Red Sox

If Red Sox acquire Wil Myers, here's why fans should love a deal they'll want to hate

Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — At this rate, we might need to rechristen them the Boston Rage Sox, because every move they make fills their fans with fury.

If bloodshot eyes, balled fists, and foaming mouths impact one ability, however, it's to see clearly. And so let us explain why a seemingly indefensible trade for overpriced Padres outfielder Wil Myers actually presents our first encouraging view into Chaim Bloom's vision for the future.

The rumors out of San Diego -- an organization that leaks like a sieve, god bless -- are that the Red Sox and Padres remain engaged on Myers, a former Rookie of the Year who has fallen on hard times since earning his lone All-Star berth in 2016.

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San Diego's goal (per the Union-Tribune) is simple: dump as much of the $61 million remaining on Myers' contract as possible in order to enable a run at an impact bat like Cincinnati's Nick Senzel.

Here's the part where Red Sox fans might lose their minds. Just days after moving former MVP Mookie Betts and Cy Young Award winner David Price to the Dodgers in order to slash payroll, would the Red Sox really take $30 million right back in the form of Myers, a lifetime .251 hitter coming off the second-worst OPS (.739) of his career?

 

Yes, but Myers is hardly the point (despite Bloom's familiarity with him from their days in Tampa). What really matters is that the Red Sox would also receive a package of prospects likely built around right-hander Cal Quantrill (son of former big leaguer Paul), as well as slugging catcher Luis Campusano.

In other words, Bloom plans on using the team's considerable financial resources to buy prospects to replenish a strip-mined farm system. It's exactly the kind of move he was hired to make, and it's how one of the game's driest reservoirs of future talent can be replenished on the fly.

It may sound defeatist and incongruous now — dump David Price's salary just to pick up Myers'? — but the approach makes perfect sense. When the Yankees conducted their great purge in 2016, trading Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, and Ivan Nova in the span of four franchise-altering days, they had one goal: adding young talent.

In return, they received Gleyber Torres (part of the Chapman deal), who's already a two-time All-Star and borderline superstar at age 23, as well as a host of other prospects. Justus Sheffield (Miller) and Erik Swanson (Nova) were used to acquire left-hander James Paxton from the Mariners. Former No. 4 overall pick Dillon Tate (Beltran) went to the Orioles for Zack Britton. Outfielder Clint Frazier (Miller) is a defensive butcher, but his bat (12 HRs in 225 ABs last year) still plays and gives him value at age 25.

Those acquisitions allowed the Yankees to reload with young, cheap talent, which in turn created an avenue for New York to spend lavishly on right-hander Gerrit Cole this winter.

The presence of catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Aaron Judge meant the Yankees boasted a better minor-league talent base than the one Bloom inherited, so Boston's turnaround won't be as instantaneous, but this is how it starts.

I won't pretend to know if Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, Connor Wong, Quantrill or Campusano are can't-miss stars. That's where you trust Bloom's track record in Tampa as an evaluator. What matters right now is volume, and the more prospects Bloom can add, the better.

Quantrill isn't technically a prospect anymore. He was chosen eighth overall in the 2013 draft out of Stanford and rose through San Diego's system as a consensus top-100 prospect. He went 6-8 with a 5.16 ERA during his big league debut last year and would step right into Boston's rotation, which remains in need of a fifth starter.

Campusano, meanwhile, took a giant leap forward, hitting .325 with 15 home runs at High A. Whether he's the future, or simply capital to make other moves, doesn't much matter at the moment. The Red Sox need replenishment, and if Bloom wants to buy it, that's what's known as an effective use of resources.

So while it may be tempting and even a little cathartic to lose your mind if the Red Sox acquire Myers, pay attention to the rest of the package, because that's where the deal will be won.