Monday, December 10, 2012
The Royals’ main goal this offseason was to improve its pitching rotation, and apart from Zach Grienke, Shields was the most sought-after available pitcher. Shields was an All-Star last season and finished third in the Cy Young voting two seasons ago, and the pitcher compiled an 87-73 record in his seven seasons with the Rays. Davis may also have a shot to join the Royals’ rotation, although he spent much of last season as a reliever. Davis finished with a 3-0 record last season with a 2.43 ERA in 70 1/3 innings. As a starter the previous two seasons, Davis went a combined 23-20 with a 4.27 ERA.
While acquiring Shields immediately makes the Royals contenders for the AL Central, the big question is did the team give up too much? Myers is predicted to become a star, as he posted monster numbers in the minor leagues and is only 21-years-old. By dealing Myers, the team is also now stuck with Jeff Francoeur in the outfield yet again this season, and the veteran has been in a sharp decline over the past year. Odorizzi was also a very valuable prospect, as the pitcher went 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA in Class AAA Omaha last season and was predicted to compete for a rotation spot as early as this season. Myers and Odorizzi were a huge part of the organization’s future, and the Royals made have dealt a future star and quality starter for a good-but-not-great pitcher.
There is no question that this trade makes the Royals a contender for the AL Central. The team has a deep and talented pitching staff, and if its young stars on offense can continue to produce, the team should push for a playoff spot next season. Despite the immediate upgrade, it appears that the team has mortgaged its long-term future for a shot to win now. If the team pushes for a playoff spot this season, trading Myers and Odorizzi will be more justified. The Royals, for the first time in years, are officially in “win now” territory.
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