Now that we have had a full day to digest the trade that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals for Wil Myers and three other prospects, let’s take a moment to see what others are saying about the deal. But before that, one more observation.

I don’t want to get into the “who won the trade?” debate as it means little until we know what the prospects become. In other words, nobody will know who won this trade for 4-5 years. But that being said, even if you like the deal (we do), it is hard not to notice that the Rays are now a weaker team in 2013.

With this deal, the Rays added four minor leaguers, none of whom are expected to be on the opening day roster. So, in reality, the Rays traded James Shields and Wade Davis for Alex Cobb and another empty seat in the bullpen. And no matter what you think about Cobb, that is a downgrade. In addition, the Rays have lost BJ Upton and Jeff Keppinger, two of the four best bats on a team that wasn’t that good offensively.

Obviously there is a lot of time to still add some pieces, as the Rays still need at least one DH and two relievers. And at some point during the season, Myers (and possibly Mike Montgomery) will be added to the mix. But as of today, the Rays have traded two starting pitchers and their projected roster is actually much weaker.


  • Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery have been added to the 40-man roster. Also, the Rays had to pay James Shields a $750,000 “assignment” bonus for being traded. [Marc Topkin]
  • As we discussed yesterday, Buster Olney also thinks Wil Myers will not be on the opening day roster and would not be surprised if the Rays approach Myers about signing a long-term deal. [ESPN Insider]
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America says Wil Myers is now the Rays’ top prospect, ahead of Chris Archer, while Jake Odorizzi is 5th, behind Taylor Guerrieri (now #3) and Hak-Ju Lee (#4). [BaseballAmerica]
  • Joe Posnanski on the trade: “I despise the Royals’ trade of late Sunday night. Despise. Deplore. Deride. Disapprove. If there were a Royals Tradebook Page, I would click the “dislike” button at least 10,000 times.” Geez Joe, tells us what you really think (message for Rays fans in final paragraph). [JoeBlog]
  • Some anonymous baseball people were split on who did well in this trade according to Jerry Crasnick of One “talent evaluator” isn’t convinced that Wil Myers is that good. However, another personnel person said the Royals “got owned.” [ESPN]
  • The Royals general manager is not happy with the criticism that he made the trade just to save his job. [USA Today]
  • A number of scouts and executives told JJ Cooper of Baseball Americathat the deal was a good one for the Royals, or at least it is not as bad as many think. One said Wil Myers is no sure thing, and a front office executive said Myers “is not a major league ready impact bat, and might take a couple years of struggles burning into his major league service time.” [Baseball America]
  • Another GM told Ken Rosenthal that Wil Myers is “no slam dunk.” [Fox Sports]
  • Rany Jazayerli says Wade Davis and James Shields for Wil Myers was a fair deal, but then the Royals added three more prospects as the Royals GM pushed all his chips to the middle of the table. [Grantland]
  • Jayson Stark points out that Wil Myers is the first winner of the Minor League Player of the Year award that did not make his big league debut with the same club. Stark has some other interesting tidbits about the deal including how James Shields compares to other Royals pitchers. [ESPN]
  • Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs takes a closer look at Wade Davis and doesn’t sound very optimistic that he’ll be a good starting pitcher. [Fangraphs]




  1. nate says:

    I disagree with the notion that all trades have a winner and a loser. Trading partners have different sets of goals. These teams can both achieve their goals and therefore both be winners. I also disagree with your statement that the Rays are automatically a weaker team in 2013. That statement overlooks some facts. First, the depth at pitching. The injuries we sustained last year allowed us to see that Archer and Cobb are big league pitchers. The probability that our injury problems from 2012 will repeat themselves in 2013 are low (that is debatable I suppose). The reason we missed the playoffs in 2012 was hitting. Without Longo our offense was dreadful. We need pieces there. Trading Shields and Davis frees up money to spend on a DH before spring training. So if offloading Shields and Davis for players who will start in AAA also means available money to spend on a hitter who will perform above what we saw from Luke Scott and Carlos Pena then who is to say we are weaker (especially when taking our pitching depth into consideration.

    Don't get me wrong, Shields is incredible, but we've got a lot of good pitchers, and starters only come out every 5 days.

    • KT says:

      True. And we also got Yunel who should be a huge improvement over the debacle we called shortstop last year (Zorilla not included of course).

