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Reds sign Will Myers to a one-year deal

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The Reds announced that they had signed their first baseman/outfielder Will Myers to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2024. Myers will be guaranteed $7.5 million in the deal, which comes in the form of a $6 million salary in 2023 along with a $1.5 million buy-on option. He could earn an additional $1.5 million in incentives based on playing time and would earn an additional $500,000 if traded, potentially earning $9.5 million by the end of the season.

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Myers, 32, was originally drafted by the Royals but was traded to the Rays before he made it to the majors. He was considered one of the best prospects in the league at the time, with Baseball America ranking fourth overall in the 2013 season. Myers would go on to make his MLB debut with Tampa that year, posting a .293/.354/. 478. This production was 29% higher than average, as measured by WRC+. He was worth 2.3 wins above replacement in FanGraphs’ eyes and won American League Rookie of the Year honors.

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Despite his potential status and sensational debut, Myers has since settled as more of a celebrity than an actual superstar. He endured a slump as a sophomore in 2014, hitting just 0.22/.294/.320 for 76 points. Injuries limited him to just 60 games in 2015, but he had a stellar 2016. He hit 28 home runs and stole 28 bases, finishing the year with a hitting streak of .259/.336/.461 and a wRC+ of 114. This resulted in a tally of 3.4 fWAR and encouraged the Padres to give Myers a six-year, $83 million extension.

Unfortunately for the Padres, that 2016 campaign is now emerging as Myers’ best. He’s still a valuable player, but he hasn’t topped 2.0 fWAR in any subsequent season. Although still a decent contributor, his contract eventually came to be seen as an albatross due to his once again loaded nature. Myers earned a $15 million signing bonus, but then had modest salaries of $2 million in 2017 and 2018, followed by $3 million in 2019, but then jumped to $20 million for each of the last three years of the deal. The club reportedly made several attempts to trade Myers in the latter half of the deal but it was never successful.

Over six years of this decade, Myers hit 98 home runs and stole 61 bases. He has succeeded in 29.2% of his plate appearances but also walked at a healthy 9.8%. 451 for wRC+109, indicating that he was 9% better than the league batting average in that time frame. He should be able to provide the Reds with a solid veteran hitter who can also play the hitter-friendly field.

Defensively, Myers played exclusively at first base in 2017, but has spent most of his time in the outfield in the five seasons since. Advanced metrics are divided on his work, though he is generally rated average as a cornerback and a bit of a sub at first base. Myers’ flexibility in this regard is likely to be attractive to a Reds who have uncertainty in those areas. Joy Photo He was the club’s first captain in more than a decade, but now he’s 39, and he turns 40 in September. He also had season-ending surgery on his rotator cuff in August, which comes with an estimated six-month recovery period. That should allow him to return before Opening Day, but Myers gives them a proven backup plan if there is any kind of setback or if the club wants to reduce Votto’s playing time.

Out in the field, they have a number of in-house options but none have been installed in place. Nick SnezelAnd the Nick LeftyAnd the Jake Fraley And the TJ Friedel They are some of the candidates who may be vying for outside roles in 2023, but none of them have proven themselves enough to guarantee anything. Myers can field wherever suits him best based on what the others are doing and he can also take time as a designated hitter if the others are all doing well. Mike Mostafa Also in line with some DH duties but coming off two consecutive disappointing injury marred campaigns. If Myers does well or the Reds simply want to make room for younger players, Myers could become a trade candidate as the deadline approaches.

Financially, the rebuilding Reds haven’t paid much money this winter. This is only their second major league signing of the offseason along with a modest deal for a backup catch Luke Miley. list resource Count this signing as bringing their payroll to $78 million. That’s still just shy of their $114 million figure from Opening Day 2022, in all. Cradle baseball contracts. If they’re willing to spend up to similar levels, they can still get more cash for more moves, though they may also remain on the low side after aggressively chipping away at big salaries in recent years.

ESPN’s Jeff Bassin It first reported a guarantee of $7.5 million and Myers’ ability to reach $9.5 million. Bobby Nightingale from The Cincinnati Enquirer First details the $500,000 trade-in bonus plus $1.5 million in incentives. Mark Sheldon from MLB.com He first split the $6 million salary in 2023 with the $1.5 million option buy.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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