Dec 10, 2012, 9:58 AM EDT
Because it’s the Internet overreactions abound with respect to the Royals-Rays trade. Some people are saying this is the dumbest trade ever for the Royals, some saying that they won it. Some are totally overvaluing prospects like Wil Myers, acting as if he’s cant-miss, while some are totally discounting Myers and acting like James Shields is an ace when he is merely a good starter.
My view, as I’ve said a couple of times, is that I think the trade is a bad one for the Royals, and that’s the case even if Myers turns out to be nothing special. That’s because judging the value of this trade from the Royals perspective only with reference to Myers’ future is the wrong way to look at it. Even trades that involve a prospect that goes on to great things can be “won” by the team that traded them away, and even trades that involve a prospect that flops can be lost by that team.
Think back to the trade that is, erroneously, thought of as one of the worst of all time: the Tigers 1987 trade of John Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander. People slag on that one because Smoltz is probably going into the Hall of Fame someday and Doyle Alexander was out of baseball two years later, ending his career with an 18-loss season.
But the Tigers wanted one thing and one thing only from that trade: they wanted to win the AL East. And, despite trailing the Blue Jays by a game and a half on the day of that deal, they beat ‘em out thanks to Alexander, who went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA after coming over, including a must-win game against the Jays in game 160. The Tigers wanted to make the playoffs. They traded off the promise of a prospect (though a not particularly well thought of prospect) in order to do it. Sure, they would have been better off with Smoltz for the next 20 years, but they were trading for 1987, and to a team like the 1987 Tigers — veteran-laden, in win-now mode — 1987 was all that mattered.
Turning to the Royals: trading for James Shields and Wade Davis is a “win-now” move. They believe that the AL Central is weak and that adding a couple of pitchers will put them in the playoffs. They could be right. I think they need way more than that — they were a 72-win team last season — but that’s the calculus. As such, if Shields and Davis put the Royals in the playoffs for the first time in 27 years, they have accomplished what they set out to accomplish, and that’s the case even if Will Myers turns into a perpetual All-Star. It’s a tradeoff of promise for present, and Dayton Moore is well aware that there is a chance that Myers could be something special. We can disagree with him making that gamble with this Royals team, but that’s what he’s thinking.
But it’s also the case that the Royals could lose this trade if Myers turns into the second coming of Ben Greive and is out of the league before he’s 30. They lose it if what they wanted — that playoff spot — doesn’t come to fruition.
Maybe it won’t matter a ton because in that case Myers wouldn’t have helped much either, but this trade isn’t merely a function of Moore valuing Myers vs. Shields. It’s about Moore getting the Royals to win a lot more games and make the playoffs. And that’s how, from the Royals’ perspective, it should be judged.
Mar 12, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2014 season. Next up: The Kansas City Royals. The Big Question: Are the Royals finally ready to contend? Kansas City made a big jump…
Mar 12, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT
Twins prospect Miguel Sano has been on camera a lot, first as part of a documentary showing the process by which international players sign with MLB teams and now as part of a follow-up documentary tracking his rise to the majors. Sadly his rise to the majors has been delayed due to Tommy John elbow…
Mar 12, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
If Ellen and the Oscars didn’t kill the idea of the “selfie” I suppose it’ll never die. So why not let the independent league Kalamazoo Growlers make a jersey out of fan-submitted selfies: You had no idea you wanted a “Selfie Jersey” until just this instant (via @kzoogrowlers): pic.twitter.com/7Rh76CgsiD — NBC Sports Network (@NBCSN) March…
Mar 12, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT
As recently as two weeks ago Tom Gorzelanny said his recovery from shoulder surgery was going well and he expected to be ready for Opening Day, but now the Brewers left-hander is expected to begin the season on the disabled list. Gorzelanny was shut down in September and underwent December surgery, with manager Ron Roenicke…
Mar 12, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
This never would’ve happened if the Mets signed him. Unless, of course, there are sharp grapefruits out there: Francisco Rodriguez stepped on a cactus yesterday. First freak incident of camp. Status for tomorrow’s game unknown right now. #Brewers — Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) March 12, 2014 A letter in Francisco Rodriguez’s writing doesn’t mean he’s not…
Mar 12, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, whose $48 million contract with the Phillies was reworked into a $12 million contract because of concerns about the health of his arm, is now sidelined with shoulder problems. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Gonzalez complained of soreness during a throwing session Tuesday and the Cuban right-hander was scratched from today’s…
