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Royals exercise 2014 option on James Shields

Oct 31, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

In one of the bigger no-brainers of the option-decision season, the Royals have exercised their $13 million option on James Shields for 2014.

Shields lived up to his end of the bargain after the Royals gave up a ton to get him (and Wade Davis) from the Rays last offseason, throwing a league-leading 229 innings with a 3.15 ERA and 196/68 K/BB ratio.

Next season will be Shields’ final under contract before hitting the open market, which is why the Royals were frequently criticized for parting with stud prospect Wil Myers (among others) for him in December. Myers had a fantastic rookie season for Tampa Bay, hitting .293 with an .831 OPS in 88 games at age 22, and may end up winning Rookie of the Year. He’s under the Rays’ control through 2019.

  1. dan1111 - Oct 31, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    This trade looked bad from the start, but even in the first season Tampa Bay got more value (by WAR) at the major league level from Myers and Odorizzi than KC got from Shields and Davis.

    This could end up being a blunder of nearly Kazmir-for-Zambrano proportions.

    • stex52 - Oct 31, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      I’m not buying into your argument of a disastrous trade for KC on a short term basis. Shields clobbered both of the Tampa Bay pieces in WAR for 2013. KC’s only mistake was not sitting Davis down sooner. I think KC got exactly what they expected out of the deal. Shields was great, and he ate 229 innings.

      Admittedly everyone thought it was a deal that worked out better for Tampa bay over the longer term. But if KC actually finds a way to sign Shields, it is not all that one-sided.

      • paperlions - Oct 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        The reason it was a bad deal for KC is the same regardless of Shields’ performance. Yes, they got very good production from him, but it was clear to everyone (except the KC FO, apparently) that Sheilds the team was not good enough for Shields to make them a true contender. Now, they have one more year of Shields and a giant hole in RF and they aren’t any closer to being competitive because they still are not good enough for Shields to be the difference between making or not making the playoffs. They’d still have Myers for 5 more years, which would have helped them potentially make the playoffs one day.

      • dan1111 - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:53 AM

        I don’t think it is a short term disaster. But it clearly is a long-term disaster, and it is not even much of a short term win for KC. That is why I think the trade was so terrible. Yeah, Shields was the most productive player in the deal–but Myers produced 2 WAR in only half a season.

        How much is the right to negotiate a contract extension really worth in trade? If Shields for some reason decides to sign with KC at a discount, then I agree it changes the calculus somewhat. But I would be surprised if he did that.

    • jbriggs81 - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      I can go either way on this trade. I totally understand KC fans being upset that they traded away Wil Myers, especially in light of his excellent season once he was called up right after memorial day (nearly a full season of play).

      However, it was a lot of fun to watch the Royals’ season play out as they were still in the postseason hunt most of the way through September. This was in large part due to Shields giving them a solid outing nearly ever time he started. Ultimately, they should really make a play to sign Shields long term or semi-long term.

      • dan1111 - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:59 AM

        I agree that it was great to see a more-competitive Royals team, but they still finished five games out of a playoff spot. This is seen as success only because of how inept they have been in recent history.

        It also was what most people expected, as Shields was not really enough to make them into a playoff-caliber team. They have one more chance next year, but they may have given up the future just to be decent now.

    • raysfan1 - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      It’s one of those trades where really both teams got what they wanted.

  2. moogro - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Trade is not over yet. Let’s see how the Royals do in his final year there.

  3. sportsdrenched - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    I go back and fourth on whether this was a good trade for the Royals. I guess that’s good, that means it’s neutral. Than means it was probably a “good” trade. Both teams got what they wanted…so far.

  4. hooterdawg - Oct 31, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    KC got exactly what they wanted from Shields, and he did make KC competitive to make the postseason.

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