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Monday, December 10, 2012

Tampa Tribune: Rays trade Shields, Davis to Royals for four prospects

The Tampa Bay Rays executed the biggest trade in team history Sunday night, sending pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals for four minor league players, including outfielder Wil Myers, the Royals’ top prospect.

The Rays also received right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi, left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard.

KC Star: Royals get Shields, Davis from Rays for Myers, Odorizzi, two others

NTNgod Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:41 AM | 296 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays, royals

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   1. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4320611)
Seems like a great trade for the Rays, and possibly an OK one for the Royals just for 2013-14.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4320613)
It's extremely hard to see how adding one good pitcher takes the Royals into contention. This is a trade that maybe, maybe you could defend if the Royals won 84 games last year and just needed an extra shove to get over the top against the Tigers and White Sox. But this is a Royals club that won 72 games last year. James Shields is not a difference maker for them.

Out of context, this is way too much in prospects to pay for James Shields. In context, it still doesn't make sense.
   3. Tripon Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4320614)
Michael Silverman ?@MikeSilvermanBB
I’m from KC. My daughter asked me what was wrong. Told her. She said, "If the #Rays ask for somebody on your team, you should keep them.’’
   4. Tripon Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4320615)
Its a bad trade for the Royals is they don't contend. Dayton Moore gets fired anyway, and now the Royals have one less talented player they controlled for 6 years.
   5. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4320616)
#1
Agreed. The Rays just reload again. Very impressive to watch them work. Wish my team was as shrewd in it's decision making at this point in time.
   6. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4320617)
It's extremely hard to see how adding one good pitcher takes the Royals into contention. This is a trade that maybe, maybe you could defend if the Royals won 84 games last year and just needed an extra shove to get over the top against the Tigers and White Sox. But this is a Royals club that won 72 games last year. James Shields is not a difference maker for them.

If I squint I can see the Royals winning 85 games with a rotation of Shields, Guthrie, Santana, Davis and Chen, if Hosmer becomes good, and all their starting players play up to their talent. They do get to play the Indians and Twins a lot. The bullpen seems OK. They still gave up more than they got in my opinion, but if Moore was going to be fired after 2013 if they didn't win, they really didn't give him a better option than to trade the farm for guys who can pitch now.

If I'm the fans I blame Glass for playing it half-way -- not extending Moore now, nor firing him now.
   7. DA Baracus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4320618)
Trading your top prospect and three others for a 31 year old pitcher and a 4th starter seems like a really good trade if your goal is to win 85 games this year and 63 two years from now.

EDIT: Coke to Ivan for the 85 wins.
   8. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 10, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4320619)
I guess it's unlikely that both Shields AND Davis see their careers end less than two years from now after 150 innings of horrible injured pitching like Scott Kazmir did.
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:01 AM (#4320620)
Just for facts:

-James Shields is under contract this year for $9M with a $12M option for 2014.
-James Shields is 31 years old.
-Since becoming a regular at age 25, Shields has averaged 220 IP with a 108 ERA+, good for about 2.5 WAR per season
-For reasons I'm not 100% clear on, fWAR likes Shields a lot more than bWAR, despite little overall discrepancy between his ERA and FIP. fWAR has Shields worth an average of just under 4 WAR per season since 2007.
   10. billyshears Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4320627)
It's extremely hard to see how adding one good pitcher takes the Royals into contention. This is a trade that maybe, maybe you could defend if the Royals won 84 games last year and just needed an extra shove to get over the top against the Tigers and White Sox. But this is a Royals club that won 72 games last year. James Shields is not a difference maker for them.

Out of context, this is way too much in prospects to pay for James Shields. In context, it still doesn't make sense.


I mostly agree with this. But perhaps the Royals see Hosmer and Moustakas taking major steps forward, Escobar and Butler improving a bit and Perez giving them what he did last year but for a full season. That's optimistic, but given the pedigrees of their players, I don't think it's crazily optimistic.

I mostly don't know what to make of this trade though. Shields is very good, but he's not great, and he's only signed for 2 more seasons. Myers is an excellent prospect, but the Ks scare me a bit, and I can't write off 2011 entirely, even knowing of the wrist injury. The other players in the deal look mostly like window dressing, though I suspect Odorizzi is the most valuable of the lot. Ultimately, I think the edge has to go to the good team trading from surplus over the bad team trading to fill a need and a desire for the GM to save his job.
   11. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4320628)
Well, this and the Greinke news means Dickey's probably staying with the Mets. Woo!
   12. Tripon Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4320630)
Does this mean that Jeff Franceour signs another extension?
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4320633)
Oof. I don't like this at all from the Royals' perspective.
   14. The District Attorney Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4320634)
This is a trade that maybe, maybe you could defend if the Royals won 84 games last year and just needed an extra shove to get over the top against the Tigers and White Sox.
Or if they had anyone else to play right field.

Rany's take.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4320635)
Goddammit.
   16. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4320638)
Or if they had anyone else to play right field.

Alfonso Soriano is available.
   17. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4320642)
Why weren't the Braves in on this? For ####'s sake, I give up one of the young studs (beachy or medlen) for Odorizzi, Myers, and Montgomery.

