Of the Royals acquiring pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis from Tampa Bay for the rather steep price of OF prospect Will Myers (above) and 3 other hopefuls, rehabbing KC pitcher Danny Duffy tweeted, ““IM DOIN ONE ARMED CARTWHEELS THRU THE PLAZA,” a reaction shared by few fans or analysts over the past 18 hours. The Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger, while stressing, “this trade is not the unmitigated disaster some are calling it,” succinctly points out that Royals GM Dayton Moore, “is giving away six years of baseball’s best hitting prospect (Myers), six years of his best pitching prospect (Jake Odorizzi) and six years of a high-risk pitching prospect (Mike Montgomery) for two years of a solid starter (Shields) and as many as five years of another starting pitcher (Davis).” Rayn On The Royals’ Rany Jazayerli offers an even shorter summation (“this sucks”), while SI.com’s Jay Jaffe is more than happy to elaborate, calling the transaction, “a fundamental misreading of the Royals’ current station”.
Coming off a 72-90 campaign, their 17th losing season in the past 18 years, they simply weren’t a front-of-the-rotation starter away from contention even when one factors in the other improvements they’ve made this winter, or the ones they can expect from a nucleus of young talent that itself serves as a reminder that success isn’t 100 percent guaranteed for Myers. Instead, the move expresses Moore’s desperation for positive results at the major league level. While he has shown a knack for drafting and developing talent that can light up prospect lists, his inability to build a competent and competitive team — which hasn’t been helped by tight-fisted owner David Glass — has resulted in a .431 winning percentage during his six full seasons on the job, the majors’ second-worst record.
Arguing the Royals’ likely 2012 starting 5 of Shields, Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, Davis and Bruce Chen, “is not a rotation that can win a weak division”, Jaffe delivers the most crushing news of all ; “Barring another move, K.C. must now also contend with Jeff Francouer as its starting rightfielder, coming off a .235/.287/.378 season, instead of Myers.”