A tweet by Ken Rosenthal confirming a previous report by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times indicates that the Royals and Rays have agreed to a deal that will send pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis a player to be named later and cash to the Royals for their top prospect outfielder Wil Myers and pitchers Mike Montgomery, Jake Odorizzi and minor league infielder Patrick Leonard. The move was reported by the Royals on Twitter.
My initial reaction? To get Shields, who isn’t a true ace, and Davis, who was moved to the bullpen last year, still improves the Royals rotation in 2013, but at a steep price. Mike Montgomery hadn’t put it together in Triple A, but the velocity and left-handedness give him an opportunity for a new start in Tampa and they could reinvigorate him. He never seemed a fit for the Royals training approach, and, as Jason Parks said on the Kansas City Baseball Vault, the Rays like to throw. Montgomery is a long-toss guy, so that regimen fits him. Odorizzi in the deal is confusing, as he seemed like he had a shot to be in the rotation next year at some point.
Myers, though, is the key, and most think he can be a perennial star hitter. He’s not Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, but some have compared him to Ryan Braun with his ability to make contact and hit for power.
Obviously, this is a big deal and the Royals are going for it in 2013 and 2014, but my initial reaction – this team better make a wild card spot or win the division the next two years or it’s a big loss.