Pitching for Wil Myers?
Thirteen with another provocative idea


Thirteen's inventive commentary has been a pleasure to read.  If you missed his Justin Smoak Thumbs Up, er Down, er Cracked fanpost at LL, it's an eyebrow-raising read.  Here he comes again with a trade idea.  Now, 94.3% of trade riffs are throwaway, but on the other hand don't be too quick to blow them off.  I mean, we sit here going, "this winter we need a deal."  But give it up for the guys who bring something specific.

Thirteen wants to target Baseball America's player of the year:


SP Danny Hultzen and SS Brad Miller to Kansas City for OF Wil Myers. The Royals, let's face it, need pitching more than they need hitting. Way more. WAY more. They can afford to swap a #3 overall hitting prospect for a #9 overall pitching prospect, then take a couple of second-tier guys in the deal at positions of need for their big league club (their middle infield is almost as bad as their rotation).

The Mariners, as with Montero, get a young and highly touted offensive prospect in return for a young, highly touted pitching prospect. Myers plugs in in one outfield slot with Gutierrez and Saunders at the other two: no need for a free agent acquisition here. Go spend all the money on Zack Greinke and enjoy your new pitching staff of death in front of an incredible defensive outfield to go with your incredible defensive infield.


=== E = MC2 Dept. ===

This deal does echo last winter's Pineda-for-Montero concept, with Jay-Z converting energy (pitching) to matter (hitting) at the highest levels.  You could say that Montero required a pitcher who had actually kicked tail in the major leagues, but then again Jesus Montero had also passed a milestone that is much more important to real GM's than to fans:  he had come up to the major leagues and laid seventy EXTREMELY impressive at-bats on big league pitching.

As well, Jay-Z got change back for his Pineda dollar:  Hector Noesi or, don't even go there, Ivan Nova.  In exchange for a teenage pitcher who wasn't in BBA's top 100.  Thirteen's proposed deal may even try too hard to avoid the off-blog charge of "homer," as he gives up a top-100 prospect going back the other way.  Supposing that the Royals and Mariners got together on this one, I'd imagine that KC would demand (but not receive) their choice of the Big Three, and would probably get one or two quality (not top-100) prospects back with a nominal spect coming this way.  e.g. James Paxton and Victor Sanchez for Wil Myers and Brett Eibner.  But that's just noodling.  Suppose the Royals agreed to Thirteen's very deal, Hultzen and Brad Miller for Wil Myers.  Do you like it?


=== RH Bat ===

Through their broadcast worker bees, the M's have signalled that their priority this winter is indeed a righty bat.  You gotta love Thirteen's coherency in that Myers is a "tweener" OF (like Casper Wells) who figures to be a plus defender in RF.  (If you just joined us, Saunders goes into camp as the LF and Guti as the CF, so RF is wide open).  

With an EYE of less than 0.50 in AAA, is Myers really so good that you want to carve a position in stone for him, the way you've done for Jesus Montero?  There are only so many slots out there and you gotta spend your Stars & Scrubs money somewheres...

From a scouting standpoint, getting named #1 in the minors, by BBA, usually means that physically you look like the next Willie Mays out there.  The YouTubes don't disappoint:  the bat looks like it weighs about four ounces in his hands, he's very short and quick to the ball, great body control ... reminds actually of Mike Trout as far as that goes.  John Sickels wants to know why the Royals won't wake up and play Myers in center field where, sez John, he belongs.

Sabermetrically, James' rule is that to be a Grade A prospect, a top-25 type, you need to be a star at 20 in A+ ball, 21 in AA, 22 in AAA.  Myers was a big star in AAA at age 21.


=== Dr's R/X ===

I dunno anything about Wil Myers whatsoever, but if you're looking for Pineda-Montero redux, this looks like it.  My only question is whether the Mariners' supposed call for a righty bat is the correct one.  In my world, what the Mariners need is SOME bat that slugs .550, and in Safeco that's easier to do left handed.  You can say that the lineup is too lefty at the moment, but ... Jesus Montero is our cleanup hitter going forward and he's already one of the best hitters in the league against LHP's.  You've got Liddi, Romero and Catricala growing up and one of them may be a big boy some day (such as, next April 1 in Liddi's case).  If Jesus Montero is cleanup, and he is, you need what, one more RH bat to balance a Safeco left-leaning order, and are you already saying none will emerge?


