Sometimes, a trade just does not work out for all the parties involved, no matter what a team does. For the Tampa Bay Rays, their trade of Wil Myers to the San Diego Padres is one of those moves.
Back when the Tampa Bay Rays traded James Shields and future cyborg Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals, the biggest piece that came back was Wil Myers. He was a top prospect, an excellent power hitter who appeared as though he could become a franchise player. He certainly fulfilled that promise in his first season with the Rays, winning the Rookie of the Year award while producing a .293/.354/.478 batting line and hitting 13 homers.
Yet, even that year, there were concerns. Myers struggled in the second half, as pitchers figured out that his open stance left him susceptible to pitches that broke down and away. Those struggles followed during an injury plagued 2014 season, leaving the Rays unsure of what they had. He was then part of a three team deal between the Rays, Padres, and Nationals, with 11 players switching teams.
Last season, Myers had that breakout campaign, making an All Star team and inking a long term extension. The Nationals received Trae Turner, who in half a season, looks like a star in the making. The Rays, meanwhile, received Steven Souza. However, there may be a silver lining, at least if Jake Bauers can pan out.
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But the problem with that is, in order for the trade to be beneficial for the Rays as well, Bauers would have to become a star. Myers has become a cornerstone player for the Padres. Turner, and Joe Ross, who was part of that trade, could develop into elite talent. Bauers just does not have that type of profile.
Yes, he could develop into a solid player, and even become a part of the Rays core. He has more of a line drive swing, being a doubles hitter instead of a real power threat. He makes excellent contact, and has a great batting eye, but those attributes are not the type of thing that will excite the common fan.
In the end, Bauers looks like a typical Rays player. he will play good defense, and be solid in just about every aspect of the game. He may not shock anyone, but he could be a consistently good player who performs well and provides solid production. But stardom? That just does not seem likely.
It’s time to accept the Tampa Bay Rays part of the Wil Myers trade for what it is. Jake Bauers, and even Steven Souza, could be solid players, but it is unlikely that they will even reach the levels of the other players involved in that deal.