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Late last night, the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays consummated at least part of the much-bandied-about “blockbuster” trade – though limited to just those two teams – with the Rays sending righties James Shields and Wade Davis (plus a player to be named or cash) to the Royals for superprospect outfielder Wil Myers, very good pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi, formerly big-time pitching prospect Mike Montgomery and quality young third base prospect Patrick Leonard.

Unsurprisingly, the early reaction to the trade has been some crack about Rays’ top exec Andrew Friedman buying Royals GM Dayton Moore dinner first.

That is, of course, the correct reaction, as the Rays just got themselves a crapload of quality prospects for two (modestly expensive) years of James Shields, and a guy who was a reliever last year (a very good one, it should be noted). That said, I completely understand why the Royals did it, and I have no issue with them going full bore in the rotation the next two years. They’ve already got a nice offensive core to build around, and they see their time to strike as now. Good for them for going for it.

The reactions of tangential relationship to the Cubs:

(1) I know what you’re all thinking – if only Matt Garza were healthy. Well, keep in mind that Shields is more highly regarded than Garza (rightly or wrongly), and is under control for two more years, not just one, like Garza. Throw in Davis, who’s under control for three more years, and it’s not really fair to even think about “what Garza might have brought.” This is an entirely different trade.

(2) The Rangers are going to really be looking to pick up a pitcher now, having missed out on Greinke and Shields, their believed top two pitching options this offseason. They previously had interest in Garza (before the stress reaction in his elbow that sidelined him for half a season), and maybe will again when he demonstrates he’s throwing just fine. Or, the Rangers could just go nuts on someone like Anibal Sanchez.

(3) This takes the Royals out of the mid-tier starting market in free agency, which incrementally could help the Cubs as they pursue those types.

(4) This helps set the price on pitchers in trade slightly higher, I’d reckon, with the Cubs a beneficiary if their best trade chip – Garza – gets healthy.

(5) This means the Mariners won’t be getting a bat for a pitcher, which means they’ll be more likely to lock down a free agent bat like Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, or Nick Swisher. That is probably of interest to the Cubs only to the extent that a player of that caliber was going to fall in their lap in late January/early February, which remains unlikely, irrespective of this deal (it just got ever so slightly less likely).

  • King Jeff

    Shields has been much more durable than Garza throughout his career. So that probably has a lot to do with his value, plus the whole extra year of control. I guess now we get to see how outrageous Cubs fans can get in what they expect on a Garza return. Should be interesting.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      And how harshly they judge a Garza trade, if the Cubs make one later this offseason.

      • Eric

        If we could just get a young pitcher almost ready for mlb whos ceiling is garza and one more player in a team’s top 7 I think I would be pretty happy. This trade, maybe makes it a little more realistic to hope for a decent return.

  • Ben

    If anything, I think this helps Garza’s trade value. Davis is not a starting pitcher. TB tried that a few different times, and it was always bad. Clearly, Shields is the real prize. I would take him over Garza (taking out contract/control) any day. The Royals gave up a lot to get him. If we could get a package that was based around any of those top 3 the Royals dealt, plus another lower-level guy, I think I would be happy. Clearly a Myers-tier guy is out of the question. But Odorizzi + another low prospect? That would have been a nice deal for Garza.

    • Eric

      I say we could probably get that. A pitcher who has a #2 ceiling plus another guy in the mid top 10’s.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    if we dont get a good return we keep him that simple, may be why we havent signed a non flippable pitcher like jackson or demp for a 3 yr deal.

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

    The impact to the Cubs is that the Royals are trying to load up and need trading partners who have MLB assets that can send players while eating the salary.

    The Royals insidery guy over at PSD said that the Royals and Cubs talked a lot at the winter meetings, and DeJesus and Barney were among the discussions.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      DeJesus would make a whole lot of sense for them.

      • Stinky Pete

        And Barney improves the pitching staff. Well, for the Royals AND their opponents…

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Ba dum ching.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

        He mentioned maybe Holland or Crow coming back to the Cubs, which would be epic.

        Fantasy remaining offseason:

        DeJesus + a decent prospect (just one won’t kill us, I promise) for Crow, Cubs paying for everyone’s salaries.

        Scoop Bourn on a 4-year deal.

        Get yourself a pitcher in the Dempster/Marcum/Jackson mold.

        Do a decent job with the RH utility IF still needed.

        Projection: 82-83 wins if you don’t firesale, still within last year’s MLB payroll and the Future! remains intact.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I would be VERY on board for all of that (and I don’t even like Bourn that much). It’s funny how, considering how differently we view the “rebuilding process” (and its necessity/best implementation/etc.), we could see the same offseason moves as being the right ones.

