Wade Davis and the Royal Reality

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On Wednesday, Royals fans had to say good-bye to their Cyborg, Wade Davis.  Davis was traded to the Cubs for outfielder Jorge Soler.  Many Royals fans are reasonably upset, Davis was a fan favorite and had one of the best stretches any reliever has ever had in baseball history.  This isn’t even mentioning the fact that he struck out Wilmer Flores to capture the Royals’ first World Series title in thirty years.

Wade Davis will be missed and it’s okay to be upset.  Davis is like Baymax from the movie Big Hero 6.  He started out as a normal player, the afterthought of the James Shields trade in 2013.  He struggled early on in his tenure with Kansas City as a starter.  He was then moved to the bullpen and became a run stopping machine (or Cyborg).  We all felt the way Hiro did when [**SPOILER**] Baymax had to use his rocket fist to send Hiro back through the portal to save his life.  We didn’t want to say “I am satisfied with my care” or, in this case, “Cyborg, deactivate”.  It’s hard to see a guy who was a huge part of your team’s success go to another club.  However, that is the nature of the beast for the Royals.

The Royals are a small market team with a horrible television contract and a farm system depleted after trades for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist.  The trades were worth it; however, the bill is here and payment is due. 

The Royals have a lot of their core coming up for free agency after this season and they’re not going to be able to sign them all.  Therefore, you’ll probably see them trade a few players that you don’t want to see let go.  Odds are Davis will not be the last one you’ll see traded before seasons end, especially if the Royals are not contending for a playoff spot around the trade deadline. 

However, this isn’t as bad as the dark years.  The Royals have Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez, and Yordano Ventura wrapped up for a long time.  When the Royals do get new and younger players, they’ll have key parts already in place to teach those players how to win at the big-league level.

Jorge Soler, the player the Royals received in return for Davis, is only twenty-two years old and has tremendous upside.  Cubs manager Joe Maddon compared him to Vladimir Guerrero.  This is more like when the Royals obtained Jermaine Dye from the Braves for Michael Tucker and Keith Lockhart.  Dye was a young, talented, and unproven right fielder.  The consensus was that if Dye ever figured it out, he’d be one of the best players in baseball.  Dye did figure it out and had a very productive career, including being elected to the All-Star Game in 2000 with the Royals.  Soler could be the next Jermaine Dye.

They are not in as bad of a situation as many would be lead you to believe in.  It will be tough saying good-bye to our favorites.  However, there is reason for optimism and for hope.  The future looks good and we’ll always have the memories from the past.

In the meantime, it is time to say good-bye to the hero of Game 6 of the 2015 American League Championship Series while also welcoming Jorge Soler.  We thank you, Wade Davis, and we will miss you in Kansas City.

Cyborg, deactivate.

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Christopher Till

Author: Christopher Till

Christopher is a lifelong Royals fan who loves long walks on the beach, sunsets, and trips to #DongTown. He also loves writing about the Royals (pants optional). Ian Kennedy once ruined a perfect game Chris had going (though, to be fair, Chris' pitch came before the game with nobody in the batter's box). His favorite Royals' memory is sitting in Section 401 with his daughter when Salvador Perez laced a line drive past Josh Donaldson to win the 2014 American League Wild Card Game.

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