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The Royals trade Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi to Tampa Bay for James Shields and Wade Davis

Dec 9, 2012, 11:12 PM EDT

UPDATE: Yes, this is much bigger. The Royals have made an official announcement:

My first take was that this was a “big, big gamble.” Now that we know we know that the Royals have thrown in Jake Odorizzi, it goes from “gamble” to “malpractice.”

Odorizzi pitched two games in Kansas City in 2012, but his work on the farm has been quite nice. In 145 total innings across Double and Triple-A in 2012, Odorizzi posted a 3.03 ERA and 135/50 K/BB ratio. And he’s just 22.

To sum up: the Royals gave up a top slugging prospect and a guy who figures to be a number three starter — each of whom are under team control for six years — for a veteran starter who is under team control for two years max, and a swingman who, one would assume, the Royals want to start again.

I think it’s quite possible that this trade makes the Royals better in the short term and, likewise, may make the Rays worse in the short term. But it’s not going to make the Royals good enough to seriously contend in that short term and really kills them in the long term.

Not liking this deal from the Royals perspective. Not liking it at all.

11:12 PM: This is just breaking and we don’t have all the details yet, but Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the Rays have traded James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals for outfield prospect Wil Myers.  Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, however, is reporting that there is more to this deal than just those three players and it may involve several more players.

Not that it isn’t large already. Any trade involving Myers, who is one of the top prospects in all of baseball, is a big deal. Myers, who turns 22 on Monday, hit .314/.387/.600 with 37 homers and 109 RBI between Double- and Triple-A last season. He strikes out a lot, but is one of the stronger power prospects to come around in a long time.

Shields needs no introduction. He’s a seven-year veteran who went 15-10 this past season with a 3.52 ERA. While never a Cy Young caliber pitcher, he has tossed over 200 innings a year — sometimes a lot more than 200 in a year — every season since 2007.  Davis was once a starter but was moved to the pen last year and it did him wonders: 70 and a third innings in 54 appearances in which he posted a 2.43 ERA and struck out 11.1 batters per nine innings. He seems a way better bet as a reliever than being turned back into a starter, if Kansas City has that in mind.

Overall, though, this is a big, big gamble for the Royals. They are sending away a truly elite power prospect who has yet to log a day of major league service time for two veteran pitchers, neither of which is a real game-changer for them, even if it does make their pitching more respectable. It strikes me, though, that adding Will Myers to the lineup would do more to improve the Royals’ outlook than adding a reliever and a number two starter.

  1. kcrobert10 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Seriously why didn’t we just send them butler, Gordon, moose, hosmer, and everyone else were not intrested in winning anyway.

    • kcfanatic - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:07 AM

      This stinks. That was way too much to give up for a couple guys that you will trade in the middle of the 2014 season, because you are going to lose them in free agency. Please, please, please David Glass, please sell the team.

  2. ryanrockzzz - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    One thing you can say about this trade is the Royals are trying to improve. Giving up your top prospect is tough, however if they win 90 games and get to the playoffs or something like that, it may help soften the blow. Really this trade isn’t about now. The Royals obviously got the more proven, major league starter who can wins games for them.

    That being said, they may now be watching Myers win games for the Rays for the next 15 years

  3. randygnyc - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Rambo888- as stupid as this trade is, and as long as KC has been irrelevant, they aren’t even close to being in the same Laughinstock league as the Marlins. And the fact that the Marlins have won a couple of world series’ in recent memory, makes their status worse, not better. On top of players that will now refuse to sign in Miami, the owner is universally despised by all south Florida residents, Marlins fans everywhere and baseball fans in general. KC plays in a weak division. The marlins won’t have a chance to compete in the NL East, ever again, as long as Loria owns that team.

    • byjiminy - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      That’s a pretty sad standard: “At least we’re not the Marlins.”

  4. schmedley69 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Very nice of the Royals to take some of the heat off of the Chiefs.

  5. baseballisboring - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Unbelievable. Even with a great bullpen and a pretty good offense (which would’ve been way better with Myers for the next 6 years) their rotation is STILL so bad even after trading three of their best prospects that they’re not even close, not to mention only having 2 years of Shields. They’re taking a massive bite out of their farm system to be marginally better in ’13 and ’14. I’m almost angry and I’m not even a Royals fan.

    So now, the rotation shakes out as some combination of Shields, Guthrie, Santana, Chen, Davis, Mendoza, Hochevar. Is my calendar wrong? Is it really April 1st?

