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Trade away Myers? Pros, cons for Padres

Analyzing why San Diego should or shouldn't deal from depth
November 21, 2018

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' desire to sell an outfielder is not a secret. They've been vocal about their surplus, and general manager A.J. Preller has noted several times that there's interest from other clubs on his corner-outfield trio.Makes sense. William Myers, Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes are all righty-hitting

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' desire to sell an outfielder is not a secret. They've been vocal about their surplus, and general manager A.J. Preller has noted several times that there's interest from other clubs on his corner-outfield trio.
Makes sense. William Myers, Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes are all righty-hitting sluggers. It certainly feels like there's only room for two, given that the Padres have some depth in Franchy Cordero and Travis Jankowski.
Myers, of course, is the biggest name of the bunch, and the Padres reportedly discussed a deal with the Mariners that would send Jean Segura and Mike Leake back to San Diego. Indications are that the deal hasn't been scrapped, but those talks have cooled and are far from being completed.
There are arguments both for and against trading Myers. Here's a look at three on each side:
THREE REASONS TO TRADE MYERS
1. It clears an outfield logjam
The Padres love what they got from Renfroe and Reyes in 2018. So much so, they might be willing to turn the corner-outfield spots over to them full time. Of course, that means one of two things: Either Myers stays at third base, where he struggled mightily in August and September. Or he's traded elsewhere. If he's traded, the Padres feel pretty confident in a starting outfield of Renfroe, Reyes and Manuel Margot, with the lefty-hitting Cordero spelling all three on a regular basis, and Jankowski serving as a defense/speed option.
2. It would fill holes elsewhere
The Padres' offensive depth chart looks something like this: solid in the outfield, solid at catcher, gaping holes in the infield. Were they a deeper team across the diamond, the Padres might be comfortable hanging onto their three righty-hitting corner outfielders and letting them compete for time. But a Myers deal would presumably bring in help on the left side of the infield and on the mound. Those are two huge areas of weakness for the club.
3. Money
At the time of the deal, Myers' contract seemed reasonable. He was 26 and coming off an All-Star season, and six years, $83 million was widely considered a fair price. But the deal is backloaded, with $64 million remaining, and Myers has struggled in the two years since. The Padres would likely need to take on similar money in a return (as would be the case with Leake and Segura from Seattle). But at least in doing so, they'd be allocating that money at a position of need.
THREE REASONS TO NOT TRADE MYERS
1. He's their best outfielder
OK, maybe Myers wasn't the Padres' best outfielder in 2018. (And he wouldn't have been in '17 either, for that matter.) But nobody in the San Diego outfield has a track record like his. Question marks linger about the long-term viability of Reyes, Renfroe, Margot and Cordero. All four have shown flashes, none have sustained. Of course, Myers hasn't been particularly consistent either. But his 10.1 career WAR, according to Baseball-Reference, is just a 10th of a point lower than those four combined.
2. They'd be selling low
Myers is capable of much more than his 2018 season. He averaged 29 homers, 29 doubles and 24 steals in the two years before it. If the Padres think Myers has another '16 campaign in him, they might be best served sticking him in a corner, allowing Renfroe and Reyes to compete for playing time, and waiting for his stock to rise. If he puts forth a first half similar to his '16 season, he'd fetch a much greater haul at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
3. How deep is this outfield, really?
To be sure, the outfield is deeper than anywhere else on the Padres' roster (except maybe catcher). But that doesn't mean it would be deep enough without Myers. Cordero is coming off elbow surgery. Margot took a major step back last season. The success of Renfroe and Reyes is mostly limited to the second half of 2018. Assuming Jankowski fills a backup role, that's a lot of question marks in those first three spots. If the Padres can shore up another position in a Myers trade, it obviously makes sense to do so. But it would also stretch them a little bit thin, leaving little room for error with their four 26-and-under outfielders.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.