There has not been much activity lately to set the baseball world ablaze since the Marlins-Blue Jays blockbuster deal of a couple weeks ago, so it doesn’t take much to get people talking. So when Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote about the Kansas City Royals potentially dangling uber prospect Wil Myers in an effort to land a front line starter, and mentioned the Oakland Athletics within that article, many fans’ ears perked up.
As Passan points out in the article, Myers has been essentially untouchable, but the Royals have apparently made it known to the league that they might be willing to part with the slugger if it landed them a top starting pitcher. The Tampa Bay Rays may have the perfect match for the Royals in James Shields who Passan says the Royals covet, and the Rays always seem to have the big right hander on the trading block.
But the fact that he mentioned the Athletics at all in this piece has to make you wonder. Billy Beane said a couple weeks ago that the A’s would not be trading starting pitching to acquire a possible replacement for Stephen Drew/Cliff Pennington at shortstop. This may be simple semantics, but Wil Myers is not a shortstop. Myers played mostly centerfield in 2012, but can also play 3rd, and his ultimate destination may be in right field. Could the appeal of Wil Myers be enough to tempt Billy Beane? Maybe so.
But why in the world would the Athletics even kick the tires on a player like Myers when they already have a major logjam in the outfield and seem set at 3rd base for the time being? Because Wil Myers is one of the best prospects in all of baseball. Between Double A and Triple A last season Myers hit .314/.387/.600 in 591 plate appearances. The 21 year old is primed and ready for a promotion to the Major Leagues, and one way or another will make that happen sooner rather than later.
In the event the A’s got deeper into discussions about Myers, who would they have to give up in order to acquire him? If it’s front line starting pitching they seek, Brett Anderson seems like he would fit the bill. He’s fully back after his 2011 Tommy John surgery, and looked great in his short time in the A’s rotation near the end of the 2012 season. Whether he profiles as the type of pitcher the Royals are seeking is another question. But he’s undoubtedly the best the A’s have to offer in that category at this moment, that is until Jarrod Parker matures.
It’s also unclear where someone like Myers would fit into the A’s lineup, but if he’s any bit as good as his potential, he’s the type of player you make room for. Whether that means Josh Reddick, Chris Young, or Coco Crisp makes a living as a member of a different team would remain to be seen.
It is probably unlikely that the A’s strike a deal like this, but the thought of a player like Myers in an A’s uniform is rather tantalizing. Billy Beane is known for thinking outside the box, and being willing to make drastic changes if he thinks it’ll improve the team overall. I don’t expect the A’s to get Wil Myers, but at the same time it wouldn’t shock me.