It’s happening–Wil Myers is coming to the major leagues. But in light of recent Rays history and especially the player Myers was traded for, James Shields, Rays fans can’t help but wonder how the Rays plan to handle Myers long-term. Because the Rays held back Myers this long, he will be under team control until 2019 and will not be Super Two eligible, saving the Rays a lot of money. But will the Rays make plans to keep Myers in a Rays uniform even longer than that with an Evan Longoria-esque extension?
Just the fact that Myers has been in the minors this long would seem to indicate that there is no extension pending. However, Myers not being promoted until now was not simply for financial reasons–he just wasn’t playing well. A little more than a month ago, on May 21st, Myers was really struggling, managing just a .244/.341/.372 line in his first 185 plate appearances of the season. Then in the last three-and-a-half weeks, Myers absolutely went off, and only then were the Rays confident enough to call him up. In addition, it’s not as though the Rays offense was really struggling this whole time. The Rays rank 4th in the American League in OPS at .753 and rank 1st when you adjust to ballpark. The Rays didn’t have any reason to rush Myers at all. It wasn’t a Longoria situation where he was clearly ready and the team desperately needed him, and in fact it was in many ways the opposite. The Rays didn’t need Myers so much and they weren’t positive that he was prepared for major league pitching. It’s possible that Myers could have been in the minor leagues for reasons beyond just he money. With that in mind, could an extension be in the works if not already done?
When the Longoria extension was announced in April in 2008, it shocked the baseball world–he had only been in the majors a week! As it turned out, Longoria and the Rays actually agreed to the contract when Longoria was still in the minors. A Myers extension might be the exact same type of thing. If it happens, it will just come out of nowhere. The Rays seem to do an excellent job making sure that word of their long-term deals doesn’t get out and we’ll just hear and in a week or a month that Myers has been extended. There are reasons beyond just money that Myers remained at Triple-A and an extension announcement could be upcoming. We’re just going to have to see if and when that happens.