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Monday, December 10, 2012
What they're saying about Shields trade

By David Schoenfield

One final thought from my end: I'm not saying I love this trade. The most likely scenario is that Shields pitches well enough for the Royals, Myers turns into a good player for the Rays, but the Royals miss the playoffs anyway and the Rays plug along with another 90-win season.

My take is that I understand why the Royals made this deal. Look, if they're ever going to contend with this current crop of players, it will be because Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas turn into stars. If that's going to happen, it's going to start happening in 2013. If that happens and Salvador Perez turns into the Yadier Molina of the American League and Alex Gordon has another big season and Jeff Francoeur has a .765 OPS instead of .665, you can envision the scenario where the Royals score enough runs. If Shields, Jeremy Guthrie and Ervin Santana each pitch 200 innings and the bullpen is as dominant as 2012, you can envision the scenario where the Royals prevent enough runs. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but at some point you have to stop building for the future and say "this is the year."

Hey, it's the Royals. As Jim Caple emailed me, "As far as the negative Royals reaction goes, what else would we expect? They haven't made a move that's worked in 20 years, and they've got the same guy making the decisions as in recent failed years, so why should anyone expect more?"

OK, here's a roundup of some other thoughts on the trade.

Jerry Crasnick received some responses from baseball executives:
Joe Posnanski writes 2,400 words with the headline "A desperate grab for hope", so you can kind of guess where he went:
Joe Sheehan was just as rough in his newsletter, writing that for GM Dayton Moore, "This trade, above and beyond anything else, is the abandonment of the process in the service of self-preservation." Joe adds:
Yahoo's Jeff Passan likes the trade, citing all the negative reaction Sunday night on Twitter: Anibal Sanchez
Rob Neyer of SB Nation:
Assuming that Myers does become a star, there are only two ways this deal doesn't become among the worst in the Royals' franchise history. ...

The first way is if the Royals reach the postseason in 2013 or '14, for the first time since 1985. If they do that, the loss of Wil Myers will be widely viewed as an acceptable and justifiable sacrifice. If they do that, they'll probably have gotten some real good work from Shields, who just became the Royals' No. 1 starter by default.

The second way is if Wade Davis becomes a good major-league starting pitcher. In the minors, he was a hot prospect despite relatively unimpressive strikeout-to-walk numbers. As a 24-year-old rookie with the Rays, he won a dozen games with a decent ERA. But Davis didn't really control the strike zone. So after a sub-par 2011, the Rays turned him into a relief pitcher last season. He thrived in that role.

Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star thinks the Royals may have reached too far, believing they're sacrificing 2015 and beyond for 2013 and 2014: Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk:
But it’s also the case that the Royals could lose this trade if Myers turns into the second coming of Ben Grieve and is out of the league before he’s 30. They lose it if what they wanted -- that playoff spot -- doesn’t come to fruition.