But presuming that your paradigm is to go get right hand impact, Wil Myers is Montero II, looks like.

Where are you guys on Myers.

You go amig-O,

Dr D




Hmm. Would that be the best young outfield since Damon, Dye, and Beltran?
Tempting. We would loose the chance to have a player called "The Incredible Hultz". But then, Hultz's walks have worried me a little. I also suspect that they'd want Franklin instead of Miller.


Myers is the stud of studs among the KC gang.  (Well, maybe with Bubba Starling, but he's a a long way away.)   Myers just slugged .600 at age 21 in the high minors. 
Just breezing through my database: guys who were in AA or AAA at 21 and slugged .600.  Not many.
Manny slugged .613 at 21 in AA/AAA
Konerko did it, but he was in a hitters' park in Albuquerque
Vlad slugged .612 at 21 at AA
Eric Chavez slugged .603 in AA/AAA at age 20
Miggy Cabrera at 20, A-Rod and Andruw Jones at 19, but in limited number of games
Chipper Jones slugged .594 at AA at 20, but "only" .500 in AAA at 21
Yes, they need pitching, but I'm not sure if they'd trade Myers unless they got Felix on a $1/year long-term deal.  A guy who hit 37 HR in the high minors at 21 with a plus outfield glove?  Maybe even CF?
Moreover, I don't think they're as desparate for pitching as they look because they are also very high on Jake Odorizzi who just went 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA in AAA at age 22.
Now then ... Myers' arrival will make some of their other young guys more likely to be available, most likely longtime G-target Alex Gordon or RH slugger Billy Butler (1b/DH), but they're both signed to longer-term deals as if they plan on keeping them.
Maybe some of the shine is off Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, but they both project similarly to Myers.  They were both studs in the high minors at 21 as well.
And they don't have to move anyone to make room for Myers if they play him in CF, since they didn't really have a regular CF last year.  But if they put him in RF he'd just be replacing middling vet Jeff Francoeur.


I think KC is keen on the idea of bringing back Greinke as a FA to go with all these young hitters, as well.


I'd rather put Hamilton in LF, but we sure can't count on getting him here, certainly not at a reasonable cost. The plus there is that you have a "Vet" bat to "take the pressure off of the kids", rather than adding another "kid". And we keep The Incredible Hultz!


I don't love giving up two super-prospects for one super-prospect, even if the one is nominally better.


This is the danger of trade dreaming; you set your sights on someone untouchable and then get miffed when you can't nab him. (I'd love to get my hands on Alex Gordon, too, though.) Remember when Dave Cameron suggested the Mariners trade Pineda plus for Votto and Grandal, and then the Reds promptly locked up Votto forever? Like that. Perhaps Myers really is untouchable--though if I were a GM, I don't think any prospect would be untouchable before having major league success, and Hultzen destroyed AA as much as Myers did, just from the other side. I don't think it's unreasonable, as a return, but maybe he won't move. I doubt they land Greinke, though. Hometown discount or no, there are a lot of teams that want Greinke, many of them much wealthier than the Royals.


KC is more likely to trade Gordon and install Myers at his position than to give up youth. KC is drunk on the power of youth. Gordon's making 9, 10, 12 and 12 through the next 4 years of his deal, which is not in any way outrageous but is the highest salary on the team.
If they could trade Gordon for Hultzen/Miller/assorted players and get the extra 43 mil to spend on something else (like bringing Greinke home) they'd rather do that than trade cheap asset Myers.
I still feel like it's either Gordon or Butler that goes for KC, although I would take Myers if he was offered.
KC is not the NYY, though, and IMO he won't be.
Gordon slugged .588 at 22 in AA, btw (and .500 last year in the bigs) - he's not a slouch, although his HRs are curiously low especially for a decent home park for offense. It depends what you're willing to give up to get him, and if the unlimited potential of the minor leaguers is worth the more limited possibilities with Gordon. Because you look at his line and think, "well Thames or Wells should be able to do that..." except they don't.
What's it worth to get somebody who can hit? If we'd just paid Willingham or some others in the offseason, or if we pay Nick Swisher in this one, maybe it's not that big a deal, but who do you wanna bet on, and what's it gonna cost to get em here?
I don't think we're gonna get pre-arb wonderstuds out of KC, but we can still get a hitter in his 20s. Just a matter of whether either Butler or Gordon is a hitter you want to pay for in trade pieces that could be used elsewhere - including here.


