Wil Myers has been a rising star since his 2016 year with the San Diego Padres, which saw him selected to the MLB All-Star Game for the first time in his career.
Myers ended that season with 676 plate appearances and 28 home runs, which is more than double the amount of home runs he hit in previous years. Myers hit a huge two-out double to right center field and became the first Padre to get an extra-base hit in an All-Star Game since Ken Caminiti in 1996.
His rise to success was quick and his name was starting to show up everywhere. He was called the hometown hero after that hit during the All-Star Game. He signed an $83 million, six-year contract before the 2017 season, which is the most rewarding contract in Padres history.
This being said, would he have made more money if he went to another team? Should he have signed a shorter deal and explored his options with a different team and with a higher payday? If you are a Padres fan, like me, you are happy with having Myers in San Diego for six years, but is that really the best deal that he could have received?
Myers made the right decision to stay in San Diego and sign that $83 million deal. San Diego is a great place to live, with a lot to do, great fans, and one of the most beautiful ball parks in all of baseball. Myers has the chance to be the face of the Padres franchise for the next six years. I don’t believe he would have the same opportunity if he went elsewhere.
The Padres have been rebuilding for quite some time now, and the fans are starting to get restless for even a sliver of success. Myers is giving Padres fans a look into that success. Fans are used to the Padres getting a great player, only to trade them to another club for some minor leaguers that we don’t even know. The extension of Myers definitely calmed some of the fans and gave them an All-Star player to cheer for.
Now on to the question “If Wil Myers did play with another club, would he be a bigger star?” I think the answer is “yes.”
San Diego has a lower salary cap, smaller fan base, and is not known for keeping high profile players since the team is still rebuilding. If he played for another team like the Yankees or the Angels I do believe that his name would be a lot bigger than it is now.
The Padres are building the team around Myers and hope to make it back to the playoffs in the near future. The Padres this year have started slowly and are 5th in the NL West, yet fans still seem to be engaged. I think this is due to the success with the long ball, Myers’ contributions, and the fact that the roster has some of the best rookies in baseball this year.
It takes time to rebuild a team, but the Padres are definitely on the right path. Yes, Myers would be a bigger name if he played for a higher profile team, but he set himself up well only being 26 years old with a six-year contract. He will still be young at the end of the contract and could always stay in San Diego or move on to a new team.
Retaining Myers is a huge step to getting San Diego back in the pennant race, which the Padres haven’t seen since the 2006 season, where they lost to the Cardinals in the NLDS. There is no doubt that Myers is an All-Star player and could be a bigger star elsewhere, but his home is San Diego, and at this point of his career it is the smartest decision he could have made.
By Joshua Whitaker
Joshua Whitaker is a lifelong sports fan who enjoys diving deeper into the issues that matter to sports fan like himself.