The Tampa Bay Rays have been looking to trade at least one of their starting pitchers all off-season, and they have finally found a suitor. Late on Sunday night, news broke that the Rays have traded starters James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals for four prospects in return:
#Royals acquire RHPs James Shields, Wade Davis and player to be named or cash from Tampa Bay for Myers, Odorizzi, Montgomery and Leonard.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) December 10, 2012
Wil Myers was recently rated the #1 prospect in the Royals' system by Baseball Prospectus, and he was rated the #3 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America back in July. He hit 37 home runs in Double and Triple-A last year at the age of 21, and he's arguably the biggest offensive prospect in the minors at the moment. While it's questionable if the Rays will start Myers in the majors or minors in 2013, the Rays are surely hoping he can be a middle-of-the-order bat for them for many years to come.
Jake Odorizzi is a 22-year-old starting pitcher that finished the year in Triple-A, and he was rated the #4 prospect in the Royals' system by FanGraphs and the #6 prospect in their system by Baseball Prospectus. He's nearly ready for the majors leagues, and gives the Rays another starting pitcher to help restock their system.
Mike Montgomery is a 23 year old starting pitching prospect that a 5.69 ERA and 4.95 FIP in Triple-A last season, and Patrick Leonard is a 20 year old third base prospect with some power. Both players could have their uses with the Rays, but the big additions are definitely Myers and Odorizzi.
James Shields is owed over $20 million over the final two years of his contract, while Wade Davis has two more guaranteed years on his contract before the first of three team options kick in. The Royals will hope that Shields had provide them with a rotation ace, while they will likely try to transition Wade Davis back into the rotation after spending the 2012 season in the bullpen.