Gordon would be real good here. We could use 45 doubles rattling through the spacious confines of Safeco.
From Texasleagers.com:

At-bat ResultsGroundout
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Sac Fly
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Hit By Pitch
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He seems like he is good at hitting line drive singles and doubles.  This has always been effective for Safeco field.  Most of our RBI's come just this way.  As large as Safeco field is, and as punishing as it is for flyballers, this type of game should play up.  
Plus, he brings a gold glove, and a high batting average.  He sort of has Ichiro's skillset.
He would really improve the team, but he's not a game changer.  He still brings us the small ball style offense that we have run out for years.  
If we could get him, great, but he dissapoints as the marquee high powered off season add who hits triple bombs with regularity and legitimizes our lineup.  In other words, Josh Hamilton.

rbt's picture

He does not say that Myers belongs in CF. He says that he "profiles better in a corner" and notes that he has been blocked there by Gordon and Francouer. Then he wonders if the Royals could ever feel comfortable with him defensively in CF - a position, you would find out if you looked, he played for much of the season.
Also, if you had checked you could have found out that the Royals actually have a pretty good SS they like quite a bit who is, with options, under contract through 2017: Alcides Escobar. I doubt that Brad Miller would be much of a temptation.
At any rate, prospect for prospect trades are quite rare. Even under the highly unlikely circumsance you could get the Royals to listen, Paxton & Sanchez ain't gonna do it. You aren't going to get a top 3 prospect without giving up your top guy or a good major leaguer.


Depending on if KC is in a "Win in '13 or '14" mode.
But do you give up Hultzen's potential career for 4 years of Gordan?
Myers is going to be Harper-ized or Trout-ized in the minds of KC front office AND (more importantly) their long=suffering fans. He ain't goin'. Not even for Strasburg.
Right now we've accumulated a whole bunch of pretty pieces, but they remain just pieces until we actually use them.
Man, let's see what they've got. I'm giving Romero a real shot, if I'm the FO guys, at making this team next year. If he can hit, he can hit. Man, we'll find a position for him. The heck with AAA "seasoning." Can Franklin pick it or not? If so, roll him out there. Liddi has been jacked around. He isn't Trout, but he's a RH masher who isn't fazed by Safeco's fences.
Let him whack.
And I'm telling the Big Three to bring their A-Game to ST, because they are on the fast train to Seattle.
Pieces don't mean squat if you don't use them. Let's use our shiney ones ASAP.


Forgot about Escobar, you're right. Must be just because every time I've seen the Royals this season they've been running out the Yunibomber and Getz, and they don't seem to like Giavotella. No Miller, then; replace him with another pitcher perchance. Man, they have a good core of position players. Makes one wonder what the heck happened.
The original suggestion was Hultzen plus: for all intents and purposes, Hultzen is our top guy. A blocked top 3 prospect for a top 10 prospect at a position of need plus a couple top 200 prospects is actually a reasonable deal in my opinion, though this is just vague rosterbation since there are no predefined "types" of deals. Probably the Royals wouldn't do it. Who knows?