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

            Well, partially because I’m trying to work within a realistic framework here. My first choice would be to try and see if Greinke’s officially signed yet and if we could try to talk him out of it with a larger pile of money.

        • JR

          I think that if the Cubs didn’t have to give up a 2nd rd pick for Bourn they would seriously go after him. And I know the chance of a 2nd rd pick doing anything are very small. But I think that Theo and gang have pretty big ego’s and will not want to give up an early pick because they want to draft and develop themselves.

  • JR

    I am sorry but I don’t like this trade for the Royals at all. What Myers did in the minors at his age is crazy. I don’t see anyway that he doesn’t become a good major leaguer, and the other guys they gave up are good prospects too. Plus as Brett mentions Shield is making decent coin. Actually, I hate this trade from the Royals perspective. WTF??

  • KidCubbie

    MLBTR reports that the Royals tried to trade Wil Myers for Brett Anderson straight up and the A’s said no.

    • JR

      If that is true either the Royals and A’s are nuts, or there is something about Myers that is a serious concern that I am missing. To me Myers and Profar are the top young players under team control that I would want behind Trout and Harper. I just don’t get it…

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

        I really don’t think Myers (or even Profar) deserves to be in that category. I definitely feel like both get “Top Prospect!” status by default a little bit.

        And the 25% K rate last year has to be a little nagging.

        • JR

          Yeah, I am not trying to compare them to Harper/Trout. Obviously they aren’t on the same planet now. But I was trying to come up with young position player talent under team control that I would take behind Trout and Harper. And Profar and Myers are who I would take. Unless i am forgetting someone…

  • Just the Factz

    The reason the cubs have not signed any Players that are not coming of injury or haven’t been productive is those type of players want no part of an Ownership group that is asking them to accept losing for even 1 year.Only people who have no other options are signing with the Cubs.Players in the MLB could care less about the rebuild,the Players Union knows better then anyone of you on here that the Truth is Every Major League team has Millions to spend this offseason and owners like Ricketts are just pocketing the money(so he can pay off his debt he got when he bought the cubs,Daddy Ricketts is all about money and he wants his son to pay him back and Glass’es and Liberty media and we all know loria is greedy as they come) and their not gonna go to a team to have to relocate their family midseason because they want to win and would never accept losing for a maybe the prospects become something..Truth is Riz may show his true colors(Like I think he will) and bat 150 agian like he did in SD…..truth is the Cubs need to get out of the maybe prospect buying and go get some true talent…..They are gonna have to overspend to attract anyone…..After showing teams they are cheap skates they are gonna have to prove to any winners that they are Serious about shedding those sterotypes and untill they do their will be no Playoffs or Series ever at wrigley..

    So quit Dreaming and live in the Reality of the Season

    • John

      We are NOT the Dodgers with a shiny new 6 billion, BILLION, dollar tv deal. We are building a farm system that can help supply talent for our ml roster in the future. It is going to hurt for a couple of seasons. I’m getting tired of fans who keep insinuating that we’re just pocketing all this money. There is a significant cost to running a successful organization and we’re trying to move in that direction after years under an ownership group who ran us into the ground. It takes time to right the ship after that. Please note, I am not blaming Hendry. I actually wonder what he could have done without the Tribune telling him to limit draft spending. That said, I am very confident in our long-term success with Tom, Theo, Jed and Jason.

  • Just the Factz

    The way harper plays is reckless and I would say this year or next at the latest his whole game changes because of a Huge Injury….I would take trout anyday of the week

    • JR

      I would go take Trout over Harper too. But Harper is going to be a superstar.

  • XZ

    The Royals got put over the barrel here, there’s no doubt about it. One if the worst trades of recent memory.

    Shields is good (not as good as his 2011), but damn.

  • Frank F

    Wow, Friedman proves a

    • Ted

      ^this^

  • Just the Factz

    Not to Mention that when you are a Youngster playing in the Majors you need a GM and Manager that have some sense and want to win at all cost and the Mishandleing of Strasburgh last year (Rizz0)and davey Johnson only had one year of Greatness if you look at all the mistakes he did with Gooden and Strawberry and then look at The Angels a Owner/GM who is dedictaed to winning and has put Veteran leadership that trout will what to listen to..What proven winner on the Nationals does Harper listen too?????? None…Werth was 4 string on the Phillies,but trout got tutered from Pujols(2 time Series winner and one of the Greatest of all times,How many MVP’s does he have??,Tori Hunter also taught him some ropes and the list goes on) and One of the Greatest Managers of all time Sciosca………Ya I would take Trout anyday of the week and two times on Sunday

  • Just the Factz

    How many players can you think of in the History of the MLB that had a flash in the pants season like Harper we’re they said they would take the world by storm and never live up to the hype?..Numerous I personally don’t think Griffey JR or Alex Rodriguez has ever lived up to the Hype of their talk in their first 3 yrs….1 Championship between them….Pujols is one that I would consider the poster child for the hype living up to his Career..

