The Kansas City Royals traded away two high level prospects last night, bringing home a legitimate ace and another strong pitcher. The trade provided the Royals with the one thing they had been looking for over the last two seasons, an improved pitching staff.
Naturally, the pulse of the Royals fan base raced. Seemingly, it was not from excitement, it was from disappointment. The fans seem to feel that the team came out a “loser” in the deal.
Everyone Calm Down.
The Royals had a very big need. They needed an ace for this team and they got it. Not only did they get a strong number one, they picked up a legit number three in the process. The rotation has been overhauled this offseason and, going into 2013, this team looks poised for a playoff run. Indeed, it may in fact be “Our Time” for the Royals fan base.
The cost of the acquisition is what seems to be bothering most people. Trading away two strong prospects in one trade is steep no matter how you look at it. That being said, these players were not ready to contribute in 2013 and may not track as great as they once did.
Jake Odorizzi is a firm pitching prospect that shows promise and will be a contributor to a major league pitching staff within the next few years. Most scouts agree, however, that he will contribute as a number three or four guy, most likely solidifying the middle to back-end of a rotation. His breaking stuff has not developed as well as many thought it would and his fastball, which clocks in the mid-90′s, is elevated more often than most would like.
Wil Myers was a hitting machine at Triple-A Omaha last year. Most anyone you talk to will tell you that this young man will be a strong outfielder in the Major Leagues. Projections have him hitting 25 home runs and driving in 85+ runs while playing consistent defense. Those same projections figure his arrival in the Major Leagues in late 2013 and those numbers to become reality in 2015.
Mike Montgomery was included in the deal and may be the player that breaks out the quickest in Tampa. He is a classic “change of scenery” guy and fans will need to remind themselves that whatever he does, in whatever uniform he does it in, he most likely would not have accomplished that wearing a Royals uniform in the first place.
So, the Royals traded away a potential big hitter, an average pitcher, and a guy that just couldn’t get traction within this organization.
What did they get back?
Wade Davis is a slightly better version of Odorizzi. The biggest difference between the two is that Davis is ready to produce in the middle of the rotation now instead of two years from now. He has been successful as a starter and a reliever and figures to make an impact on this rotation immediately.
James Shields is an ace pitcher that finished in the top three in Cy Young voting just a year ago. He is also highly regarded as a mentor type player that will help the clubhouse chemistry around the young talent coming through the organization. He is a total package player that will impact this team in 2013 and 2014 before reaching free agency.
The Royals still have some holes. They have a need in the outfield and at second base. But the biggest issue for this team was the pitching rotation and that is no longer an issue.
When it comes down to it, if you want to improve your team, you have to give something up in the process. This team gained known commodities in exchange for potential.
I’ll take a known winner over a potential win any day of the week. Not only that, I’ll take winning now over maybe winning later.
Maybe if everyone calms down, they will agree.