Late last night, the Tampa Bay Rays traded James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals for Wil Myers and three other prospects. In addition to Myers, who was the Minor League Player of the Year, the Rays also received two other players ranked among ESPN.com’s top 100 prospects, including lefty Mike Montgomery (#52) and right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi (#71). And before we get to what others are saying, here are a few thoughts…
Overall, the package is stronger than the bounty the Rays received in the Matt Garza deal. But it also took both James Shields and Wade Davis to make it happen. And while Shields was expensive and will be a free agent after two more years, Davis can be an average-to-above average starting pitcher and has five more years on his deal. So the Royals got seven years worth of big league starting pitchers. And that’s a lot. Of course, Davis was just a middle reliever with the Rays. And those are replaceable.
On the other hand, the Rays got the big bat they desperately needed with little or no risk involved. While he is a prospect, and there are no guarantees, top prospects that are position players rarely fail completely. Usually, the worst-case scenario for a top prospect position player is that they never develop into an all-star. But at the very least, they almost always develop into an everyday player.
Myers is probably ready for the big leagues right now, but don’t be surprised if he spends the first few weeks in the minors. There is still the issue of service time that the Rays can’t ignore with a talent like Myers. And saving a few weeks up front means big money saved down the road.
As for the Rays as a team, many are already wondering what the Rays will do with the $13 million they just saved on the 2013 payroll. And unfortunately, the answer is probably, “not much.” They will add a relief pitcher or two. And they need to add a DH or two. But I can’t see the Rays spending a lot of money on any of the players. Maybe they will spend $4-5 million on a primary DH. But the others will be cheap.
Other odds and ends…
- If there are any Rays fans that think the Rays gave up too much, this post pretty much sums up the reaction of Royals fans. They are not happy. [Rany on the Royals]
- Keith Law calls the trade a “coup” for the Rays. He refers to Wil Myers as a “centerpiece bat” that is a “top five prospect” and Jake Odorizzi as a “potential mid-rotation starter.” He notes that Mike Montgomery has the stuff to be a no. 2 starter, but that he has no control. And Patrick Leonard has good power potential, and projects more as a first baseman. Of course, Law is always pro-prospects. But it is a good sign that he likes the package the Rays received. [ESPN Insider]
- The Rays now have 9 of ESPN.com’s top 100 prospects for 2012. [Twitter]
- David Brown of Yahoo! Sports offers 8 reasons the trade “is a bad one for the Royals.” [Big League Stew]
- Marc Topkin agrees that it is possible none of the players are on the opening day roster. However, Andrew Friedman says Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery, and Jake Odorizzi could all see action with the Rays in 2013. [TampaBay.com]