But I guess he wanted an ace to save his job, and not value for his incredible valuable property.
   18. Tuque Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4320644)
   19. DA Baracus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:41 AM (#4320645)
Why weren't the Braves in on this? For ####'s sake, I give up one of the young studs (beachy or medlen) for Odorizzi, Myers, and Montgomery.


They're not old and expensive enough on short term contracts for Moore to give up prospects for.
   20. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:44 AM (#4320646)
Yankees and Red Sox fans, my condolences.
   21. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4320648)
"Why weren't the Braves in on this? For ####'s sake, I give up one of the young studs (beachy or medlen) for Odorizzi, Myers, and Montgomery."

I'm thinking the exact same thing with regards to the Reds and Mat Latos. I like Latos, and he had a nice season last year. However, this is an outstanding package of players, and I would definitely consider trading Latos for them.
   22. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4320649)
To be fair, a pitcher's age isn't nearly as relevant as a hitter's age, if you're going to pick just one factoid about him.
   23. vivaelpujols Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4320650)
I feel bad for Royals fans. Shields isn't even an ace and he's only under contract for 2 years. Wade Davis is fairly close to useless.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:52 AM (#4320656)
They're not old and expensive enough on short term contracts for Moore to give up prospects for.

But Matt Garza is. We'd have thrown in SPJ or Feldman or Baker or Wood or $10 M.

Well, it's depressingly possible that "we" does not include Theo and Jed.
   25. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:53 AM (#4320657)
If Shields were under contract for an additional year (at, say, ~15 million), Odorizzi was staying put, and the Rays were paying half of Davis' salary for the duration of his deal - it might be a decent trade for a Royals team on the brink of contention. But none of those things appear to be true.

It'd at least be interesting if they were in on Josh Hamilton.
   26. Gaelan Posted: December 10, 2012 at 01:54 AM (#4320658)
This is a hilarious trade. No need to analyze, just laugh.
   27. DA Baracus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:00 AM (#4320662)
Wade Davis is fairly close to useless.


For the Rays. Davis would have been the Royals third or fourth best starter last year. (Not that it makes it a good deal.)
   28. vivaelpujols Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4320665)
I mean Davis is like a 1 WAR starting pitcher. It seems like there's a lot of those guys hanging around. But I guess Dayton needs one handed to him.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4320666)
The Royals had 74 pythag wins last year, in a division where 88 wins took the crown. Their entire starting lineup is between 23 and 29 years old. I don't know if this is a good trade, but I think that all of the criticisms of it based on "success cycle" reasoning are off base.
   30. vivaelpujols Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:15 AM (#4320672)
Tigers are likely gonna be much better than 88 wins this year and there's little chance the Royals win the wild card. Still huge dogs at making the playoffs.
   31. DA Baracus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:16 AM (#4320673)
I mean Davis is like a 1 WAR starting pitcher. It seems like there's a lot of those guys hanging around. But I guess Dayton needs one handed to him.


I agree. But the Royals starters though were so bad this year that he's actually an upgrade. Luke Hochevar gave them 32 starts of 5.73 ERA/71 ERA+ and -1.7 WAR. They had only 2 starters with more than 1 WAR, same number as 2011 (I'll say that 0.9 is close enough). Davis is a fungible player for sure (however on a non-fungible contract), in a vacuum isn't the worst move for the Royals, who apparently have a hard time developing and acquiring fourth starters. But of course this didn't happen in a vacuum.
   32. Tripon Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4320676)
Luke Hochevar got tended a contract and is still on the team. He's not going to lose his rotation spot.
   33. Dan Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4320681)
Davis has more upside than 1 WAR as a starting pitcher. If he can keep some of the velocity he displayed in relief last year in his transition back to being a starter, he could be a real solid #3 or so, I think. Obviously that's a big if but he's certainly not worthless.

Not that I'm defending this trade for the Royals. I can't believe that Friedman had the balls to turn down Shields for Myers and ask for more and actually hold the line until getting this haul though. Major props to him for that, because I think most GMs would've taken a far less favorable deal rather than risking Moore walking away over the additional guys.

How do the Rays reinvest the payroll they cleared here? Between Shields and Davis they've freed up about $12M from this year's payroll and ~$17M for 2014. Do they turn around and make an offer to Youkilis to fill their hole at 1B/DH? That's the real kicker - after winning this trade straight up on talent, the Rays are also going to use this newfound payroll flexibility to fill a hole or two on offense.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:39 AM (#4320682)
I don't get the fixation on Shields' age. He's 31 - that's not old for a pitcher, is it? He's as good as he ever has been, way over 200 IP and 200 Ks each of the last two years.

I don't know anything about the Royals prospects so I can't really pass judgment on the trade. But I don't think there's anything wrong with the 2013 Royals trying to add a good veteran starter - what are they supposed to wait for before they're allowed to do something like that? If the price was too high, that would be true regardless of what kind of shot the Royals have at the 2013 playoffs.
   35. Tiboreau Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:39 AM (#4320683)
At least Shields is healthy? And there's still plenty of young talent in the Royals lineup? Unlike, say, the 2008 Seattle Mariners. . . .

