Petco Park never did Wil Myers any favors.
His next home should.
The 32-year-old Myers on Thursday agreed to a one-year deal to join the Cincinnati Reds and play half his games at cozy Great American Ball Park, a softer landing spot for a one-time All-Star looking to reestablish himself after a sluggish end to his Padres tenure.
Myers signed a six-year, $83 million extension after hitting 28 homers in 2016, then the richest contract in Padres history. He hit 30 homers the next year, but never more than 18 after that and managed just seven homers while hitting .261/.315/.398 after knee and back ailments and general slumping limited him to 77 games in an improved Padres lineup in 2022.
“Obviously coming off injuries you want to come out and re-prove yourself,” Myers said on a video call with Cincinnati-area reporters. “I’ve had a couple of years that have been a little down, so I want to be able to come out here and give myself a chance to come out and have a nice year. I’m excited to be a part of this organization as well. I think they are up and coming, but as far as the elements, it’s a great park to hit in and I think I’m very excited to see what I can do there.”
Last year alone, the Reds’ Great American Ball Park ranked second in ESPN’s park factors in runs and home runs, trailing only the Rockies’ Coors Field.
Petco Park ranked last in runs in 2022 and 16th in homers.
Myers was a .254/.340/.443 hitter in 449 career games at Petco Park. He is a .265/.329/.471 hitter in 19 games played at Great American Ball Park.
While the Padres expressed interest in a reunion with Myers, his exit from the organization was all but sealed when they signed veteran Matt Carpenter earlier this week as the left-handed bat that they sorely lacked during last year’s playoff run.
Carpenter’s $12 million deal includes a $3 million signing bonus, a $3.5 million salary for 2023 and a $5.5 million player option for 2024. Performance bonuses could push the value as high as $21 million over two seasons.
Myers’ deal with the Reds, according to ESPN, is a one-year, $7.5 million deal that could jump as high as $9.5 million this year and includes a mutual option for 2024.
Myers figures to share time at first base with Joey Votto and rotate in at DH and in the outfield.
- With Myers landing in Cincinnati, six of the seven players who manned first base for the Padres in 2022 are gone but two are looking still looking for work: Luke Voit and Eric Hosmer, who was released by the Red Sox last Thursday. Josh Bell has since signed with the Guardians and Brandon Drury with the Angels. Voit was non-tendered by the Nationals after the season and is a free agent alongside Matt Beaty (DFA’d in September) and Hosmer, who is owed $39 million by the Padres over the next three seasons. The league minimum, $720,000 in 2023, will be subtracted from what the Padres owe when Hosmer finds his next team.
- The Padres on Thursday confirmed their agreement with RHP Seth Lugo, a one-year deal that includes a player option for 2024 that would bring the total value to $15 million. With Lugo signed, the Padres have just two open spots on their 40-man roster.