December 10, 2012

Royals Acquire Shields, Deal Myers to Rays: The Kansas City Royals, believing they can contend this coming season in the AL Central, traded top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi along with two other players for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis. Jeff Passan writes that although the Royals have the best young lineup in the Majors, "without better pitching, the Royals weren't winning the American League Central, let alone a World Series."

posted by rcade to baseball at 08:55 AM - 13 comments

Welcome to the latest proxy war between sabermetricians and traditionalists. The stats community feels Kansas City got fleeced yet again. If I were a traditionalist, I'd be nervous that Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal both say this is a great trade because it means Kansas City will "compete" this year. "Compete" is a great word because they'll never be proven wrong. The thing Rosenthal and Heyman miss is, even if this were a straight swap of Myers for Shields, it's 6 years of Meyers rookie deal for 2 years of Shields' at major league prices.

posted by yerfatma at 09:33 AM on December 10, 2012

To be completely honest, as a Red Sox fan I'm gutted we couldn't pull off the proposed Jon Lester for Myers swap.

posted by yerfatma at 09:47 AM on December 10, 2012

KC fan Joe Pos on why it could (but won't) work.

posted by yerfatma at 10:47 AM on December 10, 2012

I hope the trade works out for the Royals. It's hard to believe they haven't been to the post-season since 1985.

posted by rcade at 12:06 PM on December 10, 2012

Jerry Crasnick polls MLB GMs, finds opinion split on the deal, decides that means it's a good one. It's not like he has a dog in the fight though:

"[Tampa GM Andrew] Friedman is revered among the armchair know-it-all crowd, and Kansas City GM Dayton Moore is a convenient punching bag, and this latest deal helped perpetuate that narrative."
As opposed to the old-school fans who have all personally scouted these guys in between running triathlons.

posted by yerfatma at 02:05 PM on December 10, 2012

I hope the trade works out for the Royals. It's hard to believe they haven't been to the post-season since 1985.

Longest franchise streaks of missing playoffs after winning the World Series:

Franchise: Length (year they won before streak)
bold indicates current streak

Arizona Diamondbacks: 1 seasons
Atlanta Braves: 34 seasons (1914)
Baltimore Orioles: 13 seasons (1983)
Boston Red Sox: 28 seasons (1918)
Chicago Cubs: 2 seasons (1908)
Chicago White Sox: 3 seasons (2005)
Cincinnati Reds: 21 seasons (1940)
Cleveland Indians: 28 seasons (1920)
Detroit Tigers: 23 seasons (1945)
Kansas City Royals : 27 seasons (1985)
Los Angeles Angels: 2 seasons (2002)
Los Angeles Dodgers: 7 seasons (1988)*
Miami Marlins: 9 seasons (2003)
Minnesota Twins: 11 seasons (1991)
New York Mets: 4 seasons (1969)
New York Yankees: 4 seasons (1928, 1932, 1943)
Oakland Athletics: 2 seasons (1911)
Philadelphia Phillies: 1 season (2008, 1980)
Pittsburgh Pirates: 16 seasons (1909)
San Francisco Giants: 16 seasons (1889)
St. Louis Cardinals: 18 seasons (1946)
Toronto Blue Jays: 19 seasons (1993)

This includes prior incarnations of the franchises, and only considers teams that won the World Series (or exhibition series between league winners (NL vs AL or AA) prior to 1903). There are eight current franchises that have not won the World Series yet:

Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros
Milwaukee Brewers
San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers
Washington Nationals

Seattle and Washington/Montreal have never made it to the World Series.

*The Los Angeles Dodgers TIED (3-3-1) in their series in 1890 (as the Brooklyn Bridegrooms vs the Louisville Colonels), so the wait of 26 seasons until their next playoff appearance (in 1916 as the Brooklyn Robins) does not count here.

posted by grum@work at 04:08 PM on December 10, 2012

Side note: The Blue Jays, the Marlins, and the Royals are the only three teams in the big four North American leagues that won a championship and have not gotten back to the playoffs for their leagues since then. Every other MLB, NHL, NBA, and NFL team has gotten back to the playoffs since they last won a championship. *

*Current reigning champions (Miami Heat, NY Giants, San Francisco Giants, LA Kings) not included.

posted by grum@work at 04:16 PM on December 10, 2012

Second side note:
Subtract 1 from all those season streaks except the active ones.
If you won in 2001 (Arizona) and made the playoffs the next season (2002), it should be a 0, not a 1.

posted by grum@work at 04:21 PM on December 10, 2012

I would rather my team win the world series and have to wait 25 years or more for the next playoff appearance, than to never win it all.

posted by drezdn at 09:31 PM on December 10, 2012

Do they really have all the pieces to win and Shields is just enough to push them over the hump? If their lineup continues to develop nicely the next two years they could pack a punch offensively, but their rotation is still unimpressive.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:52 AM on December 11, 2012

I'm a KC fan, though I'm seriously considering bailing after this trade. I can't stand it. As Ying Yang rightly pointed out, even if Shields is lights out, are Santana, Guthrie, Luke "this is the year he breaks out ... no seriously this is the year" Hochevar, and Wade Davis really going to put KC over the top?

To me, playoff appearances are nice, but you don't give up all the hard work building for the future for it; you only do that for World Series wins. I feel like the Royals were running a marathon and decided to quit at the 23 mile mark. There is no objective measure I can think of that suggests this deal puts KC over the top as a championship contender. As Rany, Pos, and Prospectus all make clear I think, this was a short-sighted, and probably desperate, move. If the best KC and their fans can hope for is to watch them get killed by the Yankees, Tigers, or Rangers in the postseason then the hopelessness in KC is worse than I thought. As another great leader in KC sports history once put it, you play to win the game!

I hope I'm wrong, but my honest belief is that at best we are getting ~2 years of competent, fun baseball for another decade (at least) of poor, unwatchable baseball.

on edit: what yerfatma said

posted by brainofdtrain at 02:45 PM on December 11, 2012

Wouldn't it be kind of a crutch for the Royals to keep building for the future instead of trying to make it happen now? At some point they have to take their shot.

posted by rcade at 08:01 PM on December 11, 2012


That's a fair point, and there are more than a few folks who think it was time to go for it. I'm not against them taking a shot now, the problem I have is that they gave up way too much to do it. I can understand hitting on 14 every once in a while, but hitting on 19? The gamble feels too risky because if they're wrong they've killed the immediate and long-term future. Plus, as someone pointed out, it has been the KC GM who has lectured fans for years about being patient, so given that I think that it's valid to say "so, we've waited over 5 years for this, Santana, Guthrie, and Shields? That's it?" Shields is great, and it will be fun to watch him, and I hope I'm wrong. I just think that as great as he is, he's not good enough for what was given.

To put it another way: If I have to suffer through 5-6 years of "doing it the right/only way," I expected better. I get how the money works somewhat, that KC is always going to have some disadvantages, and that therefore some present suffering for better days later is inevitable. I'm okay with that, but I want to suffer awful baseball for the sake of titles, not winning 90-95 games and watching Guthrie and Hochevar get destroyed by the Tigers, Yankees, Rangers, etc. I was already doing that in the regular season. Maybe I'm just jaded.

posted by brainofdtrain at 08:29 PM on December 11, 2012

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.