    • baseballisboring - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:18 AM

      GMDM deserves to be lambasted, of course, but give credit to Friedman and co. as well. This is how they stay afloat year after year…they just turned a #2 type starter with only two years of team control, along with a set-up man, for a middle of the order monster and a #3 starter, both under team control for the next six years, and that’s to say nothing of Montgomery and Leonard. Leonard I’m not familiar with, and I know Montgomery was awful last year (was it injuries? I don’t know too much about him either) but it seems like he’s got some upside at least. Just a brutal trade for KC, and another example of why the Rays are totally root-for-able, coming from a fan of another AL East team.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:35 AM

        Leonard played in the rookie leagues this year as a 3B, looks pretty good.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:39 AM

        Well, congratulations. Lol

  6. ningenito78 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Obviously looks terrible from the KC perspective. But prospects are just that. As a Yankee fan we’ve been hearing about ‘great prospects’ for years. There was the Big 3 (Hughes, Joba, Kennedy) and the Killer B’s (Betances, Banuelos, Brackman). The only one that panned out so far pitches in Arizona. I’m definitely not trying to cry poor as a Yankee fan. Just saying prospects are just crapshoots. I agree the trades bad in the sense the Royals probably won’t compete while Shields is here but you never know. Ask the Diamondbacks A’s about that.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:52 AM

      Think you’re being a bit harsh in your judgment of Phil Hughes. Meanwhile, Myers will fill a hole in the line up but is not needed to be the team leader, so there is not so much pressure on him. Odorizzi will be nice depth in the pitching staff. Add to that the money this frees up for the Rays, and there is still room to sign a DH. Every move carries risk, but this is a very good move by the Rays.

    • paperlions - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:17 AM

      You also have to realize that the tendency for prospects to be over-hyped is correlated to market size. Yankee and Red Sox prospects have been grossly over-hyped for a while now, while other teams keep producing young talent without near the fanfare.

  7. joerymi - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Does it make them legit contenders for the AL Central? No.

  8. weaselpuppy - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Better hope that Starling is the next Baseball Jesus and Shields re-signs…

  9. yahmule - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Royals fans, my heart goes out to you. Rays fans, congratulations.

  10. Jack Marshall - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    And if Myers turns out to be Billy Ashley, Wily Mo Pena or Clint Hurdle, then what?

    • tuberippin - Dec 10, 2012 at 3:29 AM

      It will still a terrible trade.

      • Sporting Nerds - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        Do you know who Clint Hurdle is?

  11. prosourcetalk - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Wow, this is unreal.

  12. btwicey - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:40 AM

    Unless Myers turns out to be Delmon Young – I struggle to understand why KC did this? Just literally makes no sense at all.

  13. buffalo65 - Dec 10, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    Good for KC, they are at least going for it. Let’s face it, the central sucks. You need to win in the high 80’s to get it. Why not try? Can’t believe folks are crying over a bunch of players they’ve never seen when this team is finally going for it. Hope KC is the team the Jays beat in the ALCS.

  14. giantboy99 - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    Not a great day for Yankee fans

  15. 13arod - Dec 10, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    i like the trade by tampa but shields will be missed in tampa by his fans but tampa did improve there line up

  16. gbar22 - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    People rush to judge but the royals got one of the American leagues better starters and they clearly feel they can win now and are going for it and if I’m a royals fan I’m happy my team is spending and trying to win now not 4 years from now. It’s about time! Not to mention if it doesn’t work out this year Shields will be in demand next offseason and will still warrant a big return for the Royals if they trade him. It’s a win win for both teams.

    • byjiminy - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      No, if you’re a Royals fan you’re happy if your team spends more MONEY. You’re not happy if it fritters away its future. I’m a Twins fan, and this still makes me sad.

  17. sportsdrenched - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    When I heard about this trade I ran over to my neighbors house, one Clark W Griswald, and kicked the Santa Clause and Reindeer on his lawn.

    Since then I have settled down. It’s a risk, but the Royals were so devoid of SP that they needed to do something like this. Also consider, if they maintained the status quo…3 of the 6 years of Wil Myers control would have been wasited with terrible rotations….even if he turned about to be everything he is advertised to be.

    Then I remembered that means Jeff Francoeur is still in the line up so I ran back outside a threw the rest of Clark’s lawn oranements in the sewer.

    I don’t know, I go back and fourth on whether I hate this trade, or I’m neutral.

  18. albertmn - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Prospects are never guarantees, regardless of how fans want to view it. They got two capable pitchers for guys that likely may be solid, but have only a small percentage to truly turn into superstar MVP type players. Myers could turn into that, but the chances really are not as great as fans want to believe.

  19. novanation33 - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Sandy Alderson really blew it.

  20. papacrick - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Did Yankees fans forget they traded a .300 hitting, 5 war center fielder who hits lead off for the American League Champions? I can’t believe some clown just said their only prospect to pan out pitches in Arizona. Didn’t Kennedy fall off a cliff last year anyway? Either way you guys lost two prospects that panned out in the same deal for a lefty challenged K artist. I’m sure Myers will bring more value short and long term than anything a washed up Shields can provide in two years. Nobody in the Central is shaking after this deal

  21. brownsapologist - Dec 10, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    It’s tough to give up proven big league pitching for prospects. I know a bunch of KC fans are pissed but as a casual Rays fan I am disappointed because this is the second time they’ve traded away a starting pitcher. You never have enough good pitchers, and when you think you do and you start trading them away… you’re screwed. The Rays are magically competitive every year because of their starting pitching. Not because of what someone is doing in AA. They are going to trade Price too Rays fans. They can’t afford to sign him long term. Will you be happy about that if they get a boat load of prospects?

    • raysfan1 - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      Even casual Rays fans really ought to know their M.O. for successs. They have repeatedly flipped established players tor less expensive prospects, and it generally works out for them. They do sign players to extensions when it suits them, and the players want to. We’ll see about Price when the time comes.

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