Rays Trade James Shields and Wade Davis to Royals for Prospects


The much-anticipated James Shields blockbuster has finally happened, and it was even bigger than most of us expected. Tampa Bay also added another MLB-ready starter in Wade Davis and a player to be named or cash to the deal in exchange for a haul of talented prospects from Kansas City.

The Royals’ official Twitter page broke the news last night:

The main acquisition for the Rays in this trade is obviously 22-year-old OF Wil Myers, who was the club’s top prospect and arguably the best hitting prospect in all of baseball. Myers was named the Baseball America Minor League Baseball Player of the Year in 2012, putting up an impressive .304/.378/.554 line with Triple-A Omaha this season. He finished second in the league in home runs (24), fourth in the league in RBI (79) and third in slugging. Rays fans are really going to enjoy seeing power like this from Myers in the future.

The Rays also received right-handed pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi, who seems seems like a guy with frontline starter potential in the majors. The 22-year-old former first-round draft pick had a great season in the minors this year, going 15-5 with a 3.03 ERA and a 8.4 K/9 through 145.1 IP in AA and AAA ball. He also made his his MLB debut (two starts, 7.1 IP) with the Royals.

Check out a full scouting report on Odorizzi over at MLB.com.

The Rays lost two quality starters in Wade Davis and James Shields, but they got at least one back in this trade by acquiring Odorizzi. Jon Mayo of MLB.com ranks Myers and Odorizzi as the organization’s top 2 best prospects.

Tampa Bay got another top-ten ranked prospect in this deal with LHP Mike Montgomery. The 23-year-old was in the Royals’ organization for five years, and has struggled ever since reaching Triple-A two seasons ago. Montgomery posted an ugly 5.69 ERA in 17 starts with Omaha this year. However, with very good stuff and a high upside, the Rays may be able to work their magic and transform yet another talented arm into a refined Major League pitcher.

The fourth and final prospect that the Rays received in this blockbuster is 20-year-old third baseman Patrick Leonard. Leonard batted .251/.340/.494 with 14 homers and 46 RBI through 62 games in Rookie League ball this season. He has a long way to go before he reaches the big leagues, but his power potential makes him someone to keep an eye on in the coming years.

To recap this 6-7 player megadeal in a nutshell, I believe that the deal is a win-win for both clubs. Kansas City’s rotation (and team) just got a whole lot better with two key additions, and Tampa’s future is now brighter.

I personally would have liked to see the Rays add a little more to their offensive depth rather than just restock on arms again, but all-in-all Andrew Friedman and the front office still got the job done here.

One positive about the deal was that the Rays now have a lot more cash on their hands by trading away two pricey salaries in Shields and Davis. The Rays would have owed Shields over $22 million ($10 million in 2013) in the final two years of his contract and Davis would have been payed over $6.5 million for the next two seasons (which is a lot considering how the Rays use him) before three years of expensive team options.

Hopefully the Rays will use some of the money they save to sign somebody productive this offseason off the free agent market to fill in needed positions that are still empty on the roster (RHH 1B/DH, catcher, relief pitcher).


Here’s GM Andrew Friedman and president Matt Silverman on the blockbuster below:



    • Rano

      earlier, in the case of Baron and hopefully Littlewood, sttraing the season with a team rather than working out in extended Spring Training is far more helpful for their development. If things don’t work out, then that’s when you send them back down a level to mature. But you’ve got to give them the opportunity to succeed or struggle, not deny them the experience.Paxton’s signing, if nothing else, creates more competition amongst an already fantastic group of minor league pitchers. As with every other name out there, where he fits into the system will depend on what he does this Spring. Being 22 years old and having pitched three seasons at Kentucky might make him a candidate for High Desert or Jackson, but if he’s in our rotation alongside Fernandez and Seco, the rest of the league should take notice. Three high-ceiling pitchers, regardless of left or right-handed are more than welcome here in Clinton.

  1. Willam

    It looks like the trade of Matt Lawson means the Mariners are thinking Littlewood will get first crack at SS for Clinton. I now ecpext Noriega to play 2B for High Desert with Franklin at SS. I wouldn’t be surprised if Franklin moved up to Jackson in June, opening a spot for a Clinton middle infielder at High Desert if someone has a good first half.Steven Baron has been a pleasant surprise in spring training. He may wind up at High Desert. You didn’t mention Ji Man Choi in the Clinton catcher mix. He may be there. He’s young, but he showed he could hit last year in Peoria and for a few games at High Desert. If his catching skills aren’t ready, he could still wind up as DH.

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