Remember when Wil Myers was a prized minor league prospect? As a Rays fan, I sure do because he was involved in arguably the two worst trades in franchise history.
Myers was traded to the Rays from the Kansas City Royals in 2012. Since his MLB debut in 2013, has compiled a 10.2 career WAR, and a single-season high of 2.8 in 2016.
The picture above is a good synopsis of his career with the Rays: looks great on paper, but terrible on the field.
The Rays also acquired Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard for James Shields, Wade Davis and Elliot Johnson. Short term, the Royals won the trade because over the next three years, Davis and Shields combined for a 15.2 WAR, more than Myers’ entire career.
The two pitchers were also integral parts in helping the Royals reach two straight World Series in 2014 and 2015, including winning in ‘15.
Johnson hit six more home runs in his MLB career after being traded, and his highest career average for a season was his .242 average with the Rays in 2012.
Montgomery made his big league debut in 2015 with the Seattle Mariners, being traded there for Erasmo Ramirez, but did record the final out in the 2016 World Series to give the Chicago Cubs their first championship in 108 years. Leonard never made the big leagues.
Davis and Shields were both integral parts in helping the Royals to reach two straight World Series in 2014 and 2015, including winning in ‘15.
Myers won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2013, helping the Rays reach the ALDS, but was riddled with injury problems in 2014. He also did this above, which cost the Rays Game 1 of the ALDS and the series and I will never forgive him for forgetting how to field because he makes millions of dollars a year and I make dollars a year.
The Rays gave up on him and traded him in the offseason to the San Diego Padres in a three-team deal, one of two heart-wrenching trades that year.
You think I forgot about the Price trade? Yeah we got Willy Adames, but he’s got a lot to live up with for the player he was traded for.
The Rays traded Myers, Ryan Hannigan and Jose Castillo to the Padres for Jake Bauers, Rene Rivera and Burch Smith from the Padres. The Rays also got The Padres also sent Joe Ross and Trea Turner to the Nationals as the Nationals sent Steven Souza Jr. and Travis Ott to the Rays.
Starting with the Nationals, Turner has turned into the best player in this deal, with a 10.3 career WAR in just four seasons and a .979 fielding percentage at shortstop. He’s now one of the best players on the Nationals with a career 109 OPS+ and has hit .289/.344/.416.
Ross has been a decent pitcher over the past four years, throwing over 100 innings in 2016, going 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA. However, over the past two years, he’s posted a 5.00+ ERA and 75 strikeouts in 89.2 innings pitched.
For the Rays, Smith never made it out of the minors. Rivera was released by the Rays after just one season in 2015, where he hit .176/.213/.275, for a 36 OPS+, -2.0 WAR, -3.1 WAA and -17 runs above replacement. Souza had one good season with the Rays, in 2017, when he had a 119 OPS+, 4.2 WAR along with a career-high 30 home runs and 78 RBI.
Then, the Rays traded him to the Diamondbacks in a three-team deal in February 2018, acquiring Anthony Banda and Colin Poche, as well as Nick Solak from the Yankees.
Solak (11th best prospect) and Poche (24th best prospect) are still in the minors, Double-A and Triple-A respectively while Banda made his MLB debut in 2018 before tearing his UCL in June.
Bauers debuted with the Rays in 2018, but was traded this offseason to the Cleveland Indians for Cole Sulser and Yandy Diaz. While his Rays career was short, he did give me this wonderful gem that I can use against Yankees fans for years to come.
Diaz is projected to be the Rays’ starting first baseman next year and Sulser will be in Triple-A at the start of 2019.
Combined in those deals, the Rays sent away six players in both deals and got back nine. Of the nine, one, Ott is still in the organization.
After the Myers trade in 2014, the Rays had four straight losing seasons before going 90-72 in 2018. Knowing the Rays and their usual low payroll, they can only keep players for so long before they become too much to afford and then they have to go elsewhere.
Or, they’re Evan Longoria, who was under contract until 2023, but the franchise clearly didn’t care about my feelings, so they basically flipped off all Rays fans by trading him on December 20, 2017, a day that will stick in my head forever because of the heinous acts of that team.
LOOK AT HOW UGLY HE LOOKS IN A GIANTS UNIFORM! HE DOESN’T DESERVE THIS! RAYS FANS DON’T DESERVE THIS!
Long story short, both deals were terrible and the Rays have yet to recover and the front office is going to do next to nothing to change that until the team eventually moves after their lease at Tropicana Field expires in 2027. They are as cold and empty as this stadium is, every. freaking. year.