By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Despite losing out on the Mookie Betts sweepstakes, the San Diego Padres still seem determined to unload Wil Myers on the Boston Red Sox.
Per a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee, discussions with the Red Sox are 'on the front burner' of Padres GM A.J. Preller's plans right now. Preller hopes to use the Red Sox interest in some of the Padres' top prospects to unload part of Myers contract. The 29-year-old outfielder is owed $61 million over the next three years. According to Acee, the Padres are expecting the Red sox to take over 'about half' of that money.
Myers is a logical target for Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. In fact, he's traded for Myers before. As the Director of Baseball Operations for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, Bloom acquired Myers as a prospect in a seven-player trade with the Kansas City Royals.
In return the Red Sox are reportedly interested in 24-year-old pitcher Cal Quantrill along with prospects Luis Campusano and Gabriel Arias, although it is unlikely the Padres would be willing to move all three to get the deal done.
Quantrill would be a similar acquisition to Alex Verdugo in that both players are young but have already proven themselves in the MLB and would not need time to develop. Given the Red Sox shortage of MLB-experienced starting pitching, he would be a player who could come in and contribute right away. Quantrill started 18 games last season, with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
Campusano is the fifth ranked prospect in the Padres system. A second-round pick in 2017, Campusano projects as an everyday catcher who can contribute both at the plate and in the field. The 21-year-old was also involved in the Mookie Betts discussions between Boston and San Diego, and is probably the best overall option of the three names given in Acee's report. While well rounded catching prospects seem to be rarer and rarer, he's an interesting name to see here after the Red Sox just picked up Connor Wong from the Dodgers.
Arias is a 19-year-old shortstop who projects as a plus defender with a bat that is still a work in progress. The 2016 international free agent is the Padres' 13th ranked prospect. While he still has room to grow, it's unlikely he'd be the only player moved to unload Myers contract, and would likely be attached to one of the other two names above.
Given the only position they seem to have depth is in the outfield, why would the Red Sox take on Myers deal after just shedding salary by trading Betts? They need youth, bad. While this specific trade may not be the best option, it's an indication as to how the Red Sox will operate early on in the 'Chaim Bloom Era' as he tries to restock a farm system left in disarray by Dave Dombrowski.
Adding young MLB-ready players is an effective yet expensive strategy for a team trying to rebuild quickly. Bringing in players like Quantrill and Verdugo, along with near-ready prospects such as Campusano or Jeter Downs seems to be the plan, even if it means unloading fan favorite players or taking on bad contracts. The question becomes, if any of those young players turn into superstars, will the Red Sox be willing to pay them?
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].