The KC Royals traded top prospect Wil Myers, along with three other minor-league players, to Tampa Bay in return for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis on Dec. 9, 2012.
Pundits and analysts across baseball largely pummeled the Kansas City Royals front office for the deal. KC gave up super-prospect Wil Myers, pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery, along with rookie league player Patrick Leonard. But, most analysts thought the Royals weren’t close enough to contending to make such a deal and that general manager Dayton Moore was merely trying to prevent owner David Glass from giving him the axe.
Former Toronto Blue Jays exec turned baseball writer Keith Law said:
"“The deal reeks of a GM feeling pressure to improve short-term performance to keep his job,” Law wrote, “which is a terrible situation for any executive both personally and for the way it can inhibit his ability to make rational decisions.”"
Moore told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale on Dec. 10, 2012:
"“To me, that’s insulting,” Moore tells USA TODAY Sports. “That’s very insulting. Very, very insulting. I don’t get too bent up about criticism, and I want to take the high road here, but that’s insulting my integrity.” “If something happened, I couldn’t get another job in baseball? Is that what people think?”"
No One Questions Dayton Moore’s Decision Now
You know what? Four years later, Dayton Moore stands completely vindicated. His team was indeed on the verge of winning, finishing 86-76 in 2013 before reeling off two straight American League pennants in 2014-15. The young KC Royals desperately needed the leadership James Shields provided. And, the team didn’t come into their own until veteran role player Raul Ibanez infused his teammates with self-belief in a clubhouse speech in July of 2014.
I guess that’s why Keith Law writes about baseball, and Dayton Moore is on his way to getting elected to the MLB Hall Of Fame. Don’t laugh. If the Royals win one more World Series, Moore has a very good chance.