Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has written a fascinating piece on what it took to make the trade that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals for Wil Myers and three other prospects. While we will never know the entire story from the perspective of the Rays (they are far too private for that), we do get a look at what it took to get the Royals over the hump.
Essentially, Royals general manager Dayton Moore had to become a salesperson in order to convince his own front office that the deal would not kill their farm system…
Moore, using a dry-erase board, ranked all of the Royals’ top prospects by position. And then, after informing those in the room that the Rays would not waver in their demands for right-handers James Shields and Wade Davis, he started erasing names…Wil Myers…Bubba Starling and Jorge Bonifacio were the next outfielders on the list. “Still pretty good players, right, guys?” Moore asked.
One of Moore’s advisors went on to say that once all the names were up on the board, they “went through ’em all, saw them there, right in front of [us], it opened everyone’s eyes.”
We also see in these quotes confirmation of something we have discussed around here for years. That is, the Rays prefer not to negotiate when it comes to trades. Andrew Friedman and his staff determine what they want for a player and offers become take-it-or-leave-it proposals. And it is up to the other team to decide if the cost is acceptable.
We also learn from Rosenthal that the Rays were very close to sending Shields to the Diamondback on the same night Moore was writing names on the whiteboard…
“As Moore huddled with his advisors, three other GMs — the Rays’ Andrew Friedman, Diamondbacks’ Kevin Towers and Texas Rangers’ Jon Daniels — were deeply engaged in their own trade discussions…Those discussions, according to major league sources, centered around a three-team deal that would have sent Shields and Davis to Arizona, outfielder Justin Upton to Texas and a package of prospects to the Rays…the deal was close, sources say…But, for reasons that are unclear, it never got done.”
We don’t know what the Rays would have received in that deal. But it is interesting to see how much different the baseball landscape would have looked if that deal had gone through.