One of the benefits of the social-media age is it's fun to watch the instant reactions pour in for a widely panned deal. The Royals traded one of their best prospects in decades. Of course there was going to be a backlash.
Perhaps the most important point is why the Rays and A's wouldn't deal two years of Shields or three years of Anderson for Myers' entire pre-free agency career: He's a right fielder, and corner outfielders, while not a dime a dozen – see: Reggie Sanders, Jose Guillen, Jeff Francoeur and the misery they've unleashed upon Kansas City – are not exactly bank-breaking sorts, either. Whether it's Josh Willingham, Jason Kubel or Ryan Ludwick, it's easy to find someone cheap who can hit in a corner-outfield spot. Unless Myers develops into a Gold Glove-caliber fielder – no scouts expect that – he needs to hit like Ryan Braun to develop into a star .And there are but five players in baseball with Braun's bat.
Maybe it's not quite right that he needs to hit like Braun to become a star -- players from Hunter Pence to Brett Gardner have had five-win seasons in a corner over the last few years -- but the larger point stands. Myers is a corner outfielder. That means if he's going to be worth the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, he's going to have to develop into an amazing hitter.
Would I have made the trade? Hahaha, no. But I don't think it's right to call it an automatic disaster. Myers still has to turn into something special, and that's not the given that people are making it out to be. We all know prospects are slippery things, but that's even more true for corner outfielders.
The Tampa Bay Rays will not get to write off all of the remaining $21 million on James Shields' contract by sending him to Kansas City. A stipulation in the right-hander's six-year contract with the club states that the Rays have to give the soon-to-be 31-year-old Shields a parting gift of $750,000, according to FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi.
The large goodbye present for Shields only slightly decreases the payroll savings that Tampa Bay has achieved by making the two-for-four swap, with the club taking up to $27.85 million off the books for the next two seasons between Shields and fellow right-hander Wade Davis.
The Rays sent their two home-grown pitchers to Kansas City for four prospects: outfielder Wil Myers, left-hander Mike Montgomery, right-hander Jake Odorizzi and third baseman Patrick Leonard -- all of whom can be paid the league minimum if they make the big-league squad. Myers and Odorizzi are the best shots to make the Rays' roster in 2013, though Montgomery could earn a cup of coffee if he bounces back from his sub-par 2012 season.