Revisting the James Shields Trade

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Photo: David Eulitt/Getty Images

Photo: David Eulitt/Getty Images

 

That was a bad trade for the Royals. Dayton Moore gave up way too much, and we definitely lost that trade.” –Sarah Davis

 

 

These were the words that I stuck by for about four months. From one perspective, you see that we gave up two top level prospects, Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi, for an ace in James Shields, what we then thought would be a decent starter in Wade Davis, and a useless utility player in Elliot Johnson.

From another point of view, you see that we gave up an outfielder with a good arm, but decent to average offensively at best, a very average, middle of the rotation pitcher, and some guy that has been in the minors for seven years, and hasn’t even sniffed the major league playing field.

I could see how some people, including myself, could view this trade to be very one-sided. James Shields is only under contract until the end of 2014, and Dayton Moore is unlikely to shell out the money in order to keep James Shields. Wade Davis is eligible to become a free agent after the 2016 season. Elliot Johnson? The Kansas City Royals designated him for assignment last year. On the other hand, the Rays have both Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi under contract until the end of the 2020 season. At this point, there is no telling when Mike Montgomery’s contract would be up, and there is no telling whether Montgomery will play on a Major-League baseball field.

“Two years of James Shields, four years of Wade Davis, and not even a full season of Elliot Johnson hardly seems fair for what we gave up.” –Sarah Davis

I said that exact thing at the beginning of the 2014 season. At the midway point, my opinion has changed, and for the better.

2013 Season
IP ERA WHIP BBs Ks BB/9 K/9
228.2 3.15 1.24 68 196 2.7 7.7
2014 Season
IP ERA WHIP BBs Ks BB/9 K/9
130.2 3.65 1.27 27 110 1.9 7.6

 

The above stats are the stats that James Shields has accumulated over 1.5 seasons with the Kansas City Royals. While his numbers are very average this year, Shields has been a workhorse for the Kansas City rotation, and a leader on and off the field.

 

2013 Season
IP ERA WHIP BBs Ks BB/9 K/9
135.1 5.32 0.78 58 114 3.9 7.6
2014 Season
IP ERA WHIP BBs Ks BB/9 K/9
39.2 1.13 0.78 16 62 3.6 14.1

 

 

At the beginning of the 2014 season, I was dead-set on designating Wade Davis for assignment. Last year, Wade Davis was definitely an unwanted commodity among the Kansas City fan base. Fast forward to the All Star Break of the 2014 season, and the fans are complaining, and with good reason, that the best set-up guy in the MLB is not going to the All Star Game.

 

2013 Season
AVG OBP SLG RBIs 2B 3B BBs Ks HRs
0.293 0.354 0.478 53 23 0 33 91 13
2014 Season
AVG OBP SLG RBIs 2B 3B BBs Ks HRs
0.227 0.313 0.354 25 10 0 25 91 5

 

Wil Myers had a great rookie year, to say the least. Myers was voted Rookie of the Year though he only played in 88 games. Myers also recorded four outfield assists last year, and did not error at all. This year, in 53 games played, he’s made three outfield errors, and has already recorded four assists. Although it is tough to factor in injuries to any trade, Myers has had little playing time over a year and a half with Tampa Bay.

 

2013 Season
IP ERA WHIP BBs Ks BB/9 K/9
29.2 3.94 1.21 8 22 2.4 6.7
2014 Season
IP ERA WHIP BBs Ks BB/9 K/9
101 4.01 1.34 39 116 3.5 10.3

Jake Odorizzi spent the first part of his career with Tampa Bay in the minor leagues. In 2013, Odorizzi only made seven appearances (four starts) for the Rays. In 2014, Odorizzi is a very average pitcher. Odorizzi ranks ninth among AL starting pitchers, and is tied for 17th in the MLB.

 

Dayton Moore acquired James Shields and Wade Davis in hopes to boost the Royals rotation, and push Kansas City into the playoffs. The Boys in Blue missed the playoffs by just 3.5 games last year. At the break this year, Kansas City is 6.5 games out of the AL Central lead, and just 2.5 games back of the second American League wild card spot.

Although it would be better to decide the winners and losers of this trade at the end of the year, at this point I would put Kansas City in the winners bracket due to the performances of Wade Davis and James Shields. Not only have they had more playing time at this point in their tenure for Kansas City, they have also been better competitors than Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi have been in their short careers for Tampa Bay.

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Author: Sarah Davis

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  1. Like your differing take. Always good to have both sides to a situation.

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