On this date in 2012, the Rays ended one era and began another as they sent RHP James Shields, along with RHP Wade Davis and a player to be named later (INF Elliot Johnson) to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for the No.3 top prospect in all of baseball, OF Wil Myers as well as RHP Jake Odorizzi, LHP Mike Montgomery, and INF Patrick Leonard.
James Shields had been a longtime staple at the top of the Rays rotation, helping to guide the team to three playoff runs and also served as a mentor to all of the other pitchers in the organization. Wade Davis meanwhile had been solid towards the backend of the Rays rotation for a few years. Elliot Johnson was a decent player off the bench who would partake in any role given to him.
Wil Myers meanwhile was one of the top prospects in all baseball and was being hyped as baseball’s next big thing. Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery were solid pitching prospects, and Patrick Leonard had just decimated opposing pitchers in the Rookie Leagues.
So how did it work out?
James Shields brought his leadership ability to Kansas City and was a solid top of the line starter for two years before becoming a free agent. Wade Davis meanwhile, was moved to the bullpen and became one of the top relievers of the current decade helping the Royals to a World Series victory in 2015. Elliot Johnson would struggle while with the Royals and would not finish the season with them.
Wil Myers came to Tampa Bay with much fanfare and although it took awhile for him to make his debut, he quickly showed that he had what it took to be an above average major leaguer. But, then also showed that he needed some more work. He would be hampered with injuries during his two year run with the Rays before being involved in a massive three team deal that sent him to San Diego, with whom he signed a long term extension.
Jake Odorizzi has become an essential part of the Rays organization, serving near the top of the rotation since 2014, quietly turning in solid years. Mike Montgomery would be traded for RHP Erasmo Ramirez at the end of spring training in 2015. Later, he would be traded to the Chicago Cubs, actually recording the final out of the 2016 World Series. Patrick Leonard slowly climbed through the Rays organization, spending this past season with the Durham Bulls, and although he did have a solid year, he would not be promoted. Leonard became a free agent at the end of the season.