Rays Deal Myers, Hanigan In 3-Team Trade

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

Matt Silverman is not afraid to make moves. Since taking over the President of Baseball Operations position from Andrew Friedman (now in Los Angeles), Silverman has hired Kevin Cash as the team’s new manager, released catcher Jose Molina and infielder Cole Figueroa and traded starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and outfielder Matt Joyce, among others. He has now added a blockbuster three-team deal to his list of transactions.

A three-team, 11-player trade between Tampa Bay, San Diego and Washington was first reported on Wednesday and is expected to be officially announced on Thursday. In the trade, the Rays give up catcher Ryan Hanigan and 2013 American League Rookie of the Year Wil Myers, along with two pitching prospects. In return, the team lands pitcher Burch Smith, first baseman Jake Bauers and catcher Rene Rivera from San Diego, as well as outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and pitcher Travis Ott from Washington. Washington receives pitcher Joe Ross and shortstop Trea Turner from the Padres.

The biggest decision here for the Rays was dealing Myers, a power hitting outfielder with a seemingly bright future, in order to re-stock their farm system with an influx of prospects. In the end, it is apparent that the front office saw it as the right move.

Myers, 24, hit .293 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI in 88 games on his way to winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 before struggling with an injury and inconsistency during the 2014 season. His likely replacement comes to town in the form of Steven Souza Jr., a 25-year-old who hit .350 with 18 homers, 75 RBI and 26 steals in 96 Triple-A games last season. Souza served a brief stint in the majors with the Nationals last season, making headlines with a game-ending catch that preserved Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter. The catch can be seen here.

After the initial shock of having to say goodbye to a fan favorite in Wil Myers, the trade begins to make sense. Tampa Bay acquires a replacement that could possibly be an upgrade and a catcher who can make an immediate impact, as well as adding a  group of prospects that will better a farm system that was previously thinning. Though it may seem odd, a new era of Rays baseball is being ushered in.

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 65 days.