SAN DIEGO -- It's official: The face of the Padres is set to remain in San Diego for at least six more seasons.
William Myers and the Padres finalized a six-year extension on Tuesday worth $83 million, the most lucrative contract in Padres history. The deal -- which covers three of Myers' arbitration years and three years of free agency -- also includes a $20 million team option for the 2023 season.
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"I want to thank the Padres organization for giving me this opportunity, and Padres fans for their support," Myers said in a statement. "I've loved my time in San Diego and I'm excited to be a part of what we're building for the future."
In his first fully healthy season at the big league level, Myers was the Padres' best all-around player in 2016. He batted .259/.336/.461 with 28 homers and 28 steals, earning an All-Star nod and finishing as a Gold Glove finalist in his first season at first base.
The Padres view the 26-year-old Myers as a piece to build around. Over the past year, the Friars have invested heavily in their farm system, and they feel Myers' prime will intersect nicely with the emergence of a crop of talented youngsters.
"Hopefully you're buying the prime years of Wil's career, from 26 to 31," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. "He's a player that obviously showed last year he's got All-Star-caliber potential. He's a guy that can be part of a nucleus of a championship-type team. … That really made [the extension] attractive for us and Wil. He's a guy that's still a young player, has a lot of baseball left in the prime of his career -- but a guy that lines up with our younger guys coming up."
"He's passionate about what we're building here in San Diego, loves being a part of the community," Padres manager Andy Green said on Monday. "I think you want to find guys that you can build around as young guys come into the organization. ... Wil is that type of guy. We're very excited about the prospect of having him for years to come. There's still limitless potential within Wil that he hasn't tapped yet."
With $83 million guaranteed, Myers surpasses James Shields (for whom he was once traded) as the recipient of the largest contract in Padres history. Myers will be paid $22 million over his three would-be arbitration years -- including a $15 million signing bonus. He'll then receive $20 million per year over the next three seasons and has a $1 million buyout structured into the 2023 team option. If he is traded, Myers would also receive a $1 million assignment bonus.
The announcement came days after the Padres locked up third baseman Yangervis Solarte for the long-term as well. With the two signings, Preller and the Padres have avoided all potential arbitration hearings for a third consecutive offseason.
"From an ownership standpoint, when we have talented players, they're going to do their part to keep them in San Diego, to grow and build a championship club," Preller said. "When it's the right time here in the next few years, we'll get guys to supplement what hopefully is a talented nucleus that we're growing from within."
Myers came to the Padres in December 2014 as part of the three-team deal that sent Joe Ross and Trea Turner to Washington. He earned the American League Rookie of the Year Award with Tampa Bay in '13, before playing only 147 games over the next two seasons because of wrist issues.
He burst back onto the scene last June, taking home NL Player of the Month honors while batting .327/.429/.765 with 11 homers. The summer surge earned him a starting spot in the All-Star Game at Petco Park.
"Part of being a fan, you want to root for guys that make you want to turn on the TV every night, guys that make you want to come out to the ballpark," Preller said. "I think Wil last year -- definitely in the first half of the season -- showed he was that kind of guy."