If I'm a Royals fan, tho', I'm not keen on the deal. . . .
   36. Dan Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:43 AM (#4320686)
-For reasons I'm not 100% clear on, fWAR likes Shields a lot more than bWAR, despite little overall discrepancy between his ERA and FIP. fWAR has Shields worth an average of just under 4 WAR per season since 2007.


bWAR adjusts for the quality of team defense, and presumably the very good defensive squads the Rays have had the last several seasons are causing a large adjustment on Shields's WAR numbers here.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:48 AM (#4320689)
Luke Hochevar got tended a contract and is still on the team. He's not going to lose his rotation spot.

I wouldn't count on it. They've got Santana, Guthrie, Shields, Davis and Chen under contract too. Also Mendoza (their best starter in 2012), Duffy, Mazarro, Paulino, Will Smith -- some of whom have been hurt I know but still depth. Tendering Hochevar was as stupid as it gets but I don't see them eating salary to keep him in the rotation over Chen (who gets $4.5). Assuming nobody wants Hochevar or Chen, it's surely past time to find out if Hochevar is one of those guys who will make a decent reliever.

This sure looks like an extremely dumb move. Time to eliminate the process!
   38. DA Baracus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:51 AM (#4320690)
I don't get the fixation on Shields' age. He's 31 - that's not old for a pitcher, is it? He's as good as he ever has been, way over 200 IP and 200 Ks each of the last two years.


Would you give up one of the top prospects in baseball for a good but not great 31 year old on a two year contract? Especially when you are not a contender? It's not like they got, say, Madison Bumgarner or Cliff Lee.

Heh, Shields' 5th best similarity score is... Ervin Santana.
   39. vivaelpujols Posted: December 10, 2012 at 02:58 AM (#4320692)
Yeah I think McCarthy at 16 million is only a little worse than Shields at 20 (?) million. Edwin Jackson is still on the market and he's nearly as good as Shields (even though I abhor watching him pitch). And then of course you keep Myers and Odorizzi. Just a god awful trade.
   40. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:00 AM (#4320693)
Would you give up one of the top prospects in baseball for a good but not great 31 year old on a two year contract? Especially when you are not a contender? It's not like they got, say, Madison Bumgarner or Cliff Lee.

But is it the age that matter in this question? I would be equally happy to trade for a good but not great 31 year old on a two year contract, a good but not great 25 year old on a two year contract, a good but not great 37 year old on a two year contract...

(for pitchers, anyway)
   41. DA Baracus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:06 AM (#4320696)
But is it the age that matter in this question? I would be equally happy to trade for a good but not great 31 year old on a two year contract, a good but not great 25 year old on a two year contract, a good but not great 37 year old on a two year contract...


Coming off a non-fluke 72 win season and with no other major overhauls, you'd give up a top prospect for a 37 year old?
   42. Tripon Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4320697)

Coming off a non-fluke 72 win season and with no other major overhauls, you'd give up a top prospect for a 37 year old?


If you're going to trade your best prospect and a top five guy overall, might as well trade for the actual Cy Young winner and get him to sign an extension.
   43. PreservedFish Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:20 AM (#4320698)
Coming off a non-fluke 72 win season and with no other major overhauls, you'd give up a top prospect for a 37 year old?


My point is merely that I think the emphasis on the Royals' record and on Shields' age is misplaced. There's nothing wrong with the Royals acquiring a veteran starter, and nothing wrong with them trading young talent to do so. Shields is not so old that you would worry about him falling apart any time soon (and he has shown no signs of doing so), and the Royals are very well placed to make big leaps in the near future. They can't wait until they win 85 games before they go into contender mode.

That doesn't mean I think it's a good trade - just that Shields' age or the Royals' success cycle stage wouldn't really enter into my judgment of it.
   44. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:22 AM (#4320699)
So departs my favorite Ray. I'm disappointed of course but hopefully everything works out for the best, looks like they made a good trade that should help them immediately and down the line. I think Davis is getting sold short here, he could still turn into a good starting pitcher (he has the stuff for it) and at worst he has a ton of upside as a reliever. It's not like he's an irrelevant throw-in.

I would have been happier to see them traded to a team closer to contention though, I doubt the Royals are making the playoffs (and may well fail to have a winning record) so they aren't going into an ideal situation. At least it's a crap division with no dominant team.
   45. 33Boots Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:31 AM (#4320700)
Dayton Moore's chances of making it to 2014 just went up, by a decent amount.
   46. vivaelpujols Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:41 AM (#4320702)
Why is the AL Central seen as up for grabs? I think the Tigers project to be well over a 90 win team.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:46 AM (#4320703)
Indeed ...

Lee to the Phils with 1.5 years on his contract brought back crap
Greinke, one year removed from his awesomeness, 2 years on his contract brought back Escobar, Cain and Odorizzi
1 year of Halladay and $6 M brought back 3 pretty good prospects, one of whom might turn out OK :-)
2+ years of a fragile Peavy brought back Clayton Richard and not much more
3 years of Haren brought back a ton of guys of whom the A's traded away the best one :-)
4 cost-controlled years of Latos brought back Alonso (meh) and Grandal (he could be something pretty special)

Did I forget any "big" pitchers traded recently with 1+ years?

