KC Royals: Four Years After Trading For James Shields And Wade Davis
Tampa Bay’s End Of The Deal
Though the Kansas City Royals ended up the clear winner of the trade, the Rays DID capture significant value. In fact, the biggest problem for Tampa Bay wasn’t that they made a bad deal. It’s that general manager Matt Silverman (who replaced Andrew Friedman in 2015) lost faith in much of the talent that he had inherited.
Outfielder Wil Myers won the 2013 A.L. Rookie of the Year award, but struggled with injuries in 2014. Myers rubbed the Rays front office wrong, and they dealt him to the San Diego Padres in a deal that has largely turned into a disaster for Tampa Bay. Myers rebounded to post a stellar first half for the Padres in 2016, which earned him his first All-Star berth at age 25.
Jake Odorizzi has turned into a solid no. 2/no. 3 starter for Tampa Bay, posting a 3.53 ERA in 357.0 innings pitched with a 8.0 K/9 over the last two seasons. The Rays control Odorizzi through the 2019 season.
Mike Montgomery never cracked the big leagues for Tampa Bay. But, he did bring back pitcher Erasmo Ramirez in a one-for-one deal with Seattle. Twenty-six year old Ramirez looked good in 2015 with a 11-6 record and 3.75 ERA in 163.1 innings for Tampa. But, he regressed in 2016 as a reliever.
Meanwhile, Montgomery blossomed into a valuable lefty-swingman with the Mariners and Cubs in 2016. He went 4-5 with an outstanding 2.52 ERA in 49 appearances and seven starts. Monty ate 100.0 innings with a solid 8.3 K/9. He also played a key role in nailing down the 2016 World Series title for the Cubs.
Finally, Patrick Leonard has risen to AAA in the Tampa Bay system, but struggled in 2016 while slashing a mere .198/.276/.252. However, the now 24-year-old Leonard thrived at AA hitting .286/.323/.400.
While Myers could yet blossom into a perennial All-Star, Tampa Bay won’t reap the benefits. Odorizzi is more good than great. The Rays only real hope of drawing even with the Royals is if Patrick Leonard pulls a Josh Donaldson and becomes better than anyone expects.
Next: Five Takeaways From The Winter Meetings For The Royals
In the end, the KC Royals won the trade due to winning the 2015 World Series. James Shields and Wade Davis played large roles in two A.L. pennants and touching off baseball mania in Kansas City. Perhaps the team might have still won had Dayton Moore kept his prospects and signed free agents. But, we’ll never know.
What we do know is Moore made the trade and brought home a championship. Flags fly forever.