Josh Robbins wrote about the recent Royals/Rays trade on Monday, this is my view of the deal….
What’s the rush in Kansas City?
The Royals have not made the post-season since 1985. They have earned just one winning season (2003) since the 1994 strike. So what’s the hurry? I just don’t get it. They’ve been losing so long, what’s another year or so.
Entering the 2012 season, Baseball America ranked the Royals minor system third best in the major leagues. Add to that all the budding young talent that is already in the big leagues, like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, Lorenzo Cain, Johnny Giavotella, Tim Collins, Aaron Crow, Greg Holland, Louis Coleman, Kelvin Herrera, and Danny Duffy, and you were looking at a Royals team that was ready to compete for a division title the next 10 years.
What made the Royals minor league system rank so high? Three of the guys they just traded away, that’s what.
After a down 2011 season, Wil Myers began 2012 as the Royals #3 rated prospect. But after an excellent season at AAA, he easily jumped to #1 on their list.
Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery both had a poor 2012, which dropped their stock slightly, and the Rays swooped in and grabbed them. Montgomery began 2012 as the Royals #1 prospect, and Odorizzi was #4.
So why go rushing into a trade right now, when your organization appears to be on the cusp? Maybe they are looking at Baltimore and Oakland and realize that they aren’t that far away. Maybe GM Dayton Moore’s job is on the line and he needs to go all-in for a playoff spot in 2013.
The Royals did acquire a workhorse of a starting pitcher in James Shields. Shields has been one of the most reliable arms in baseball over the past six years, logging 200 innings in each of those seasons. He pitches with excellent control and has the ability to miss bats with his changeup.
Maybe the Shields/Davis combination can give the Royals enough rotation stability to get into the playoffs this year. That is exactly what they need, but at what price?