The Kansas City Royals and the Tampa Bay Rays pulled off a seven player trade last night. It appears that the Royals are making a big push to win now, while giving up one of the top prospects in baseball.
The Royals acquired pitchers James Shields, Wade Davis and a player to be named later or cash considerations from the Rays for Wil Myers, right handed pitcher Jake Ordorizzi, left handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard.
The acquisition of Shields and Davis, goes along with the earlier re-signing of Jeremy Guthrie (3 years, $25 million) and the trade for Ervin Santana.
Shields will be 31 years old when the season starts, and has pitched 200+ innings in each of the past six seasons. During the past two season, Shields has pitched the most complete games (14), tied for first in shutouts (6), 2nd in innings pitched (477), 3rd in strikeouts (448) and 17th in ERA (3.15).
“We have to start winning games at the major league level, and the way you develop a winning culture is by winning major league games,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “It’s time for us to start winning at the major league level.”
“When you can acquire a pitcher like James Shields and Wade Davis, we have to do it, because that’s what we’ve committed to our team — we’ve committed to our organization,” Moore said. “It’s important that we start winning games.”
The key part for the Rays was acquiring Wil Myers, who was a top five prospect in all of baseball. Myers could make his major league debut this season, and has the potential to be a top 5 players in the league in the future according to Keith Law of ESPN. Odorizzi could compete for a spot in the Rays rotation this season, and projects as a mid-rotation guy.
“We’re constantly working to balance the present and the future, and always trying to thread the needle,” Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “As an organization we rely more on the contributions of our young players basically than anyone else in baseball, and with this trade we’re hoping to replenish our system and add a lot of players we feel can help us sustain this run of success that we’ve had for the last five years.”
The Rays still have depth on the mound with starters: David Price, Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb, Jeff Niemann, Chris Archer and now Odorizzi.