The Cincinnati Reds have signed free agent Wil Myers to a deal for the 2023 season with a mutual option for the 2024 season. Mark Sheldon reported that the deal is for $6M for 2023 and there’s a $1.5M buyout on the 2024 option. That guarantees at least $7.5M for Myers in the deal. Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that the deal could be worth up to $9.5M based on playing time bonuses and a trade bonus if the team moves him before the deal is up.

Wil Myers just turned 32 a week-and-a-half ago. He’s spent much of his time in the big leagues in the outfield, though he’s played plenty of first base over the years, too. In 2013 and 2014 he played with Tampa Bay (and won the Rookie of the Year) before he was traded to San Diego. He’s spent the last eight season with the Padres.

In 2022 he had his worst offensive season he’s had since 2019, but he was still an above-average hitter. In 77 games played he hit .261/.315/.398. While on the surface a .713 OPS doesn’t sound like it would be all that good, thanks to how Petco plays pitcher friendly, that’s good for a 108 OPS+. That’s in line with his career 111 OPS+.

When looking back at the 2022 season there are some reasons for concern. Last year saw Myers post his lowest walk rate he’s ever had – just 7.3%. And his strikeout rate came in at 30.1%, which is the second highest it’s ever been (only 2019 was higher). His isolated power (SLG-AVG) was .138 and was the second lowest of his career (2014), and well off from where he’s been since the start of the 2015 season.

On the flip side of that, Myers was much better after he returned from the injured list that cost him much of the summer. He hit the injured list in May and was hitting just .234/.276/.307 at the time. When he returned in August he played 45 games through the end of the year and hit .285/.349/.482.

Historically he hasn’t had huge platoon splits, but in 2022 he did. He posted a .659 OPS against right-handed pitching, while he posted an .815 OPS against lefties. The sample size was smaller in 2022 due to the injuries, so take that for what it is – some useful data, but not enough to think that it’s something to put too much emphasis on.

For the Cincinnati Reds the fact that Myers can play some first base could be insurance against Joey Votto being ready to begin the year after his shoulder surgery. If Votto’s ready, then Myers can slide into the corner outfield and or designated hitter role at times. While he’s not exactly a good defender in the outfield, he’s capable of playing out there and that does give the Reds some options.

For Myers moving from a pitcher friendly ballpark in a (mostly) pitcher friendly National League West to a hitter friendly ballpark in a (mostly) hitter friendly division could be very beneficial. If he can put up some good offensive numbers it could help build plenty of value for 2024 where he could decline his option and become a free agent to try and cash in on a better contract.

This deal pushes Cincinnati’s payroll for 2023 to around the $80M mark (salaries for players who are eligible for arbitration make this an educated guess). The addition of Myers to the roster also puts the Reds 40-man at 40 players.

Wil Myers on signing with Cincinnati

“I think it goes without saying that Cincinnati is a great place to hit,” said Myers on Thursday afternoon. “Not only that, I like the city a lot. I’ve enjoyed my time there. Obviously, yes, the ballpark itself is a nice draw. It’s a place I was really looking at starting in free agency.”

Wil Myers on how to help a young team

“Offering the experience I had (in San Diego as they went through a youth movement),” said Myers. “It was cool to see the start of rebuilding and get to the finish – I know we didn’t reach our ultimate goal of the World Series, but I felt like we had a great run last year. Just kind of offering the experience, connecting with some young players and give them some advice and find ways to improve their game. I think that’s very important. I think those things go a long way for the future of organizations to get to the playoffs and a World Series.”


68 Responses

  1. Michael B. Green

    Think a lot of folks projected this one. Really nice fit.

  2. Mark Moore

    Interesting deal here. Anyone else curious about how/if this impacts our old friend 4M heading into 2023?

    • old-school

      @ OBE predicted the Reds would move on but I will believe when I see it. That said, this adds depth at the 1b/DH position( Votto/Myers/Stephenson/Steer are all first base/DH options in a rotation as well as one of the lefty outfielder( DH) or just a rest day for India from 2b(DH). Bell and Krall in media interviews recently didn’t mention Moose’s name once as far as roles in 2023. The likelihood of Moose not breaking camp with the Reds is becoming a real possibility.