      And even if they only pick up a meh option like Luke again, it's bound to be better than last year

    • Raysfan137 says:

      VERY well said, nate.

  2. Burn H. says:

    Yes our hitting sucked last year,as in several past years. Our fielding was atrocious, very un-Rays. The Staff carried the year, with the pen being amazing; except for our one reliever who if he had stayed on the dl could have gotten us in to the play-offs.

  3. Geoff Peterson says:

    Having a set defense will make things much better. Health permitting, everyone on the infield will be playing their best defensive position this year, even if Roberts, Zorilla, or Sean Rod end up playing 2B. A decent DH that can play a little defense would be nice, i.e. a power hitter that can also play first or OF

  4. don says:

    The collective minds of the Rays staff haven't been able to pick up a decent DH in what 6-7 years...this year will be different?? I don't have to mention their expertise in catchers who can't hit their weight...(except for Jaso.. who they gave away)

    • Raysfan137 says:

      The points being made were that the Rays are not automatically weaker than last year. Don pointing out that the Rays haven't had a decent DH in 6-7 years (I would argue Damon was decent) is a red herring at best, or at worst supports that argument, it doesn't debate it.

      Right, they haven't signed a decent DH in whir. So if they do that again (sign a less than decent one), with the proven pitching depth they have, and the meager upgrades they've already done in the infield, they are at least as strong as last year. With fewer injuries, stronger.

    • nate says:

      Though not strictly a DH, the Keppinger acquisition last year was a big success.. Two years ago Kotchman had a good year in terms of getting on base. Yes the traditional DH signings (Burrell/Scott) haven't given big returns, but we aren't 0 fer in signing hitters.

      • don says:

        Your Right... Kepp/kotchman not DHs but good signings, to be turned around and lost the next year after big success (.300+) can you imagine Rays signing Kepp to a 1 year contract, with no 2nd yr. option?? WHy not sign Kotch for a 2nd year,for what $2mil.?
        an exact opposite of sub 1st baseman and DH..who else did we have a $5mil. signing of hurt L. scott....Please

  5. Sledge says:

    I found the Dayton Moore interview with USA Today particularly humorous. I’m dating myself here, but does anyone else see a similarity to the 1994 NFL draft where the Colts GM went bizerk blasting Mel Kiper for his selection of Trev Alberts over Trent Dilfer? Search youtube and our friend Jordi has some of the Tobin videos of that argument posted. I think Tobin’s last draft was picking Alberts. I know this is a bit off topic, but it gave me a good laugh and I thought I should share.

  6. Gus says:

    In a universe where money is not an issue, the Royals win the trade this year, and maybe forever. In a universe where money in finite and value is paramount, the Rays may have done themselves an enormous favor.

    Escobar being the 4th or 5th highest paid player on the best team in the Al East is ridiculous, but those are the rules we are playing by.

    I for one would be of the mindset to not to blow the Shields-Davis surplus immediately; I'd rather see what the team looks like in the spring and early season and take on payroll when needed. The problem is that the Rays partnership structure isn't really conducive to that; they get a budget and have to live with it, more or less.

  7. Matt says:

    No, Topkin said the Royals paid the assignment bonus. My god, Cork, sometimes I think your reading comprehension is that of a first grader.

  8. Dave says:

    I don't think it is great for KC. Shields probably had his best year a couple years ago and Davis is basically overpaid on the Rays because he is a reliever.

    The Rays got a pitcher or 2 that both should be as good or better than Davis. 1 might be as good as Shields has been most his career other than his best year.

    Add in a top notch OF prospect that can catch in a pinch...

    Yes, I would like the Rays to have added someone who will start from day one, but they probably have 2 guys here who will be on the club most the year.
    They also already got a 1B and a SS. That lets Zobrist focus on 2nd which should help him as well.
    It is what it is with the Rays, until they get a new TV deal and a new stadium, they will have to operate with this budget. The good news is they freed up some money and one would think they would use it on a DH. I understand the economics and don't expect some huge name, but someone decent for about 5 million.
    Heck, I'd be happy with Luke Scott back for that. I liked him and, when he was healthy, started out great. Not sure what is out there that is much better.

    Regardless of all the moves, they will be in contention again and have a bat (Myers) on the way to help Longoria.


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