The San Diego front office is thankfully still leaky. Earlier today Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune gave an interview saying the Wil Myers + prospects deal to the Red Sox will almost certainly happen. Yesterday Buster Olney gave an interview describing the Padres wish for the Red Sox to pay two-thirds of the remaining salary, a confirmation of other reports that have been out there. There are rumblings that Jackie Bradley Jr. would be the bulk of what is going back to San Diego. This deal makes sense on a number of levels, from payroll tax to actual payroll to prospects to performance.
Wil Myers' contract breaks down like this: $67.5 Million remaining for an average of $22.5 Million per year. That's the real money. For payroll tax purposes this deal accounts for $13.83 Million per year. That is because it was a six year $83 Million dollar deal originally that was back-loaded.
Currently the Red Sox have $13.46 Million in cap space. Adding Myers alone would put them over. This is where JBJ's money comes in. By subtracting the $11 Million of his money it nets out to $2.36 Million in additional payroll tax dollars for the Sox. Account for Olney's two-thirds note and the Red Sox would only be on the hook for around $9 Million of Myers' payroll tax salary. This move would actually save the Red Sox around $2 Million in the payroll tax. Assuming additional pieces coming back to the Red Sox this may net out. So why would the Padres do this?
This is where having actual money vs payroll tax money comes in. In real world money the Padres are getting rid of $45 Million of the remaining $67.5 Million owed to Myers. In turn the Padres would take on JBJ's $11 Million. This saves the Padres $34 Million. This is exactly the kind of move a big market team should make. That $34 Million buys young talent. What kind of talent are we talking about?
The Return Beyond Myers
For many Red Sox followers these names should be familiar. Cal Quantrill and Luis Campusano. Quantrill has some trouble with lefties but would only be counted on as the fifth starter. He's only 25 and cheap with major league experience and a clean health record. That's better than anyone else the Red Sox have right now for the rotation.
Campusano is the real prize. He was recently tabbed by MLB.com as the best power hitting prospect in the Padres' loaded system. He's only 21, so don't focus on his current designation as a catcher. The Red Sox winner in the MLB.com poll is Bobby Dalbec, who will play this season at 25 years old. Campusano would instantly become a top five prospect for the Red Sox.
What About Wil Myers?
Myers has averaged a .245 batting average with 20 home runs and 16 steals over the past three years. For comparison, JBJ has been at .235/17/11 over that same time span. But Myers has been doing that in San Diego. Playing in Fenway should boost his average some as a right handed hitter. So ultimately he is projected to be better (he has 30 home run potential) than JBJ offensively, while obviously not as good defensively. More or less a wash.
This move will further consolidate the improvement in the minor league system Chaim Bloom was brought here for. The Red Sox also get to add some young starting pitching, something they don't currently have beyond Eduardo Rodriguez. The Sox might even save on the payroll tax, giving them even more flexibility to do something at the trading deadline if the Yankees fall back to the pack, a more and more likely scenario considering their mounting starting pitcher injuries. The Padres want to save money and give the appearance of a competitive team on the field. They can sell JBJ as a World Series champ and Gold Glove center fielder (even though he's only won it once). This deal makes sense on so many levels, and it appears it is just around the corner.
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