      • Old Big Ed

        DFAing Moose was a pretty obvious move. Nobody wants him at $1mm/year, so they were stuck paying him. His roster slot was better used for a young player or a decent veteran who could help win a few games.

        The dismantling is now complete.

      • JB

        I’m bouncing off the walls that here. I can’t believe they did it. This team is better with the subtraction of Moose.

  3. RedBB

    Same money that Pham got and 2 1/2 younger. I like it.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      I think maybe Myers could be a piece of trade at deadline in July-August as well…

  4. Mark Moore

    And we’ll see our old friend Tucker Barnhart again. He’s now a Stupid Cub.

    • earmbrister

      And we’ll see our old friend Curt Casali. He’s now a Red !!!

  5. 2024WSChamps

    Mutual Option in 2024. Does that mean the Reds have a team option? Like, if he has a great 2023 season, we can prevent him from being a FA? If so, that makes this a great deal. What would the option in 2024 pay if exercised?

    • Mark Moore

      I don’t think so. I believe mutual options have to be exercised mutually. Not sure how the buy-out works, but I’m assuming that’s all on the Reds if they decline their half of it.

    • Colorado Red

      No, If he plays well, he can reject and he is a FA, and the Reds owe hi 1.5 mil.
      If he stinks, Reds can give him 1.5 to go away.
      Basically, it is a 1 year 7.5 mil contract, with some of the $$$ posponned.

  6. MBS

    Ok, now we have 1.5 OF’s, just need 1.5 more.

  7. BDH

    June 1st lineup

    India – 2B
    De La Cruz – RF
    Stephenson – C
    Votto – 1B
    Myers – DH
    Fraley – LF
    Steer – 3B
    Friedl – CF
    Barrero/Newman – SS

    Solak or Fairchild
    Moustakas or Senzel

    I’d like to see them dump moose and pickup 1 of Solano/Duvall/Hosmer on a similar stricter deal to Myers but I’m not upset with the above lineup. I think it’s competitive with 4/5 of the teams in the NL Central

    • MBS

      By June, I hope we are also starting Siani in CF. I’d start him in AAA, but I’d love an OF with Siani and EDLC. They could cover a lot of ground.

  8. Kevin Patrick

    How did I not hear anything about this before it happened? That’s actually a pretty decent Christmas present. Thank You very much… I hope it works out. If they can pick up a couple surprise reliable starters…it would make the season a heck of a lot more fun than what I’d envisioned. I’m a bit interested in how he’ll handle poor weather. Tampa and San Diego don’t see that much terrible stuff. Just announce that Cueto signing, and I promise to buy a few tickets. Sign Zach Davies, and I’ll start booking hotels. Sign both, and I’ll drive from western Indiana to West Virginia for a Winter Caravan stop on weekday after work.

  9. Rod Andrews

    A pretty good pickup for the cost. I know he’s always had good power which should play well at GABP.

  10. Mark Moore

    And now Curt Casali is back? I guess this is all part of our last-minute Christmas shopping 😀

    • Mark Moore

      And it’s connected to DFA for 4M 😮

      • JayTheRed

        Best gift of the Offseason so far is the DFA.

    • Melvin

      I like Casali. Good guy to have on most any team. Having him for a backup catcher should work out well. David Bell probably isn’t too happy since Casali is not a LH bat (Barnhart). Krall wins again. 🙂 Interesting.

  11. Tom Mitsoff

    This is a first step in bringing what I have been advocating for over the past few months. Bring in some established major league players so we have a watchable product in 2023. Having Myers in the outfield does not impede the rebuild process in any way. If three of the younger outfielders on this roster outplay and outhit Myers, great. If not, which is more likely, then we don’t have to watch overmatched players trying to hit.

    More of this is needed, but with the 40-man roster full, I wonder just how much more the front office is willing to do.

    • Stock

      I think it could help the rebuild process. Drury was nothing when the Reds signed him last winter. Like many, he loved playing in GABP. The Reds received Victor Acosta (the Reds 16th ranked prospect per for Drury. I think they could do much better for Myers this July if he dominates.