I can see an argument that Shields is close enough to Greinke and Latos (but 4 years!) to be equal but generally (given years, cost, quality) he'd be at the bottom of this heap but Myers & Odorizzi is probably second only to the Halladay return. Odorizzi was top 100 in both 2011 and 12 (BA) ... and with over 9 K/9 and good control I wonder if he's under-rated but I ain't no prospect hound.
   48. Walt Davis Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:49 AM (#4320705)
I think the Tigers project to be well over a 90 win team.

Why? I know they signed Hunter which will hopefully fill one of their gaping holes. OK, the return of VMart and a full season of Infante (not great but an improvement) ... I guess I can see it if they're mostly healthy.
   49. vivaelpujols Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:56 AM (#4320707)
Maybe not well over 90, but definitely 90 at the least. Last year they had 89 third order wins (90 2nd order wins, which might be a better predictor considering SOS is mostly a constant). Hunter should be good, VMart and Avila should have a better year... on the other hand Jackson should regress and Verlander's probably not gonna be able to pitch another 250 innings. I'd say around 90 is fair. I guess if the Royals are around 80 wins then they are within random variation of beating the Tigers. Still doesn't seem very likely.
   50. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:58 AM (#4320708)
I thought the Royals were insisting on trading for an ace?
   51. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:58 AM (#4320709)
The only question I have on this is if this was the sort of thing that was part of a plan, it seems a little odd to have cut bait with Greinke so recently. Couldn't you have just given the money you gave to Davis and Shields to Greinke instead?

Generally teams don't like to do what the Royals just did with Myers given the current financially realities. Sure guys like Miguel Cabrera and Matt Kemp are big talents and bring huge value to their teams, but you have to pay for them accordingly. But with a Mike Trout you get three years of him at league min, and then a few more at a good discount. And maybe that waiting time is enough to get him to sign a favorable long term deal ala Longoria.

And so when teams have a prospect who seems pretty close to a sure thing to have some decent MLB value, teams lately have treated them as close to untouchable; IE they're pretty much the last guys on the roster where it would make any financial sense to move them.
   52. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 10, 2012 at 03:59 AM (#4320710)
Did I forget any "big" pitchers traded recently with 1+ years?


3 years of Garza brought back Lee, Archer, Fuld, Chirinos, and Guyer.
   53. Zach Posted: December 10, 2012 at 04:07 AM (#4320711)
This is the kind of trade that makes you disengage from a team. I still want the Royals to do well, but they're actively, willfully getting worse. It puts things in perspective, in a way. For decades, the Royals have said that they have to build with prospects from within. Add salary? Nope, gotta wait for the prospects. Work the trade market? Nope, gotta develop the prospects. But if Dayton feels a cold wind down *his* neck, suddenly it's time to trade their best hitting prospect, and their best pitching prospect, too. Middle-aged mediocrity, that's what we needed all along!

I guess this is the difinitive answer to the question: "Do you keep a crummy GM who builds a good farm system?" Answer: No, because when he feels his job is in jeopardy, the farm system will be out the window.

I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate this trade.
   54. Austin Posted: December 10, 2012 at 04:07 AM (#4320712)
My first reaction was like most other people's: this is a classic Dayton Moore disaster trade. My second reaction was that it might not be quite so bad; two years of Shields and several years of Davis don't seem like an unreasonable trade for an excellent prospect, an okay prospect, and two near-throw-ins. If the money were equal, and if the Royals projected to 80 or so wins before the trade, I wouldn't have any problem with the deal.

But that's the thing - Shields and Davis both cost real money, and there was just an article written on how the Royals profess to be in the red if their payroll exceeds $70M. I know some people are calling BS on that claim, and are happy to see the team spend more money with the new national TV contracts about to kick in. But even if you set all of that aside, the fact remains that no projection system is going to forecast them for anything better than about 10% playoff odds this year, and in making this deal, the team has hurt its playoff chances three to six years from now, when they presumably would have been better positioned to attempt to contend. It really seems like a bad move.

One other thing I find interesting here is the language Moore used.

"It's not easy to give up prospects but it's important that we start winning games."

"Let's make something very clear. Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar signed here long-term with the full expectation that we, as a baseball operations department, would do everything that we can to put the best team on the field every single night," Moore said. "That's what we've committed to our fans, that's what we've committed to our players, so when an opportunity comes along that you can acquire a pitcher like James Shields and Wade Davis, we have to do it."

If you ask me, it doesn't sound like even Moore believes that this team is really good enough to contend for the playoffs this year!
   55. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 10, 2012 at 04:14 AM (#4320713)
Man, they traded Wil Myers for James Shields. I know the offseason isn't over yet, but if I had to bet on which trade this offseason has the best chance to live in infamy for a team's fans, it's this one for the Royals. Who knows, maybe Myers craps out (somehow, I guess he K's a bunch) but this looks like the kind of trade Royals fans could be upset about 35 years from now.
   56. 33Boots Posted: December 10, 2012 at 04:39 AM (#4320714)
According to Sickels, the Royals don't view Myers as highly as "outside analysts". He strikes out a lot. If Myers ends up Jay Bruce (current version), it's not a huge loss. If Myers ends up Ryan Braun...oops.

