So it has happened, by now you have heard that Kansas City Royals have traded Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, and Patrick Leonard to the Tampa Bay Rays for major league pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis, and a player to be named later (or cash).
This move speaks of jobs being on the line, both for Ned Yost and more importantly Dayton Moore. Kansas City is now all in for 2013, but sadly it may still not make them a playoff team immediately. All the while, it hurts the franchise in the long run too.
However, without being able to control what happens in our organization, it is what it is. James Shields is now the face of the Kansas City Royals rotation.
Shields, 31 on December 20th, was an All-Star in 2011 and finished third in the Cy Young vote. He owns the Tampa Bay record books in wins and strikeouts among other numerous categories.
The pros are Shields has 14 complete games and six shutout victories in the last two years, he's also third in the American League in strikeouts over that time. In 2011 alone, he threw 11 complete games.
However the downsides of looking at Shields are there as well. He has tossed a lot of innings and has a lot of wear on the arm. Over the last two seasons, he has pitched 477 innings, and at 31, will now likely be starting the decline of his career.
Not to mention, he's only under contract for two seasons. If he does sustain success in Kansas City, he'll likely be traded sometime prior, or leave at the end of 2014 if the Royals happen to be in contention during the year.
Now obviously it's a small sample size, and he'll be on the home side, but Shields also has a 6.35 ERA in four starts in Kansas City. In his career, Shields has a 4.54 road ERA, while he had a 3.33 ERA in games played in Tampa.
It's time to get on board with the new pitching depth, even if you weren't a fan off the trade. Even though Kansas City found their ace, I question if he really will be the standout on the mound that the Royals needed, or should have gotten for the package they gave up.
We knew this type of move was coming for quite awhile, but it still comes as a shock. Dayton Moore is fighting for his job, and unfortunately it may come at the expense of long suffering Royals fans.