to believe last year’s struggles were more based on an early season slump and wrist injury, as he’s hit every other season.
The Padres are really making their team out to be good now. If they hang on to their other top prospects they have a great mix of talent and with Bud Black at the helm, they really have a chance this year. The Padres fans have a good chance of seeing Myers blossom into a star. Losing Turner and Joe Ross hurts, but it was the price and Myers could make it a great deal for the Padres.