Reaction To Rays-Royals Trade

The Royals continued adding to their rotation last night, acquiring James Shields and Wade Davis from the Rays. It cost them the game’s top prospect, outfielder Wil Myers, and three others: right-hander Jake Odorizzi, left-hander Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard. Here’s some reaction to the deal from around MLB…

  • In a piece for Grantland, Rany Jazayerli writes that the Royals almost got fair value for Myers, but the addition of three more prospects turns the trade into highway robbery for the Rays. He goes on to say that in shoving all his chips into the pot, Moore has done the same with his job security, possibly sacrificing the future for an illusory present.
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore is "furious" over critiques insinuating that his motivation to make the deal was simply to preserve his job, writes Bob Nightengale of USA Today. In particular, Nightengale writes that Moore was livid over the reaction of ESPN's Keith Law (link included in earlier updates below). Moore calls any such allegations "very, very insulting."
  • Baseball America's Jim Callis writes that Myers instantly becomes the Rays' top prospect, and that Odorizzi slots in at No. 5 between Hak-Ju Lee and Alex Colome. Montgomery fits into the mid-teens, and Leonard would rank in the 20-30 range. The trade essentially boils down to Myers-for-Shields, in Callis' mind, as Odorizzi is similar to Davis but at an earlier stage while Montgomery and Leonard are lottery tickets. Because of that, he doesn't think it's a terrible deal for the Royals.

Earlier reactions:

  • One NL general manager called the trade "bold on both sides," ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports. Some evaluators prefer the deal for the Royals, while others believe the Rays did better. An AL GM told Crasnick both teams did well. "I don't get all the online angst towards Kansas City," the GM added.
  • Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has comments from many of the players involved in the deal. Odorizzi said he "definitely" feels ready for the MLB level, Topkin reports.
  • ESPN.com's Jayson Stark points out that Myers is the first person to be named Baseball America's minor league player of the year and be traded before playing an MLB game for the organization with which he won the award.
  • Shields told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that he'd be open to an extension of the Royals wanted to discuss one. "No doubt about it," Shields said (Twitter link).
  • Approximately 32,000 MLBTR readers voted on the deal and nearly half believe the Rays won. Another 32% say both teams won the deal and 17% say the Royals won.
  • It would have taken Jon Niese and Zack Wheeler for the Mets to obtain a similar package to the one the Rays obtained, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter). Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.com first reported this news four days ago.
  • Though the trade reflects a sense of urgency from the Royals, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star doesn't get the sense that GM Dayton Moore is on the hot seat (Twitter link).
  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney suggests the Rays will delay Myers' arrival at the MLB level to ensure he doesn't obtain a full year of service time in 2013. It's also possible that the Rays could look to extend the promising outfielder, Olney suggests. I agree with both of Olney's point here. There's no way the Rays can allow Myers to get a full year of service in 2013.
  • Six pro scouts don't consider the trade one-sided, J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reports. The Royals don't deserve the criticism being directed their way, the scouts told Baseball America.
  • Shields will obtain a $750K trade bonus as part of the deal, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
  • One GM told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that "Myers is no slam dunk" and added that this is "far from a lopsided deal." Rosenthal suggests teams like the Royals can too often get fixated on their prospects and pass on opportunities to compete.
  • The Royals tried to trade Myers for Shields straight up, but the Rays said no, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes (Twitter links). The Royals also tried trading Myers to Oakland for Brett Anderson only to be turned down, Passan writes.
  • In Passan's view Royals general manager Dayton Moore made a desperate trade that will define his tenure as GM in Kansas City. Still, Passan writes, it's hard to blame the Royals for attempting to win now.
  • The Tigers weren't happy to see the Royals acquire Shields, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Shields is a difference maker who will make the Royals better, Knobler writes.
  • The Rangers had hoped to add Zack Greinke or Shields this winter, but lost out on both this past weekend, Knobler reports (on Twitter).
  • Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star won't be surprised if the Royals seek a low-cost outfielder in free agency (Twitter link). After trading Myers, the club might have interest in spending $1MM or less on a rebound candidate.
  • It's an outstanding day for Rays fans, ESPN.com's Keith Law writes (Insider only). Conversely, this could be the deal that brings Moore's time in Kansas City to an end in Law's view.
  • My thoughts: the Rays were justified in trading Shields and Davis for Myers and the other prospects because they obtained more long-term value. While the Royals surrendered a lot, they addressed their most pressing weakness — starting pitching — in a meaningful way and increased their chances of competing in 2013. The Royals have much more rotation depth than they did two months ago. Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, Shields and Davis make the Kansas City staff better. Yet you can make the case that they overpaid every time they acquired a new arm.

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