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Royals have discussed trading prospect Wil Myers for James Shields or Jon Lester

Nov 26, 2012, 8:34 PM EDT

Wil Myers Getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Rob Bradford of confirms that the Red Sox and Royals have talked about a possible Lester-for-Myers swap. The two clubs have also discussed scenarios that would send outfield help to Kansas City and pitching to Boston, but nothing is considered close.

8:34 PM: We heard late last week that the Royals have dangled top prospect outfielder Wil Myers in trade talks as they try to land a top starting pitcher. Now we have some more specifics.

According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals have discussed flipping Myers in deals involving Rays right-hander James Shields and Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester.

While the Royals are reluctant to deal him, it appears doing so could net either Shields or Lester, each of whom was an All-Star as recently as 2011. The problem: Both are expensive and on track to become free agents in two years.

Both deals have been discussed, but neither appears close at the moment. Other players could be involved, but the basic framework would be Myers for one of the two pitchers. At this point, all sides — the Royals, Rays and Red Sox — remain hesitant.

And rightfully so, especially from the Royals’ perspective. While general manager Dayton Moore appears determined to add a frontline starting pitcher to complement Jeremy Guthrie and Ervin Santana, trading one of the top position prospects in the game for two years of team control on Shields or Lester isn’t an ideal scenario. Not to mention that the Royals would likely have to find a way to move some salary off the books in order to acquire either of them.

Shields, who turns 31 next month, posted a 3.52 ERA and 223/58 K/BB ratio over 227 2/3 innings this past season. He’s set to make $9 million in 2013 while his contract includes a $12 million club option for 2014.

As for Lester, he’s coming off a down year where he posted a career-high 4.82 ERA and 166/68 K/BB ratio over 205 1/3 innings. The southpaw turns 29 in January and is set to make $11.625 million in 2013. His contract includes a $13 million club option for 2014, but he can void it if he is traded and finishes either first or second in the Cy Young balloting in 2013.

  1. btwicey - Nov 26, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Don’t be dumb KC

  2. gotampabay52 - Nov 26, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    mixed feeings on this one if Shields can comeback like last yr man tough but he wasnt that good season ago

  3. echech88 - Nov 26, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    This would be the most Royals thing ever

  4. kcmaddog1 - Nov 26, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    So for six years of service, Myers at age 22, or two for either starter and leaving Francour in right? Myers projects 30 plus homers within two years.

    I say keep Myers.

    • royalsfaninfargo - Nov 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      Amen to that.

  5. 13arod - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    i say tampa needs to get him to win a world series ring they have a deep pitching staff and they just need another bat to beat the yankeys

  6. ajsjr40 - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    All that matters is pitching and its very hard and expensive to come by. As a Sox fan I am not certain I would do this. Lester should be a 15 game winner.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:47 AM

      Yeah. “Should” is the key word in sentence. Lester relies mostly on his cutter (which I think) that is not the same anymore. It used to be a stellar out-pitch for him but now it finds too much of the plate and he gets punished for it.

      If I was the Red Sox brass, I would jump on this deal in an absolute heartbeat. But, ya know, they seem to be a bunch of dickheads as of late, so I wouldn’t count my chickens on this deal that could help the Red Sox exponentially in the upcoming years in exchange for a mid-rate pitcher past his prime.

      • homelanddefense - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:33 AM

        no, he IS a 15 game winner. He had 15 or more wins in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. And I have a hard time with a 28 year old being past his prime.

      • djpostl - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:20 PM

        ” And I have a hard time with a 28 year old being past his prime.”

        Odds are you’re right but it isn’t unheard of for guys to have faded by that point. I’d at least give this potential trade one hell of a long look.

        You just cannot ignore how God-awful Lester has been the last 15 months.

        He showed little leadership, and even less of a work ethic, at the end of 2011 and last year he was just plain bad.

        Add the fact that multiple stories have circulated about how he is tired of the Boston media & some in the organization and maybe the trade is needed more than we can even imagine.

  7. riverace19 - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Dont know if it is just posturing but both pitchers are on the downhill slide… Not a good play Royals

  8. thebadguyswon - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Myers to the Mets for Jon Niese and rhp prospect Michael Fulmer. Niese is signed for 5 more years at around 5M per and Fulmer is in High A already and has a nice ceiling.

    • geoknows - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Niese is not a top-or-the rotation pitcher, which is what the Royals are seeking. Mets would have to start with Harvey. Maybe Wheeler if the Royals think a lot of him.

  9. 13arod - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    he had 50 homers in triple a so what makes you think he hits 30 when triple
    a is competive

    • purnellmeagrejr - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:37 AM

      Please post in English.

    • leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Nov 27, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      Judging by the grammar, this might actually be A-rod.