I'd be pissed if I was a Royals fan too, but I don't see this as an obviously awful trade by any stretch.

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/12/9/3749448/royals-trade-farm-system-for-31-year-old-pitcher
   57. Zach Posted: December 10, 2012 at 04:48 AM (#4320715)
According to Sickels, the Royals don't view Myers as highly as "outside analysts". He strikes out a lot.

So you trade him to someone who overvalues him. You don't trade him for 60% of James Shields.
   58. 33Boots Posted: December 10, 2012 at 04:56 AM (#4320717)
Problem being, they weren't going to get anybody better than James Shields. If the idea is to try and win now...

*shrug*
   59. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 10, 2012 at 04:57 AM (#4320718)
This would have struck me as a bad deal for the Royals even if it was just Shields and Davis for Myers.
   60. Greg K Posted: December 10, 2012 at 05:27 AM (#4320720)
Man, they traded Wil Myers for James Shields. I know the offseason isn't over yet, but if I had to bet on which trade this offseason has the best chance to live in infamy for a team's fans, it's this one for the Royals.

There is the Marlins trade. Though I suppose there have to be Marlins fans in the future for it to live on in infamy among them.
   61. vivaelpujols Posted: December 10, 2012 at 05:34 AM (#4320722)
Marlins trade wasn't really bad at all. I mean clearly it was bad for the Marlins as they are going to suck and probably not reinvest the money, but from a value standpoint the Marlins might have been the winners in that trade.
   62. zachtoma Posted: December 10, 2012 at 05:34 AM (#4320723)
According to Sickels, the Royals don't view Myers as highly as "outside analysts". He strikes out a lot. If Myers ends up Jay Bruce (current version), it's not a huge loss. If Myers ends up Ryan Braun...oops.


Jay Bruce is an interesting comp for Myers - they are both high-K hitters who put up some slash lines in the high minors that would make any prospect-hound drool (Myers arguably flashed even more power than Bruce) - but you know what, Jay Bruce is pretty damn good. Since 2010: .262/.340/.493, 120 OPS+ and 30 HR a year on the nose. Maybe not an MVP, but that's a hitter that would look good in anyone's lineup. I'd put that guy behind Butler and Gordon and call it a win.
   63. Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2012 at 05:35 AM (#4320725)
One way or another, we'll be talking about this trade for years.

As Sickels mentioned, it's clear the Royals believe they are selling high on Myers. Wil Myer's minor league numbers certainly suggest that, although he could be a great player, he also might only be an OK player. They clearly believe his upside is Mike Marshall (the outfielder) and not Jeff Bagwell. :D
   64. zachtoma Posted: December 10, 2012 at 05:42 AM (#4320726)
And have we even mentioned the most hilarious aspect of this trade? That the Royals apparently believed Wil Myers to be blocked by mother------ Jeff Francoeur! "The Royals have advanced to the World Series on the strength of another gem by James Shields and more timely slugging from JEFF FRANCOEUR!"

But maybe the best part is how this is the culmination of a disaster that unfolded before us in slow motion. The Royals have been telegraphing their intention to trade Myers for weeks and all anyone could do was sit back and say "No, they aren't serious, are they?" We will be talking about this trade for years, and I'm certain what we'll be saying is that the Royals foolishly decided to short-circuit a long rebuilding process that was finally beginning to bear fruit for miniscule short-term gains. Because these are the Royals, I still can't decide if this is farce or tragedy.
   65. zachtoma Posted: December 10, 2012 at 05:47 AM (#4320727)
Also Mendoza (their best starter in 2012)


Just in case anyone else was thinking of looking it up, this is apparently true. He's called Luis Mendoza - I would not have guessed that I'd have never heard of anyone who was the best starter on an MLB team in 2012, but here we are.
   66. zachtoma Posted: December 10, 2012 at 06:12 AM (#4320729)

A triple post, but this actually reminds me more of the Adam Jones and Chris Tillman for Erik Bedard trade than anything else, in that you have one team overpaying in prospects for an "ace" because they've wildly misjudged how competitive their team is likely to be - except this is maybe even more likely to backfire.
   67. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 10, 2012 at 07:16 AM (#4320730)
Is this even legal?
   68. Bug Selig Posted: December 10, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4320732)
Does James Shields help them, money aside, more than just playing Myers and telling Frenchy to go visit a hospital or something would have?
   69. formerly dp Posted: December 10, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4320735)
Did I forget any "big" pitchers traded recently with 1+ years?
Does Marcum for Lawrie count? Marcum didn't have the track record Shields does, but Lawrie and Myers seem pretty close as prospects.
   70. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: December 10, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4320736)
One way or another, we'll be talking about this trade for years.


