The Padres -- those scrappy, adorable division rivals -- are making a push to be taken seriously. They traded for Matt Kemp, who unironically grunts when he bends over to pick up a pen now. They have the starting pitching. Their farm system was recently heralded and still has interesting pieces. And, though it isn't a done deal, it now it looks like they're trading for Rays outfielder Wil Myers.
Before we move on to the baseball aspects of this deal, let us examine the aesthetic aspects first. Wil Myers is a 55-grade Padres name. It's more of a left-handed reliever's name, but it's still very, very Padres. The lack of a second "L" is very Padres, hearkening back to the days of Mat Latos.
Second, this is the perfect Padres face. We didn't know it at the time, but Myers has the ultimate Padres look going for him.
It's Padres hair, sure, but it's mostly Padres face, defined as a cross between Billy Idol and one of the rich kids from an '80s underdog movie. Myers was supposed to be the savior of the Royals, but then he became one of the pillars of the Rays' future. Now he's a part of a weird world in which the Padres are receiving the young, long-term talent instead of frittering it away like Gary Sheffield, Roberto Alomar, Sandy Alomar, Fred McGriff, Kevin McReynolds, Mat Latos, Ozzie Smith ... listen, we don't have all day. Myers-for-prospects is a deal that most teams would consider if they had the prospects. The Padres did. So here we are.
Fish-in-a-barrel jokes aside, the Padres truly do have a pitching staff worth building around, and if a couple of their talented players rebound from their miserable season last year ... let's just say this might be the third or fourth straight season that I say "Watch out for those Padres!" only to get pleasantly embarrassed later. I didn't like the Kemp deal for them, but at least they didn't stop there. Myers and his Padres face are a good idea.
Prediction: .239/.293/.366 (121 OPS+)
Dave Cameron wrote about the red flags for Myers, namely the strikeout rate:
Even as a prospect tearing through the minor leagues, Myers always struck out a lot, and questions about his contact abilities have often been the big negative for skeptics to point to. His big-league performance has done nothing to dissuade those critics, as he's made contact on just 75 percent of his swings in the majors.
Still, the Padres are likely better than they were on Tuesday, which makes a difference in an offseason in which the Giants are doing nothing and the Dodgers are reeling from the news that Clayton Kershaw is retiring to become a youth pastor (probably). I like this move for them.
Meanwhile, the Giants drafted Brett Jackson in the minor league Rule 5 draft. Did you hear about that? I should write something about ... aw, nuts. Already did. I'll go back to my adolescent-sourced Max Scherzer rumors, then.