  12. old-school

    Great day in Redsland. Casali and Maile can give Stephenson more time to hit and less time to catch. Moose is gone and perhaps Casali can move into a managerial role after this season. One can hope.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      You just wonder if one of the Castellinis woke up today and told Krall, “well, okay, go try to make us better.”

      • Melvin

        They must have had something good for dinner the night before. Only explanation since that’s the way Big Bob & Son pretty much run things. 🙂 We’ve been trained not to expect too much so when something remotely “good” happens we’re very happy. lol Always good to be thankful I guess. Better than nothing.

  13. SultanofSwaff

    Awesome 24 hours. Good work by Krall.

  14. redfanorbust

    Decent signing for a team that’s rebuilding. Pretty much what I expected. Could have been worse for sure. Now DFA or trade Moustakas, find out once once and for all about Senzel and Barrios (if they can stay healthy) are they real deals or just flashes in the pan. Let’s get this team moving forward. We stockpiled good young talent now lets get it vetted.

    • Old Big Ed

      Moustakas spelled these two signings D-F-A.

      Break out the good bourbon.

    • TR

      A lifting of the doom and gloom that’s hung over our favoite team since last April. A Holiday gift from the FO led by Nick Krall. Season 2023 is not going to be a throw away for the Reds.

  15. Mark Moore

    Perhaps I need to plan out a mid-Summer pilgrimage to the Queen City and GABP after all … this is shaping up to have far more promise than I thought we’d see.

  16. AMDG

    Last year Reds’ backup catchers combined for an OPS+ of 26, which Maile & Casali both had an OPS+ in the 80’s.

    As a Red, Moose has an OPS+ of 80. During that same span, Myers has an OPS+ of 122.
    So that’s an improvement.

    Those seem like sure offensive improvement.

  17. Bdh

    A Duvall reunion would be good on this team now. He can handle CF and we know his bat will play well in GABP

    In this scenario If Stephenson is going to DH you could have an outfield of

    LF – Fraley
    CF – Duvall
    RF – Myers


    Friedl – 4th OF
    Senzel or Solak – could play both IF/OF

    • LDS

      Fraley can’t go every day. Need someone that can hit LH’ers. Senzel being cut loose or optioned to Louisville would be a good move, assuming no one will trade for him. Moose gone in favor of Casilli is obviously a huge step up. I preferred a Casilli reunion to a Barnhart reunion, who apparently is signing with the Cubs.

      • Bdh

        Solak hits LHP good and can play a little bit in the IF too. He’d be a good platoon option with Fraley but not tied directly to a platoon with him

  18. old-school

    This nugget from C. Trent. Maile and Casali are both team guys who came up together with the Rays and are close friends. Throw in Derek Johnson and Stephenson and you’ve got some camaraderie and leadership at the C position for the young 3.

    Krall has said Myers will play mostly RF.
    Stephenson will DH and play first more than he would have and his bat will be in the lineup daily.

    They need a lefty bat still and SP and RP but sounds like they are close to budget.

    • JayTheRed

      If we could find one decent reliever and one mid to back-end rotation piece, I would have a little hope at least for this team in 2023. Not to be in the playoffs mind you but at least entertaining. I have no delusions of this team being a contender in 23′ or 24′ for that matter. Just nice to see #1 a positive transaction to help the team. #2 bringing in players that are not blocking any of the up-and-coming young guys.

      Nice work Krall.

  19. Kevin H

    Okay, great moves. I been a critical last few months. These two moves give hope at least. Now let’s work on starting pitching .

  20. Michael B. Green

    Time for a Cueto signing now too. C’mon Nick…

  21. LDS

    Sounds like the Reds are largely done. Trade Votto to Toronto. He deserves to join a winner and go home.
    C. Trent Rosecrans
    When asked if there was more room in the budget for further acquisitions, #Reds GM Nick Krall said they’d “have to get creative” which is a way of saying not unless someone takes more money off of their books

    • Colorado Red

      How much would they have to Pay Tor to take him, or what prospect would they have to give, and would Joey approve it.