    • JR

      ARod and Griffey are historically great players. ARod may be the best Shortstop/3rd baseman ever, and Griffey top 3 centerfielder of all time. I think it’s safe to say they both lived up to the hype.

    • caryatid62

      If had an entire season in which he was flashing his pants, he should’ve been arrested.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

      If Alex Rodriguez, a sure-fire inner circle Top 10 player of all time, did not live up to the hype, then no one ever did.

  • Just the Factz

    I personally don’t see anything from Profar that would make me move Elvis..He is a proven winner and Profar just had a flash……..I will take an All Star over a prospect any day of the week.. This isn’t the Minors,this is the Major leagues Man…Have profar play some platoon but don’t screw with whats working and Elvis at Short and ian Kinsler at 2b got them to two Series,you don’t screw with something that isn’t broke and thats not broke.a RF is what cost them the World Series..If they have a Real RF in their he catches Freeze’s hit and the Rangers win in 6

  • Frank F

    Friedman proves again why he’s one of the best in the business. He gets one of the top prospects in baseball (Myers) a top pitching prospect, who’s a possible top 50 (Odirizzi) and another pitcher who’s isn’t too far removed from being a top pitching prospect, but slowed due to injury. Royals get a quality 2 starter, but only 1 year plus an option for him. He also gets Wade Davis, who I’d like to get, but as a 2nd piece of the return for what they gave up, they should have gotten something better. Davis is 26, I believe and he too was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, but after struggling for a few years, he had a strong 2012 as a reliever.

    I actually wonder if we could have received this package from KC for Shark and Russell. Shark may not have Shields’ track record, but I believe he’s under team control through 2015 or 2016.

    This shows why we should have moved Garza this time last year. Last year at this time, Garza was 3-4 years younger than Shields is now and had two years of team control. We gambled, and now he’s coming off an injury and is a free agent after 2013.

  • Just the Factz

    JR,So you are for self accolades then.Sorry I am not into that..You demostrate what I ahve always said is wrong with the Youth and players of today…….I care about the team and there is only one thing important and thats winning the 4th games of the Series and thats the Winner and 1 Series win for Aroid,Griffey and tons of money spent that equaled to nothing……..So as a team player they never did live up to the hype…No one player is bigger then the team…..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      So Ernie Banks really sucked, eh?

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        Ted Williams was atrocious…
        Dan Marino – throws like my dead grandmother
        Labron James – absolutely God-awful until June 2012, then he became decent – maybe if he wins another 4-5 rings he can be good.
        Barry Sanders – more like Bore-y Sanders

    • JR

      Well yeah, the goal is win the World Series. But it’s baseball, and there is only so much 1 player can do. Even a roided up Bonds who had the best 5 yr stretch ever didn’t bring home a ring..

  • Just the Factz

    Maybe it was beane or maybe the writer but the only facts from the Movie Moneyball was if you don’t win the 4th Game of the Series the rest doesn’t matter.

  • Just the Factz

    Every Player that has played for the Cubs in the last 100+yrs didn’t do enough,the Proof is in the pudding…..You live in a Dream world,I live in Reality.I expect a team to win a Series every year or atleast try…..How may of the years can you look at the cubs and see they never even tried to win,from the ownership down

    • caryatid62

      So every player that has ever played for the Cubs in the last 100 years is bad…got it. Furthermore, of the 208 players in the Hall of Fame, only the 129 who have won World Series titles should be there. Makes sense.

  • Just the Factz

    In this day and age you have to spend money to go get the Series wins,Not the most money but you do have to spend your money wisely when you have needs and the Cubs and numerous teams have needs that ownership’s are refusing to spend and every team was given an extra revenue from Fox’s TV Deal

  • Just the Factz

    I saw Bourn play alot @ The Ted this last season and he plays with alot of Heart and would help the Cubs he would be their 2nd Best Player and if they Trade Soriano he would be the Best..He plays 100% every day and you would never hear your Manager on Sports center talking about how he had to jump his A$$ to play with 100%..