It's possible Myers flames out and this becomes Jeremy Giambi part 2, but there's no way James Shields puts the Royals over the top and into playoff contention.
   71. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4320742)
1) I feel like people aren't as high on Shields as I am. There are damn few pitchers in baseball who take the ball every fifth day, do not miss a start, go into the 7th or 8th inning almost every start, and pitch above-average. He is one of those handful of pitchers. In fact, I would contend Shields is a key reason why the Rays' bullpen has been so consistently excellent over the last several years. You just don't have very many games where he blows up your bullpen with a third inning exit or something. I still wouldn't have made this trade, because giving up both top prospects is just too much, but I don't think the trade is inherently a disaster. This will help the Royals rotation, obviously, but it will also help their bullpen, by taking innings away from it.

2) I see the logic of this trade from the Royals POV, though I don't agree with it. They had a ton of young players in the lineup last year who were not great, but not complete wipeouts, either (OPS+ of between 80 and 98 for their four starters under the age of 25). Butler was excellent, and Gordon looked very good. They must believe the young hitters will improve this year, as a group. They believe Butler and Gordon will conitnue to hit well. Dyson and Frenchy don't get it done, but if they replaced them with a couple of gloves with league-average bats, you might have something. It was the starting pitching that was pretty dreadful, and Shields - and even Davis - are a pretty big upgrade over what they put out there most of last year. I dont think it is going to work, but I understand what they might be thinking...
   72. shoewizard Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4320743)
-For reasons I'm not 100% clear on, fWAR likes Shields a lot more than bWAR, despite little overall discrepancy between his ERA and FIP. fWAR has Shields worth an average of just under 4 WAR per season since 2007.



bWAR adjusts for the quality of team defense, and presumably the very good defensive squads the Rays have had the last several seasons are causing a large adjustment on Shields's WAR numbers here.


I don't think thats why you are seeing the large discrepancy. I think it's simply all the UER Shields has given up, which gives him a highish RA9, which is what bWAR uses, not ERA. He has been well into double digits 3 of the last 4 years, allowing 12,11,5,& 14.

The year he allowed just 5 UER he had over 4 bWAR.

   73. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4320744)
But I don't think there's anything wrong with the 2013 Royals trying to add a good veteran starter - what are they supposed to wait for before they're allowed to do something like that? If the price was too high, that would be true regardless of what kind of shot the Royals have at the 2013 playoffs.
The "success cycle" logic is often-misapplied to free agent signings, but I think it does apply to prospect-for-star trades. In Wil Myers, the Royals have a kid who should be a capable major league player this year, and who has a good shot to be a major league star in a couple years. Trading him away for two seasons of a good, not great pitcher is explicitly doing "success cycle" things to your team - the Royals made themselves better this year at the direct expense of being worse in 2015 and beyond. This is a trade that needs to be evaluated in terms of whether the Royals are better off storing up wins for 2015 or maximizing wins today. And it seems pretty clear the answer is the former.

(There's also the fact that the Royals have spent over $30M on pitching this offseason while giving away their best 2013 RF. They couldn't have spent that money on pitchers while not giving away their best 2013 RF?)
   74. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4320748)
Even if the idea is solely to win in 2013, replacing Francouer with Myers would likely improve the 2013 team more than replacing Bruce Chen or whoever with James Shields. This trade should end Dayton Moore's career.

And Rany, if you're reading this, now is the time. The Fire Dayton and Glass Must Go armies are assembled and are only waiting for a leader. It is your destiny.
   75. villageidiom Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4320750)
It's extremely hard to see how adding one good pitcher takes the Royals into contention. This is a trade that maybe, maybe you could defend if the Royals won 84 games last year and just needed an extra shove to get over the top against the Tigers and White Sox. But this is a Royals club that won 72 games last year. James Shields is not a difference maker for them.
The only way I see this making sense for the Royals is if no free agent wanted to sign with them because they obviously weren't looking to contend in the near future. In isolation, this trade makes about as much sense as the Celtics picking up Ray Allen a few years ago. It made them better in the short run, but Ray Allen was not the solution. However, the Ray Allen acquisition convinced Kevin Garnett to approve a trade to Boston.

So, if this kind of move makes Anibal Sanchez and/or Josh Hamilton interested in making KC their home for a few years, it will be a better move than it would seem in isolation.

That said, if that's what it must take for the transaction to make sense, it's a bad transaction.
   76. BDC Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4320753)
Shields is one of those pitchers I think of as a star because he's a Ranger-killer: he's won five of his last six starts against them in the regular season, losing the other one 1-0. But the rest of the world may not share my opinion, because the Rangers, oddly enough, handled him easily in the playoffs in '10 and '11. At first I was happy because I thought the trade put him further from playing the Rangers, but of course they probably play KC about as much as they play T/SP, it just hasn't been as memorable in recent years.

   77. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4320755)
Yeah I think McCarthy at 16 million is only a little worse than Shields at 20 (?) million. Edwin Jackson is still on the market and he's nearly as good as Shields (even though I abhor watching him pitch). And then of course you keep Myers and Odorizzi. Just a god awful trade.

We don't know if McCarthy would have signed the same contract with Kansas City that he did with Arizona, and he's not exactly dependable to go 180 innings or whatever Shields can do. We also don't know how much Jackson or Anibal Sanchez will cost, or whether they'd make the Royals pay more for them than a team they thought was a contender. If they had waited for Sanchez or Jackson they might have not gotten either for anything short of 6/$110M or something. If Jackson comes at a reasonable price the Royals can still sign him. It's even possible that signing him became easier now that Shields is on the team.

