To trade, or not to trade, that is the question


Wil Myers…future star for Kansas City, or someone else? Mandatory Credit: Matt Ryerson-USA TODAY Sports

The winter meetings have been, for the Royals at least, a whole lot of speculation without much activity. It’s like lighting that huge professional grade firework you paid $100 for, and watching it fizzle and go out with a whimper rather than a bang. The Royals have been attached to several free agents and trade candidates…but whether anything happens remains to be seen.

The question on the mind of most fans: will the Royals trade Wil Myers to improve the rotation?

It’s looking less likely now than a week ago. At one point it seemed as if every key Royals hitter was on the table, now, who knows? The trick for Dayton Moore, of course, is making sure the player(s) the Royals get in return make sense.

Wil Myers, for example, is probably more valuable now than he might ever be – but does that mean trading him for a 38 year old pitcher makes sense? No. Not even if that aging pitcher is 2012 NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey. And thankfully, it seems that ship has sailed. I’m not saying I wouldn’t make a trade for Dickey, but it can’t include Myers. No way.

Myers for Shields? Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Is it worth moving Myers for a pitcher like James Shields? Maybe. Shields is younger than Dickey and would be the number one pitcher in the KC rotation, but he’s only got a couple more years of team control on his contract versus about six for Myers.

And what if Myers turns into a guy who hits .280 with 25 homers on a yearly basis? Is that a deal you regret? Or do you get enough out of Shields that it makes sense? It’s the kind of deal, if Shields were to come here and pitch well, that could change the culture of this organization. A pitcher like Shields could get this team on track enough that it lures future free agents to KC and maybe sees this team in the postseason. That’s worth it…right?

It’s a slippery slope for Moore. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. Just being a fan at this point makes me nervous enough…and my job doesn’t hang in the balance.

Listening to various baseball insiders on the radio and reading the blurbs on Twitter and MLBTR…no matter how much info is out there, one thing is clear – nobody knows what’s going to happen at this point. The Royals have been attached to the Mets, Rays, Orioles, Mariners, and been thrown into the mix of a four-team trade over the past few days…but so far…nothing.

And maybe, given the question marks surrounding a trade of a player like Myers, the best trade is no trade at all. Can the Royals ever trade a guy like Myers or Billy Butler and feel comfortable with it? Is there a way to “win” that trade? Maybe…I would argue that Moore did really well when he moved Zack Greinke, but a lot of that will depend on whether or not Jake Odorizzi pans out.

This time around, though, most fans are going to judge any trade that doesn’t result in a new number one starter in KC as a failure. Trading Butler for three prospects is not going to excite the average Kansas City fan. Trading Myers in a deal that brings back anything less than one of the Tampa starters seems like it will disappoint the majority.

Is Marcum the answer? Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the best move the Royals can make is to sit back and let a couple of signings, like Greinke and even Anibal Sanchez (does anyone really believe we have a shot at him?), happen and set the tone. Maybe the best thing for Moore is to pursue the second tier starting pitchers like Shaun Marcum, Brandon McCarthy, and Ryan Dempster.

Believe me…I went into this wanting a fireworks show…but at this point, the speculation has exhausted me, and I’m almost to afraid of what will happen if we do make a trade. Someone like Marcum isn’t as exciting as adding a guy like Shields or Dickey, but sometimes the best trade you make is the one you don’t.