Mar 12, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT
A story about Twitter engagement with televised sports shows that (a) half of all Twitter comments about TV shows are sports-related; but (b) baseball lags the other sports: One league that should be somewhat concerned, however, is Major League Baseball. In addition to the fourth-worst television ratings in history, the 2013 World Series failed to…
Mar 12, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT
Jeremy Hellickson made 25 throws from flat ground today for his first action since undergoing elbow surgery in January and afterward the Rays right-hander told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that “it felt really good.” At the time of the surgery to remove “loose bodies” from his elbow Hellickson was expected to be…
Mar 12, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT
Brett Wallace, who ranked as one of Baseball America‘s top 40 prospects in back-to-back seasons as a minor leaguer, has been released by the Astros after hitting just .242 with a .704 OPS in 311 games through age 26. At one point Wallace looked like a good-hitting third baseman, but his defense required a shift…
Mar 12, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT
There’s been no official announcement yet because he’s seeking a second opinion, but Braves right-hander Kris Medlen told reporters today that he expects to undergo Tommy John elbow surgery. Medlen injured his elbow on a pitch Sunday and actually remained in the game for two more pitches, but eventually exited after bouncing a ball to…
Mar 12, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT
I guess artists are just misunderstood. How else to explain where Ryan Braun falls in the world of popularity of celebrity spokesman? From Darren Rovell’s story about Braun signing with a little-known cleat manufacturer, Braun’s first endorsement deal since his suspension: As of December, Braun — who lost $3.3 million in salary as a result…
Mar 12, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT
Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos had some interesting comments about Ervin Santana after the free agent right-hander turned down a similar offer from the Blue Jays to sign a one-year, $14.1 million deal with the Braves today. John Lott of the National Post passed along Anthopoulos’ quotes from this morning’s appearance on Sportsnet 590 radio…
Mar 12, 2014, 9:33 AM EDT
Cole Hamels has had a wonky shoulder and folks in Philly have been worried about his health. Breathe a bit easier this morining, you guys, because Hamels threw a successful bullpen session this morning. He described it as being “free and easy” with no discomfort or laboring like he felt the last time he threw.…
Mar 12, 2014, 9:14 AM EDT
It wasn’t exciting, but a call was overturned by replay yesterday. It was a call on second base in which the fielder bobbled the ball, the runner was called out nonetheless, and then upon replay the umps reversed themselves: Note that the replay itself — from the time the review was initiated until the safe…
Mar 12, 2014, 7:44 AM EDT
Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Atlanta Braves are completing a deal with Ervin Santana. Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that an announcement by the team is scheduled for later this morning. Multiple reporters are saying it’s a one-year deal, though the money has not yet been revealed. UPDATE: It’s a one-year,…
Mar 11, 2014, 10:57 PM EDT
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin suffered a right shoulder strain near the end of February and hasn’t progressed as quickly as hoped. So, as MLB.com’s Thomas Harding writes on Tuesday, it’s “almost a certainty” that the right-hander will begin the 2014 regular season with a 15-day disabled list stint. Chacin played catch at 90 feet on…
Mar 11, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT
The Indians announced Tuesday, via Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that right-hander Justin Masterson will start for the club on Opening Day against the Athletics. That game is scheduled for Monday, March 31 at Oakland’s O.co Coliseum. It was an easy decision for the Tribe, who will likely follow Masterson this season with…
Mar 11, 2014, 8:31 PM EDT
From MLB.com beat reporter Mark Bowman … LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez confirmed on Tuesday that Brandon Beachy will not make his next scheduled Grapefruit League start. Beachy exited Monday’s start against the Phillies after grueling through two innings during which he was burdened by tightness around his right elbow and biceps muscle. Beachy…
Mar 11, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday that Josh Hamilton — who has been sidelined because of an early-spring calf strain — was on track to make his Cactus League debut this week. It won’t happen. Scioscia was asked again about Hamilton’s status on Tuesday in camp and told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register that…
Mar 11, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT
This particular free agent saga is almost complete. According to beat writer Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, right-handed starter Ervin Santana is “likely to make a decision on his destination within the next day or two” because he wants to get into a camp as soon as possible to get properly tuned up…
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