KC Royals: James Shields Trade Carried High Cost

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Oct 20, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher

James Shields

(33) talks with members of the media during a press conference the day before the start of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The KC Royals clearly benefited by acquiring James Shields and Wade Davis in a mega-deal with the Tampa Bay Rays before the 2013 season. While controversial at the time, there’s no doubting that the Royals would do the same deal over again in a heartbeat.

However, most Kansas City Royals fans underestimate the cost.

I must confess, I only thought of this issue when I read my co-editor David Hill’s comment that former KC Royals prospect Mike Montgomery didn’t pan out, in Dave’s story about the Royals most recent farm system ranking. Just the night before, I had discovered that the Mariners have called up the 25-year-old Montgomery. He’s given Seattle two strong starts with an ERA of 2.08.

That’s not to second-guess Dave’s offhand comment. Dave’s story wasn’t about Mike Montgomery. And Montgomery is a long way from establishing himself as a viable major-league starter. But, it stuck in my mind because I had the same impression about Mike Montgomery that Dave did until I saw the news item about Montgomery’s early success in Seattle.

I had thought that Montgomery was still caught in the mysterious funk that had derailed his climb through the KC system.

The fact is, KC Royals general manager Dayton Moore surrendered significant talent to land Shields and Davis. Given both the team’s recent success, and the out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentalities of most people, I think the majority of Kansas City fans underestimate what the team gave up.

Put it this way, while going to the World Series and re-energizing Kansas City fans has certainly been worth the price, the Shields/Myers swap isn’t going to join the list of unbalanced trades in baseball lore.

Let’s do a quick check in on the players the Royals gave up with a slide show:

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