We can't play all of Franklin/ Miller/ Romero/ Liddi/ Catricala/ Ackley/ Seager/ Saunders/ Robinson/ Landry/ Morban / etc.
We CAN'T. And if you wait too long to take action with them, the bloom is off the rose and you can't cash em in for what you want. See: what happened to Catricala this year. Prospects are only good as primary trade pieces when their ceilings are unlimited. Who wants prospects with question marks? You only want the ones that are guaranteed *cough*yeahright*cough* to have major league success.
By the time you're SURE a prospect isn't good enough to help you win a pennant, so is everyone else, so he's not worth anything.
Similarly, if you give a prospect a chance in the bigs and he faceplants, his value decreases. "Small sample size" or not, that impression matters. If Montero had gotten crushed in his 70 AB stint with the Yanks, he might have come cheaper. If Pineda had face-planted he most assuredly would not have netted Montero, especially if he'd come down with his injury before the trade instead of after.
Timing matters. We can't afford to experiment with the kids on the big league level unless we intend to keep them, or to trade a Seager / Saunders / Ackley type to give the kid we want to keep more time.
If we choose to keep Miller, then Franklin can go. If we choose to keep Romero then we need to decide where he plays, or to trade Ackley/Seager to clear room. If we choose to keep Zunino AND Montero AND Jaso then we'll need a plan for how that'll work to get all 3 guys to the plate (which is why the experiment with some 1B time has started for Montero).
Can't keep the kids and have no plan for how to implement them with the big club. If Romero or Franklin is ONLY a second baseman, and Ackley will not be moved, then the kid(s) are surplus and can - SHOULD - be traded before they lose value.


"In the short run, it boils down to this: will the Royals feel comfortable defensively with Myers in center field? As soon as the answer is yes, Myers will take his spot in the Royals lineup."
But I don't doubt that on a tweener like Myers, Sickels and everybody else would rather see any tweener in a corner.  Sickels closes with his opinion that the Royals need to realize that, for them, Myers is their CF.  Not "belongs" in the sense that Gary Pettis belongs there.
As to Brad Miller -- "If we had checked," huh, RBT.  What do you think this is, a U.N. justice hearing?
Does that offend you, that in chatting informally about a possible baseball trade, Thirteen left an idea for you to add?  Why not just say "interesting idea, but it looks to me like SS isn't what they're after so much as more pitching"?  Why introduce yourself with a sneer, instead of with a friendly forward of the discussion?
You could be right that KC doesn't want any more shortstops, even very young ones.  But the "if you'd bothered to check" implies that there is a correct assessment of Dayton Moore's subjective priorities.  We're not solving trig problems here.
Hello to you too RBT.  Love it when first-time posters land with an "I'll deign to rescue you here" tone.  Doesn't look like we're worth your time, though, so not sure why you deigned.


Like I sez first up, I dunno anything about Wil Myers, but there's one thing I know now.  Six HOF'ers, Chavez, Konerko, and him slugged like that in AAA.
Okay, so he's a legit Montero-level bat y'say?


What is going to happen, somebody's going to come to your door and smack you in the mouth for chatting about sports?
But it's not like fans are going to resolve Dayton Moore's intentions, using inference.  We don't know what any GM is going to do, much less him.  Imagine what somebody like RBT would have been saying if M's fans had been chatting about Cliff Lee before Jack Zduriencik actually traded for him.


Hamilton and Hultzen vs. Myers and ... hm.  Beavan?  Erasmo?
Personally I think this Super Pitching For Wil Myers conversation is interesting.  Question then would be, what happens if you deal for Myers and then Hamilton takes your 6/$135M.
I guess I could be talked into giving one of them Franklin Gutierrez' spot.  LF Hamilton, CF Saunders, RF Myers.


Thirteen's idea was to give them guys like that in Hultzen and Miller, right?  Q is whether they want to convert a bat to pitching... 
Always easy for us fans (you excepted G, you know that) to play GM and then push second-tier trade goods at other team, get their best and brightest, and keep our own best and brightest.  Myers for Paxton-plus could gain traction if Moore gets to worrying about his pitching.
And the average fan would far rather trade a proven ML star like Billy Butler (or Erik Bedard) than a sexy, unproven Could Be Vlad Guerrero prospect like Myers (or Adam Jones).  That's not necessarily the way GM's go, although in KC the $$ weigh heavily, as you note.
But yeah.  If I were Moore, I'd be more interested in dealing Alex Gordon than Myers, probably.  Might not get a Paxton or Hultzen back.
Where are they on Billy Butler these days?  If they need room for pre-arb hitters?  As we all know, the M's have slobbered over him for two years.


