Rays Trade James Shields, Wade Davis to Royals for Wil Myers and More
UPDATE: Sunday, December 9 at 11:20 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
The Royals have confirmed the trade via Twitter, and the final details may anger some Royals fans:
Jake Odorizzi started two games last year for the Royals, and had a 4.91 ERA, but at 22 years old he still has a lot of room to grow.
Mike Montgomery has fallen off in his past two minor-league seasons, but the left-hander is still believed to have considerable upside as a major-league starter.
Patrick Leonard hit .251 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI in the Rookie League last season. He has some potential, but he's also blocked at the major-league level by Mike Moustakas.
It's surprising that the Royals would give up on Odorizzi and Montgomery right now, but it shows how badly this team wants to win this season and not just later.
---End of Update---
According to CBS' Jon Heyman, the Rays will send James Shields to the Royals:
rays, royals in agreement on trade. shields goes to royals.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 10, 2012
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal shed some light on the trade's finer points:
This move comes as somewhat of a shock, even though Shields' and Myers' names have come up throughout the offseason so far.
The Rays have been seeking a competent power hitter to pair with Evan Longoria in the middle of the order, and the Royals desperately wanted a front-of-the-rotation starter to support their young, budding offense.
Last season Shields was 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA in the daunting American League East. He struck out 223 batters in 227.2 innings as well. He will immediately become Kansas City's No. 1 starter, slotting in ahead of Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar and Ervin Santana.
Davis wasn't as successful as Shields, but the power right-hander had a 2.43 ERA in 54 relief appearances. He's a former starter, and his 87 strikeouts in 70.1 innings shows the kind of stuff that he has. He will slot in nicely with Kansas City's young bullpen.
The best potential long-term prize in this entire deal is Myers. The 22-year-old outfield prospect batted .304 with 24 home runs and 79 RBI in Triple-A last season. With B.J Upton now being in Atlanta, it's very likely that Myers will command a starting spot from the get go.
This is a great deal for both sides. The Royals receive two immediate upgrades to their pitching staff, and the Rays finally added the power hitter that they've needed for some time.
All players involved are young too, so both teams can feel good about this deal in the future. Shields will be a free agent in 2014, but Kansas City's young nucleus could intrigue him enough to stick around.
Rosenthal reported that other prospects are involved so stay tuned for the complete framework of this one, but this is big time either way.
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