WASHINGTON, December 12, 2012 — This week the Kansas City Royals traded one of baseball’s most promising prospects, outfielder Wil Myers, along with three other prospects to Tampa Bay Rays for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis.
It is far too early to categorize this as one of the ten worst MLB trades of the 21st century. It takes years to truly analyze a trade. Still, trading top prospects can negatively impact a franchise. Seattle still misses Adam Jones.
Wil Myers hit .314 with 37 homers last year in Class AA and AAA. He’s a free swinger who also had 140 strikeouts. He could be another Ryan Braun. He could also be Mark Reynolds. He’s 22 and can hit. The Rays love the upside.
The Rays aren’t acting out of character. Their moves are consistent with a team that knows they can’t re-sign most of their players. They continuously re-stock and reload. The Rays are your friend who doesn’t make as much but drives two hours to an outlet mall to find the best deals. Sometimes they look as good if not better than the Yankees.
The Royals are acting out of character. Four of their top 18 prospects were traded away in this deal. They are widely regarded for having one of the deepest farm systems in baseball. Still they are also a small market team with the same restrictions as the Rays. For the first time in decades, the Royals are a buyer instead of a seller.
James Shields is a great starter, an all-star in 2011. Wade Davis a great reliever, although the Royals intend to use him as a starter. The Royals need pitching more than anything.
Coupled with talented young hitters like Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, the Royals think they compete in the AL Central with the White Sox and Tigers. The Tigers made it to the World Series last year but only won 88 games in the regular season.
Jeff Barrett is the CEO of Status Creative, the Tri-Cities record holder for most strikeouts in Tee-Ball and hasn’t forgiven Chris Webber for calling timeout in 1993.
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