  10. crisisjunky - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    just…no. plain no…. it’s simple…no

  11. Reflex - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    JackZ, make the call. You have three top pitching prospects all less than a year from the majors. The Royals have an excess of hitting prospects, and Myers timetable is about the same as two of the three M’s prospects.

    Seriously, Lester? Really? Gotta be a dozen teams with top pitching prospects who would be controllable for longer and have higher ceilings. Hell, even the Rays have a couple guys who would likely match up better than Shields(say Hellickson or Matt Moore?).

    • indaburg - Nov 26, 2012 at 9:50 PM

      I was wondering if Hellickson could get this deal done. He’s under team control for several years (too lazy to look up how long exactly) and he seems to match up better with the Royals’ needs.

  12. kcrobert10 - Nov 26, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Once again I find myself saying I don’t like these deals. I need more for myers than these two needs to be another player can be a prospect with high up side but needs to be more than these two. I like the mets posters offer and belive if the rays or sox want to deal they need to put a prospect with high up side on the table to please.

    • jl9830 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:20 AM

      Niese and Fulmer for Myers isn’t a bad deal for either side. People underestimate how good Jon Niese is.

  13. Carl Hancock - Nov 26, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    I’m all for trading a good prospect if it can make an impact and give the team a chance at the playoffs. BUT acquiring a frontline starter is NOT going to make the Royals contenders. Shields and Lester aren’t even what I would consider frontline. They are good, but they aren’t Verlander good. Royals should hang in to Myers. They need to look longterm not short term.

  14. jwayne03 - Nov 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    the rays really need to trade some pitchers while the value is high. the rays have 8 quality starters including cobb, davis and archer. theres no reason why the rays cant add a few good bats in the offseason.

  15. randygnyc - Nov 26, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    I can’t see Myers being traded for anyone less than Moore from the rays and there is no one on the Red Sox worthwhile.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:40 AM

      have to agree with you Myers seeems to be that goood and Moore loooks like he could be an excelllent pitcher..

  16. prosourcetalk - Nov 26, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    If the Red Sox can pull this deal off, I’ll take back all the bad things I’ve said about their front office.

  17. pisano - Nov 26, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Again Boston trying to unload one of their overpaid and under performing players on another team.

  18. malvord13 - Nov 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Please sox get him please get him. He will be nasty at Fenway. I’m a sox fan and we need thig we absolutely need this. Take him

  19. mikefoxtrot - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Hey, we’ll give ’em Phil Hughes AND throw in Brett Gardner for Wil Myers.

    Much better deal

    • purnellmeagrejr - Nov 27, 2012 at 8:16 AM

      the Yankeees willl have to sit this one out. THey don’t have what it takes.

  20. malvord13 - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    This will be the smartest thing the sox office will do since the big trade. They have a big opportunity with all the salary off. We could build off of Myers middlebrooks and pedroia. Lester will be a loss but it’s a good trade for both sides. They get a young ace and we get our of

  21. rollinghighwayblues - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Royals fans or people who want to see the Royals actually compete in the future: Shut Up. Do not talk too loud! If the Royals actually go through with this prospective trade then (assuming) the Red Sox will be the ultimate winners and I am desperate for some competitive baseball again. I know, I know, I’m being selfish ass and want my team to be good again but I honestly don’t see how the Royals front office isn’t seeing this as being fleeced?

  22. btwicey - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    The royals will be the laughing stock of baseball if they do this.

    • jl9830 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:21 AM

      Will be? They already are.

  23. uyf1950 - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:46 AM

    Just my opinion but if I had a choice I’d take Shields over Lester. While Shields is a couple years older than Lester over all he’s had better numbers the past 2 years. And is a bit cheaper salary wise. Both would be under team control through their 2014 seasons if the team exercises the team option but Shields would cost the Royals about $3MM less over the next 2 years. Like I said just my opinion.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:03 AM

      Shields is definitely better than Lester. As a Jays fan, I want to see Lester remain in Boston. Hellickson and Moore make more sense to me than Shields given their age.

  24. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Nov 27, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    Lester now? REALLY?

    Myers for Shields is dumb enough(this coming from a Rays fan), but for Lester that’s just plain hilarious.

    Idiot GM confirmed. Friedman, time to do what you do best.

  25. renorocker - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    I’d make the trade for Moore and Helickson. Let’s not forget that we have another OF prospect behind Myers and FYI, Myers is a strike out machine. I’ve been a fan for over 30 years and would love to see the Royals be relevant again.

    • geoknows - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      Starling is a LOOOONG way away (think 2016-2017) and absolutely has no bearing on what they do with Myers. And to think the Rays would send both Moore and Hellickson is laughably stupid.

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