It was only a matter of time before the Tampa Bay Rays traded one of their top pitchers, and on Sunday the rotation got a little less cluttered. Many expect ace and Cy Young winner David Price to be a name to be on the move, but for now it’s one of his teammates trading in the Rays jersey for another — but the colors aren’t that different.
The Rays traded both James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas CIty Royals on Sunday night in a package that includes top outfield prospect Wil Myers and other minor league players.
The move signifies two things: one, that the Rays have one of the most loaded rotations in baseball and the other that the Royals are finally making their most aggressive push towards actually competing. Now that they’ve pulled off another stellar trade, Kansas City is finally doing something that fans have been literally waiting a decade for — moving away from thinking about the future and actually going there.
First off, the Rays cleared nearly $12 million off their books by trading away Shields and Davis. Don’t cry too long for the Rays, as even after trading away two pitchers Tampa Bay still has a rotation that consists of David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, and Alex Cobb along with a loaded bullpen that won’t miss Davis that much.
What the Rays can do now, is make a play that will throw the Yankees off course, at least in theory. With their newly freed up $12 million, the Rays could go hard after Kevin Youkilis, both stealing him away from the Yankees and securing a solid DH in their lineup.
As for the Royals, they may finally be a competitive team in the A.L. Central. Last year the Royals showed a glimmer of promise, and they’ve flirted with contending on a whim before, but with the addition of Shields the Royals may finally have a solid enough rotation to keep them afloat. Kansas City brought back Jeremy Guthrie and traded for Angels castaway Ervin Santana earlier this winter.
The Royals now themselves have a log jam at pitcher with as many as seven pitchers who clocked in over 100 innings of work last season. Shields and Santana become the two leaders of the staff with Guthrie and Chris Volstad also likely securing spots in the rotation.
It’s rare that both teams win so much in one trade that sends a top pitcher from one team to another, but the Rays and Royals just pulled that off. The only thing now is to see if the trade comes together on the field as well as it appears off it.