Does James Shields help them, money aside, more than just playing Myers and telling Frenchy to go visit a hospital or something would have?

Clearly the Royals think so, but I don't. Myers could easily be as good as Shields right now.

So, if this kind of move makes Anibal Sanchez and/or Josh Hamilton interested in making KC their home for a few years, it will be a better move than it would seem in isolation.

Hamilton to the Royals would be astounding.
   78. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4320756)
Since it's not mentioned in the header, the Royals are apparently also getting a PTBNL here. If that ends up being a significant piece, this looks a little less bad for them.
   79. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4320758)
Since it's not mentioned in the header, the Royals are apparently also getting a PTBNL here. If that ends up being a significant piece, this looks a little less bad for them.


No... not really. There's no possible PTBNL that could make this anything but a maelstrom of catastrophic stupidity for the Royals. If I were a Royals fan yesterday I would be an ex-Royals fan today. Hell, I'm vicariously infuriated just because of my sympathy for Rany and other Royals fans I like and respect. But my sympathy for them ends here. If they choose to keep supporting a team that's determined to kick them in the balls and laugh, it's on them now.
   80. asinwreck Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4320770)
When I went to sleep, the reported deal was Shields and Davis for Myers. Which sounded decent for Tampa even before the rest of the package was announced. Shields will be the Royals' best pitcher for the next two seasons, and perhaps beyond if Glass somehow chooses to extend him.

Odorizzi has an excellent chance to contribute more to a MLB team than Davis does right now, and he is under control (as is Myers) for six years.

Getting Montgomery as a "what the hell, we may be able to fix him" is an added bonus.

I assume what is TBA going to Kansas City isn't significant, as it's either a player or cash.
   81. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4320772)
So, the Rays rotation next year: Price, Hellickson, Moore, Cobb, and Niemann or Archer?
   82. zonk Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4320774)
Huh...

I had always thought the OOTP AI trading algorithm was based off of Dayton Moore brain scans - but I just tried this deal as the Rays and the Royals (run as the AI) responded with a "That's not a fair deal, I guess we don't have anything to talk about".

Maybe I'm not patched up-to-date...
   83. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4320776)
There's no possible PTBNL that could make this anything but a maelstrom of catastrophic stupidity for the Royals.

Sure, it's still a dumb trade. Just maybe slightly less dumb, depending on who the PTBNL is.
   84. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4320778)
My first reaction was like most other people's: this is a classic Dayton Moore disaster trade


To be fair to Dayton - and I think he is a disaster as a GM - I can't really point to any disaster trades before this one. The Melky Cabrera trade blew up in his face, but I don't think even the internet stat nerds thought it was a bad trade at the time - Melky had one year left on his deal, seemed to be coming off a flukey season, and Sanchez had the ability to strike guys out.

He just sucks hard in roster construction, in understanding the market, in understanding replacement level talent, and in relying too heavily on "homegrown" players.


This would have struck me as a bad deal for the Royals even if it was just Shields and Davis for Myers.


This. I'm just floored Odorizzi was included.


Even if the idea is solely to win in 2013, replacing Francouer with Myers would likely improve the 2013 team more than replacing Bruce Chen or whoever with James Shields. This trade should end Dayton Moore's career.


Right. Assuming Wil is even a 1 WAR player his rookie season, that's a 3 win improvement in RF alone. Take out Hochevar and replace him with say Joe Blanton who can be a 1.5 WAR pitcher, and that's a 3 WAR improvement for roughly the same salary.

People complain that David Glass doesn't spend money, but its pretty clear that Dayton will take whatever money he gets and fritter it away like a junkie handed a $100 bill.
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4320780)
Never let a GM fight to save his job. Once you're considering firing him, fire him.

Otherwise, you get crap trades like this.

The Royals are a better team right now, if they put Myers in RF, and sign Edwin Jackson or somebody similar with the Shield/Davis money.
   86. JJ1986 Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4320781)
PTBNL's are used differently at different times of the season (injured player, waivers, rule 5, waiting for 1-year post-signing), but the only reason to include one in December is so that the value of the trade can be changed later. Maybe something like they get a prospect if Montgomery is healthy, but nothing (cash) if he's injured.
   87. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4320782)
So what's Ben Grieve up to these days?
   88. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4320784)
So what's Ben Grieve up to these days?

I don't know, but Moore should find out. He'd be an upgrade in RF for KC.
   89. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4320785)
I'll be the contrarian and argue that this isn't a bad trade for the Royals. They're getting 2 years of a durable, above average starter and 5 years of an excellent reliever who could also be an average starting pitcher. They're giving up one of the best prospects in baseball, a good pitching prospect, and a few others. There's no question that Myers is talented, but I think Jay Bruce is a good comp -- an above average corner player, but not a star. Plus, it might take him a couple years to adjust to MLB. That seems like a reasonable trade for both teams.

The key to this trade might be Davis and Odorizzi. One of those guys could end up being pretty valuable and change the equation, esp. Odorizzi. This trade could look horrible in a couple years if he pans out.