That the only way you get a Jesus Montero or Justin Smoak, is to get them from teams that just posted a 115 OPS+ and don't know how to fit them in .... I suppose a KC fan would be asking "No way anybody gives up a Danny Hultzen or James Paxton these days" ... :- )
As we're talking here, though, it does become easy to visualize Dayton Moore viewing Myers as sort of his Felix Hernandez 2005.

Taro's picture

Done in a heartbeat, but likely unrealistic. Theres a massive gap in value with Hultzen and Myers at this point.
Its the style of trade the Ms need to be thinking about, although the pieces going out will hurt more.


I've acquired an allergy to trading Dustin... I just think he's got much more than he's show in his tank, and that we'd regret moving him in the worst kind of way. I'd be up for everyone else you've mentioned. The mere thought of making a play for a genuine, young, cost-controlled slugger elevates my blood pressure -- in a good way. I'll keep my fingers crossed.


The upgrade from 600 AB's from Wells/Thames/Robinson to 600 AB's of Alex Gordon would be pretty dramatic. He's a Pat Gillick type player. I would give up one of the big three for him, no question.


Heard on the game broadcast a day ago that Carp isn't 100%, and Smoak is looking as good as we've seen him in a year and a half: short swing, massive power, walks and line drives everywhere. Might as well play the healthy guy.

Lonnie of MC's picture

... are special talents and should not be used as measuring sticks as far as developing talent. You wouldn't use Felix Hernandez when he was in the minor leagues as an example of talent progression, would you?

rbt's picture

I didn't realize there was a minimum for participation. You should make that clear from the get-go.
I do not interpret Sickels meaning the same way as you do. I interpret it to mean "if they can tolerate him in center." Obviously my bad.
Yes, I do think there is an obligation to know what might be of most interest - or least interest - to another team before suggesting a trade. It makes you look, oh, I don't know, smart. Sorry 'bout that. My standards are too high, I guess.
I know where I'm not welcome, so no, I won't deign again.


Your post practically drips with superciliousness. The last barb aside--and that's as pulled a punch as I can imagine--Doc's was cordial the whole way through. Why respond in such a caustic way? It's not your being new that the community takes offense to, it's your dropping in flinging insults left and right. We'd love to have a smart guy like you around, if you're willing to play nice. Next time you drop in somewhere new, I advise being a little less insulting in your opening salvo of posts: it makes you look, oh, I don't know, civil.


Why come to a message board, get all bent out of shape, rage snarkily and angrily, then sulk about not being welcome?
This is the most welcoming sports forum around. We like input from fans of other teams, even other sports, based in countries around the world. You're obviously not stupid, and you have plenty to add.
So why not come in with a, "Hey, I think you might have misunderstood X, I look at it this way, especially due to Y's team needs" and add to the conversation instead of starting a fight?
Additive posts are welcome always, from anyone. If the only way you know how to post is to denigrate others, then you're right, that's not welcome. Sorry, not that kind of board.


You've seen 99.72% of first-timers get warm greetings.  
Take responsibility for picking a fight.  If you don't want a sharp debate response, don't offer a sharp debate opening.
We cheerfully invite you to hit the re-set button, with another screen name if you prefer, and join the conversation, this time with awareness of the community tone.  You're obviously very minors-literate and we'd be glad to have you.


All good points, G. But I can't help but feeling that "perpetual limbo" is the standard for the M's youth right now. Great talent gets better faster when you fast-track them. Maybe we don't have a Trout or Harper, but what gets lost, I think, is that the Angels and the Nats bucked the MLB typical path and moved their young guns to the top of the list, right now.
I like that. Or maybe I like that it paid off and maybe our efforts like that (see Smoak) just haven't
And I know that value is often enhanced by mystery, so it may make sense to get the highest value from young guys now. A Gordon-style bat in Safeco would be terrific, but I'm not sure it's worth the potential value of Hultzen's career. Might be close, though.
Agree about Franklin. If he's a SS, then let's get him here. If he's not a SS for us, then he's in a positional log-jam, and some of the other guys are dang good, too. I could see him going this winter.
Unless Carp has tweaked something the last week, then I think Wedge and/or Z have bailed on him. Regardless of Smoak's two homers this week, the fact that Smoak was playing at all, instead of Carp may be revealing.
Liddi? I don't have a clue what is giong on there.
Perhaps I have no point here at all...even I'm wondering. But if I do, it is this. Let precocious talent play.
It's the only way to really know what you truly have and what you truly need.