    • JB

      I think Votto will veto any trade just to stick it to the Castellinis for not bringing in talent to get him to the playoffs.

    • Mark Moore

      That’s entirely up to Joey. He holds the only veto card in that deck. Given how much we’d have to eat, I’d prefer to see him healthy and contributing for the Reds.

    • Doc

      Home? I believe I read that he is now a US citizen, making Cincy his more likely home.

    • JayTheRed

      Votto is not going to Toronto.
      1. Guererro is playing 1b and is better defensively than Joey is.
      2. Votto is not going to approve a trade
      3. Why would Toronto want a guy who just had a major surgery.

      This is not happening.

      I don’t know where the Reds could get extra money at this point. I would be shocked if they can find pitching that will help the team. If Krall pulls off getting Cueto or someone like him, and a decent reliever I will not bash Krall again.

      • Redsvol

        A trade of Luis Cessa and Nick Senzel would clear about $6M from projected payroll. It might be enough to Johnny but probably not enough for Corey Kluber. I’d prefer Kluber but who wouldn’t like to see a Johnny Cueto reunion.

        They could probably also DFA or trade Lucas Sims to net another $1.75M . He seems redundant at this point.

  22. Jim t

    Quite frankly I don’t think Joey wants to leave Cincinnati. I think this is now home for Joey.

  23. Jim t

    Really don’t see Tyler Stephenson doing much catching. I think he will play first base against lefties and DH against RH’s. CC and Maile will split time behind the plate.

    Joey when healthy will play 1st against RH’s. After this year TS will take over 1st permanently.

  24. DW

    Hopefully he will be productive and they can trade him to a contender for a quality prospect or two at the deadline.

  25. Redhaze

    Cueto and Duvall addition would be nice.
    Duvall, Myers and Votto can rotate DH.

    I wouldnt mind a Senzel/Barrero package for bullpen help.

  26. TheCoastMan

    WOW! We actually have something to get excited about. Dumping Moose and signing Casali and Myers — we might actually avoid 100 losses this year.

    • JayTheRed

      Krall did say that 100 loses was unacceptable. (Understatement of the year).

      He is trying to bring some quality to the roster.

  27. MBS

    It will be interesting to see how the opening day roster is constructed. Having 3 catchers only leaves 2 bench spots open, a 4th OF, and a middle infielder presumably.

    • Redsvol

      I think having 2 players like Matt Reynolds and Spencer Steer will be very important this year to have 3 catchers on the 26 man roster. Reynolds can play everywhere and Steer can play like 5 positions. If we didn’t have those 2 it might be tough to carry 3 catchers, but with those 2 it shouldn’t be all that hard.

  28. Jeff Morris

    Good job on Moustakous, for the DFA. He was making too much money, and is getting old, and the biggest disappoinment is him getting injured all the time. Reds have enough injuries as it is. We will have to see have Wil Myers does. He does strike out alot. At least its only for one year. If he doesn’t work out, next year, and if he is bad during next year, the Reds can DFA him.

  29. Klugo

    I like Will Myers. He should really like GABP.

    • TR

      The acquisition of Wil Myers is a good one. He stabilizes the outfield, at least for 2023. There will be a lot of competition in spring training for the other two positions including 4th. and 5th. outfielders. Plus, we’ll see who comes forth from the farm system among the young infielders. With three months to go before opening day, things in Redsland are beginning to look interesting.

  30. Hotto4Votto

    Pretty nice fit. Should be solid.

  31. Eddiek957

    I was hoping for Profar but Myers is nice. Yankees DFA a soft tossing lefty reliever with good results for the Yankees last two seasons

  32. Fanman

    Good veteran acquisitions. Gets Stephenson’s bat in the everyday lineup and more importantly prevents injury risk. Seasoned Catchers will help young hurlers. Need a veteran left handed reliever. Veteran starting pitcher. Cueto will suffice. Then, let young players develop and add to squad. With talent in rotation there is actually a chance this team can win if everything aligns perfectly.