As far as the success cycle thing goes, I think it's overstated. You just never know when a group of players might gel or another team in the division might fall apart, and a GM should generally try to put the best team on the field on the assumption that the playoffs are a possibility, especially when you have a young, talented team. Bad teams make sudden leaps forward all the time: Tigers in 2006, Rays in 2008, Reds in 2010, Orioles in 2012, etc. The point isn't that they won X games last year and the addition of players A and B might get them to Y wins, it's that adding a player like Shields will help a team capitalize on the opportunity if the younger players take a step forward. Of course, giving up Myers is a steep price to pay, but I can see where Moore is coming from.
   90. JJ1986 Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4320786)
I'll be the contrarian and argue that this isn't a bad trade for the Royals. They're getting 2 years of a durable, above average starter and 5 years of an excellent reliever who could also be an average starting pitcher. They're giving up one of the best prospects in baseball, a good pitching prospect, and a few others. There's no question that Myers is talented, but I think Jay Bruce is a good comp -- an above average corner player, but not a star. Plus, it might take him a couple years to adjust to MLB. That seems like a reasonable trade for both teams.


I don't think a Myers for Shields trade is that bad, but I'd guess it would be the Rays throwing in a few prospects to even it up. Giving away two more pitchers is not winning the trade.
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4320787)
As far as the success cycle thing goes, I think it's overstated. You just never know when a group of players might gel or another team in the division might fall apart, and a GM should generally try to put the best team on the field on the assumption that the playoffs are a possibility, especially when you have a young, talented team. Bad teams make sudden leaps forward all the time: Tigers in 2006, Rays in 2008, Reds in 2010, Orioles in 2012, etc. The point isn't that they won X games last year and the addition of players A and B might get them to Y wins, it's that adding a player like Shields will help a team capitalize on the opportunity if the younger players take a step forward. Of course, giving up Myers is a steep price to pay, but I can see where Moore is coming from.

I think starting Myers in RF in 2013 would add more immediate value to KC than what Shields brings over the guy he's replacing. Especially if you spend the $10M Shields is making on a SP.
   92. formerly dp Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4320788)
Sticking up for this guy makes me feel dirty, but someone has to say it: why are we taking it as a given that Myers will be better, significantly better, than Francouer next year? There is a planet where Frenchy racks up another 75 XBH season and Myers, struggling to adjust to major league pitching, hits something like .235/.287/.378, minus Frenchy's defense.

OK, shower needed.
   93. JJ1986 Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4320790)
Especially if you spend the $10M Shields is making on a SP.


I think the key to this deal is that pitchers like Anibal Sanchez or Edwin Jackson won't sign with the Royals. They can't buy #2 starters, so they have to pay for them in talent.
   94. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4320791)
There's no question that Myers is talented, but I think Jay Bruce is a good comp -- an above average corner player, but not a star. Plus, it might take him a couple years to adjust to MLB.


FWIW, there are rumors the Royals think there is a huge hole in his swing and he can't handle sliders. But as suggested earlier, that doesn't mean you just trade him to the first team that comes along. With how offense-starved Seattle was, you'd think they might overpay for Myers.
   95. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4320797)
I think the key to this deal is that pitchers like Anibal Sanchez or Edwin Jackson won't sign with the Royals. They can't buy #2 starters, so they have to pay for them in talent.

Overpay. Jackson always struggle to get a multi-year deal; he took 1/11 from WAS last year. Offer him 4/50.
   96. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4320799)

Overpay. Jackson always struggle to get a multi-year deal; he took 1/11 from WAS last year. Offer him 4/50.


The Pirates overpaid last year, and he turned them down (3/30 according to reports). Maybe he really wants to play for a contender. The Royals are not contenders.

But they should have at least tried. There were no reports the Royals were at all interested in EJax.

I mean heck, why not offer Dempster that third year he was looking for?
   97. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4320811)
Sticking up for this guy makes me feel dirty, but someone has to say it: why are we taking it as a given that Myers will be better, significantly better, than Francouer next year? There is a planet where Frenchy racks up another 75 XBH season and Myers, struggling to adjust to major league pitching, hits something like .235/.287/.378, minus Frenchy's defense.

I won't defend the decision to play Francoeur, but I agree that there's a good chance that Myers won't help the team over the next couple years. He isn't Trout or Harper, and it's likely that it will take him 1000 PAs to adjust to ML pitching (and that's assuming he does eventually become a quality player).
   98. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4320812)
I don't think a Myers for Shields trade is that bad, but I'd guess it would be the Rays throwing in a few prospects to even it up. Giving away two more pitchers is not winning the trade.

Right, which is why I think Odorizzi is the wild card here. If he turns into an averagish SP in the next couple years this trade will be a disaster for the Royals.
   99. formerly dp Posted: December 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4320814)
I won't defend the decision to play Francoeur,
You never know how it's going to feel until you try it.
   100. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4320816)
Very early CAIRO run by SG:
LAA 95-67
DET 91-71
TEX 88-74
OAK 88-74
TBR 86-76
TOR 86-76
NYY 85-77
BOS 84-78
KCR 84-78
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