I am somewhat relieved. I can't help but think Smoak is still a pig in a poke, regardless of a 3 or 4 game hot streak. In fact, buying in to the 3 game hot streak is dangerous. I would have much rather seen Liddi given the whacks. But Smoak did hit, for a bit. I'll give him that.
And Lonnie, I think you're wrong. If you say that it is correct to move prodigious and precocious talkent like Harper and Trout and Felix up in a hurry, how can you say we shouldn't do the same with a Romero? Trout hit, at age 19 in his 3rd MiLB season, .326-.414-.544 in AA. Harper hit, at age 18 in his 1st pro season, .256-.329-.395 at AA. After one full season in MiLB, Romero hit .347-.392-.620 at AA. He happened to be 23, because he didn't play in the minors (going to college, of course) until he was 22.
He met the challenge and knocked the crap out of it. It's hard to claim he doesn'thave precocious talent. How many 22 year olds had his AA numbers last year?
Do you penalize him for the college experience? He can hit or he can't. Move him up in a hurry.

GLS's picture

I think you pretty much have to do a Hultzen or Walker+ deal if it gets you a talent like Wil Myers. But, as others on here have said, it's simply not likely to be in the universe of possibilities. If it was possible, you do it, but it's just not likely. The value pendulum has swung from young pitching to young hitting, and that's just how things are right now.
Would Danny Hultzen, Victor Sanchez, Brad Miller, and Shawn Kelley do it? Would you do that if you were KC? What if Saunders were in the mix? Or Montero? As much as I like Montero's potential as a batter, he's a positional liability. Jaso will begin the year as the starting catcher and Zunino will likely be up by July. So what do you do with Montero?
I suppose if I were KC, I might be willing to part with Myers at some point, but you'd have to be talking about such a boatload of talent coming my way that it wouldn't make much sense for the other team. I think KC is looking at Myers and wondering if they have the next Vlad or Albert.
I'm actually not a huge fan of trading much of the young talent away. If they do make some trades, then I assume that Zdurenciek and T-Mac have a clear idea of who to trade and who to keep. But, I would tend to be conservative and point out that while there is a roster logjam in the offing, they do have some time, probably a year at least, to figure it out, and some of those players will figure it out for them with their performance. Of course, that's a large part of what Gordon was saying above - trade them while they still have value before they go and do a Catricala on you. But, I can't help but point out that having a logjam of talent at the upper levels is one of them good problems and if you truly believe in your talent, leave it alone.


Pineda wasn't dealt until *after* the standout rookie season. The M's (and Safeco) have mostly had little trouble getting AAA pitchers over the hump to be successful Major Leaguers. This is a tremendous burden for other teams, often taking multiple seasons and hundreds of mediocre innings. I'm not sure we can get Montero if we're trying to deal Pineda without the Major League track record. *IF* we deal any of the Big 3, it should be after Major League success so we can get maximum return.


Problem being, we were ALL saying the exact same thing last year at this time about Catricala. He face-planted in AAA and Romero could very well do the same. We've seen the "promote them agressively until they fail" paradigm with the Bavasi/Fontaine regime. It didn't work out too well.

M's Watcher's picture

Great discussion on bringing a BIG bat to the club. Myers looks great for potential, but I'd take Gordon's proven bat and contract, another lefty in the Safe. As for willingness to deal from pitching strength, that strength seems overstated. How much worse would our pitching be without Ryan at SS? Until the big three add to Felix as a legit pitching murderers row, instead of Felix and three promising minor league prospects, we'd better keep Ryan rather than replace him with an average glove. As for Franklin and Miller, I'd deal from MI strength to add the bat, and less so from pitching.

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