San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – The San Diego Padres continued to reshape
their roster Friday, acquiring outfielder Wil Myers from the Tampa Bay Rays as
part of an 11-player trade that also involved the Washington Nationals.
The Padres picked up Myers, the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year, along
with catcher Ryan Hanigan and minor league pitchers Gerardo Reyes and Jose
Castillo from the Rays.
Tampa Bay received catcher Rene Rivera, minor league first baseman Jake
Bauers and pitcher Burch Smith from the Padres, as well as outfielder Steven
Souza and pitcher Travis Ott from Washington. The Nationals will pick up
pitcher Joe Ross and a player to be named later, said to be shortstop Trea
Turner, from the Padres.
Myers, who just turned 24 years old, is the centerpiece of the trade.
The Rays acquired Myers from Kansas City prior to the 2013 season in the deal
that sent pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals.
Myers, in 88 games as a rookie, batted .293 while hitting 13 homers and
driving in 53 runs to help Tampa Bay to a wild card berth. A wrist injury
slowed him down in 2014, when he played just 87 games and hit six homers
with 35 RBI and batted only .222.
Hanigan hit just .218 in 84 games last season, his first in Tampa Bay after
playing the first seven years of his career in Cincinnati. The 34-year-old
veteran, who has played more than 100 games in a season just once, is a
career. 256 hitter with 25 homers and 172 RBI in 558 games.
The Padres have been busy since the start of last week’s Winter Meetings,
signing pitcher Brandon Morrow while adding outfielder Matt Kemp and catcher
Derek Norris in trades with the Dodgers and Athletics, respectively. San Diego
is also set to acquire outfielder Justin Upton from Atlanta in a trade that
has yet to be announced officially.
Tampa Bay has also undergone a major shakeup since the departures of head of
baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon. Matt Silverman,
Friedman’s replacement, had already traded pitchers Jeremy Hellickson and Joel
Peralta, as well as outfielder Matt Joyce and infielder Sean Rodriguez, before
this latest deal.
“This is a baseball trade, and one we believe will make our club more
competitive both for 2015 and beyond,” said Silverman in a statement Friday.
“Trading Wil Myers was not an easy decision, but we are very excited about the
talent coming back our way, and this deal has potential to improve our team on
both sides of the ball.”
The Rays, who also released veteran catcher Jose Molina this offseason, will
hope Rivera can help behind the plate. The 31-year-old native of Puerto Rico
played in a career-high 103 games last season with the Padres and batted .252
with 11 homers and 44 RBI.
Burch appeared in 10 games in 2013, including seven starts, and was 1-3 with a
6.44 ERA. He missed most of last year with a forearm injury. Bauers played
at Single-A in 2014. Ott was also a Class-A player last year in
Washington’s organization, while Souza could be the key piece for the Rays.
Souza was the International League’s top player in 2014 for Washington’s
Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, batting .350 with 18 homers and 75 RBI in just
96 games. The 25-year-old played in 21 games for the Nationals last year and
hit two homers in 23 at-bats, while also making a tremendous catch to
preserve Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter on the final day of the season.
The Nationals will pick up a former first-round pick in Ross, a 21-year-old
right-hander who has not pitched above Double-A since he was chosen 25th
overall in 2011.
Turner can’t officially be traded until next June, as league rules mandate
that a draft pick cannot be dealt until a full year after he was selected.
The 13th overall pick last June, he could be Washington’s shortstop of the
future with Ian Desmond set to be a free agent after next season.