Wade Davis the key to trade for K.C.

Updated: December 11, 2012, 11:35 AM ET
By Buster Olney

As soon as Wade Davis saw Andrew Friedman's phone number pop up on his caller ID on Sunday evening, he knew what it meant even before answering. Friedman explained that Davis had been traded, and the two spoke heartfelt words. Davis really likes the Tampa Bay Rays' general manager, and how he has been treated. "He's been really awesome to my family," Davis told me over the phone Monday.

Davis then spoke with Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who told him flatly that the Royals acquired him to be part of their rotation -- a role that Davis once had with the Rays, and something that he wants again. "I've been champing at the bit to step back into starting," said Davis.

He is the real wild card in this trade. James Shields has a long-established résumé as a frontline starter and Wil Myers, the centerpiece of the deal for Tampa Bay, is widely regarded as an elite prospect. If Davis ascends into a quality starter, as a complement to Shields and Jeremy Guthrie, the Royals' rotation will look very different, in a division in which lineups are generally weaker than in the AL East.