    • caryatid62

      He’s never won a world series. I don’t think he’s lived up to the hype.

  • Just the Factz

    After 100 plus Years it’s time to Put Proven Winners on the Team and go for it,not wait on maybe’s,It;s 100% better then just watching as every team gets better and hoping maybe when our so called prospects get to the majors we can hope and pray someone who is a Proven winner becomes available to help us…….Ya thats not gonna get a Series win,Trust me People here in Atlanta want Liberty media to sell the Team as well because they pocket the majority of the money also..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ok. We get it.

  • freddychytown

    Wow seriously griffey never lived up to hype??? The man was a monster for years without the STERIODS mind you like A-rod! You have to have fa.cts to back that up before u go out there making outlandish comments like that. So here are th6e stats for u on for mentioned griffey
    HR-630
    RBI-1836
    RUNS-1662
    Hits-2781
    Batting Avg-284
    So keep im my mind baseball is a team sport especially true in baseball griffey could not hit
    or play gold glove defense everywhere for his teams he was also penalized because of injury no telling where his nunbers wouldve been maybe he gets that world series and hit 800 hrs and were talking about being the best player who ever lived. Get your sources right before u go comparing a lengend to a fraud by the way brett my first time on the site commenting but im an avid reader keep up the good work :)

  • Just the Factz

    No he hasn’t but he is better then putting your hopes in a SS that doesn’t play with 100%..You show your merit as a youngster when you don’t run out every play,When Manny Ramirez did it every fan/media in baseball wanted to kill him because he didn’t run plays out,So Castro shouldn’t be given any leeway..

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

      Our manager just said today that nobody plays at 100%. I’ll take his word for it.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        The only players you see out there giving 100% are those who are crashing head-first into walls and lacking the talent to play with the “lazy” bums like Ramirez

  • Ted

    I’ve been reading all of these thinking the Royals got David Price in return.

    Oh god this is an awful deal.

  • Just the Factz

    The Only way a Player lives up to his hype is if he leads you to the promise land and as a Fan it should only be a Series win……Thats what they are their for and you should never accept losing for maybe’s……..Take numerous Cubs sites it use to be about winning and wanting to win,now it’s a talk about prospects and maybe’s..Not proven Winners and Future Series MVP’s and showing no loyalty to players that hit over 300 numerous season for ya..

  • Joker

    Guys – please don’t feed the trolls today. I can’t take it.

  • Just the Factz

    No other teams Fan sites have turned into Dreaming for prospects like Cubs sites have……They all talk about what Big League All Star they wish they could get,not dreaming about someday…….You need to show some pride and demand winning from your team and the only way you do that is by boycotting the cus and hitting them in the pocket book…….I have never saw as many empty seats at wringley,say what ya want about hendry but they packed the house.

  • Brian

    At what point if you’re the Royals does this even begin to make sense? They have way too much confidence in bums like Guthrie and that anemic thing they call an offense.

    It’s like history constantly repeats itself and bad teams always seem to make these type of, “Big Time Prospect for Proven Veteran”, and it always seems to backfire on the bad team.

    If they crack 80 wins this year I’ll be shocked.

    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

      Looks like Moustakas will be available at the 2014 trade deadline…

    • ssckelley

      Look at the age and contract status of their roster right now. The Royals are not a big market team but they have a very loyal fan base. They cannot keep rebuilding year after year, at some point they have to go for it. Where their roster is at right now this is the perfect time to make that move. Basically they have 2013 and 2014 to win and reward that loyal fan base before they have to rebuild it. They are banking on being able to continue drafting well and acquiring prospects to keep them rolling after 2014.

      Both the Rays and Royals are playing Moneyball, whether it works or not remains to be seen.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Man, just when the Rangers off-season couldn’t get any worse! I know that there are a lot of teams besides the Rangers who are not getting done what they need to get done (like, say, the Cubs), and that is inevitable: teams need more good players than are available. However, has any organization been so publically thwarted as the Rangers? (The Young trade exacerbates it a little given how popular Young is with the Dallas press and fanbase.) It’s almost like they are paying off some bad karma for bidding $25M too much on Darvish!

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    He changes the name, but all the same…………….

    • King Jeff

      I was thinking……the same thing.

  • ssckelley

    This deal is great for both teams. The Royals starting pitching last year was horrible and Wade Davis and Shields will greatly improve that. They already have a strong bullpen and all kinds of potential on offense so Kansas City is looking to make a run for it these next couple of years. The prospects the Rays got in return will enable them to make another run for it in a couple of years and they still have enough to remain competitive.

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