So, this offseason is probably going to go down as one of the more active offseasons in terms of players changing addresses in quite some time. Earlier today, we saw the biggest trade of the offseason, involving three teams, the Padres, Rays and Nationals. Oh, and Wil Myers, the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year was at the center of the deal, along with a few prospects and a Nationals outfielder who the Rays think is very valuable.
Here are the players involved in the deal:
Padres get: OF Wil Myers, C Ryan Hanigan, P Gerardo Reyes, P Jose Castillo
Rays get: OF Steven Souza, C Rene Rivera, 1B Jake Bauers, P Travis Ott, P Burch Smith
Nationals get: P Joe Ross, SS Trea Turner
So, the Padres gave up quite a bit her, trading two of their top prospects, Joe Ross and 2014 first round pick Trea Turner, along with first base prospect Jake Bauers, pitcher Burch Smith and catcher Rene Rivera for five years of Wil Myers, catcher Ryan Hanigan and pitching prospects Gerardo Reyes and Jose Castillo.
The Rays give up Wil Myers, Ryan Hanigan, Castillo and Reyes for Steven Souza, Rene Rivera, Jake Bauers, Travis Ott and Burch Smith
The Nationals give up Steven Souza and Travis Ott for Joe Ross and Trea Turner.
By all accounts, the Nationals appear to have got the best of this three team deal, with the Padres coming in a close second and the Rays a distant third. It appears to me that the Rays have soured on Myers just over a year after he won the AL rookie of the year award, and new Rays GM Matt Silverman is pulling a page from the Billy Beane playbook and trading Myers for a package of prospects along with Souza, who should take over right field in Tampa.
Here are my quick takes on the fantasy impact of this trade:
Souza's fantasy value takes the biggest jump in this deal, as he goes from a fourth outfielder in Washington to a starting outfielder in Tampa. He has power and speed, hitting .350-.432-.590 with 18 home runs, 62 runs scored, 75 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 96 games in AAA last season. He owns four seasons of 20+ stolen bases in the minors, so he should be an asset in that category in 2015, along with a chance at double digit home runs, even in Tampa. I wouldn't be surprised to see him outperform the disappointing Desmond Jennings in 2015.
Before this trade, many felt that Souza was the heir apparent to the the center field job in Washington after Denard Span left via free agency after the 2015 season. Now that he will call Tampa home, outfield prospect Michael Taylor probably gets the first shot at replacing Span in 2016, and should be the Nationals fourth outfielder in 2015. It's entirely possible he starts the 2015 season in AAA to work on reducing his propensity to strike out. Taylor has the tools to be a future 20-20 hitter in the big leagues, but has too much swing and miss in his approach presently.
Myers is coming off wrist surgery and a down year at the plate in 2014, so the move to San Diego may reduce his fantasy value a bit in 2015. According to Stat Corner, Petco Park was tougher on right-handed power hitters than Tropicana Park was in 2014, so Myers may struggle to put up the power numbers fantasy owners expect from him next season. We may want to temper our expectations for Myers in 2015, and possibly going forward, as it is not a good sign that he has been traded twice before the age of 25.
But, make no mistake, the Padres lineup will be improved with the addition of Myers and Matt Kemp, assuming that trade does finally go through. The Padres have added two solid power hitters to their lineup, and indications are that they are not done dealing.
It also appears the Rays are going to rebuild, but some think that Souza could be a solid replacement for Myers. If they are, in fact, going to rebuild, one would think the Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria will be on the trading block as well. If this is not a rebuild, then why deal such a young power hitter like Myers in an era where run scoring and power is down?
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