Aug 21, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Wil Myers (9) reacts at bat against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
UPDATE (19/12, 12:15 p.m.):
The trade is now official to Topkin. Brandon Gomes has also been designated for assignment to make room for new players.
The Tampa Bay Rays have traded Wil Myers pending medical exams.
The trade, which also features the Washington Nationals, nets the Rays catcher Rene Rivera, righty Burch Smith and first baseman Jake Bauers from San Diego while also adding outfielder Steven Souza and lefty Travis Ott from the Nats.
It’s the latest move in what has been a busy offseason for the Rays that has seen long-time manager Joe Maddon depart, as well as the trade of Jeremy Hellickson to Arizona and Joel Peralta to the LA Dodgers.
Myers’ name came up in trade rumours during the Winter Meetings and while a trade seemed unlikely at the time, it continued to gather momentum.
He was AL rookie of the year in 2013 after hitting 13 home runs with 53 RBI in 88 games. Last season though, Myers was slowed by a fractured wrist and played in only 87 games, hitting .222 with six homers.
Hanigan was acquired last December from the Cincinnati Reds to be the teams No.1 catcher but struggled with injuries himself. He hit .218 in 84 games with five home runs and 34 RBI.
In Rivera, the Rays get a replacement for Hanigan right away. The 31-year-old played in 103 games in 2014 and had a slash line of .252/.319/.432 with 11 homers and 44 RBI.
Aug 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Rene Rivera (44) hits a game winning RBI single during the tenth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers to beat them 3-2 at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Souza will likely get a shot to make the Rays opening day roster as a fourth outfielder but could be up against it. He made a brief big league appearance in 2014 picking up three hits, two of which were homers, in 26 at-bats. He’s also a very good defender, highlighted by his leaping catch in the ninth inning to preserve Jordan Zimmerman’s no-hitter.
Smith made his big league debut in 2013 going 1-3 in 10 appearances, seven of which were starts. He pitched just 5.1 innings in AAA ball in 2014 due to a flexor muscle strain.
Bauers and Ott have yet to play higher than A ball. Bauers hit .296 in 2014 with eight homers and 64 RBI while Ott was 1-4 with a 3.93 ERA in 55 innings of work.