This isn't really surprising news, but I saw he was fielding tweets, including this one (not mine):
keeping Myers is an advantage. We traded him because of payroll. Wanted pitching; could've gotten it with w/$ not Myers.
Mr. Dutton's response to this reader was simply:
Am I missing something here? This seems to imply that the Royals valued two years of not-exactly cheap James Shields so highly that they passed on the FA pitching market to instead trade one of the top prospects of baseball for them.
So I added my two cents:
@CommissarTaco (me): Shields is nothing the Royals would not have got from Ryan Dempster. The price would have been his salary.
I got the response:
Man, I was kind of hoping for more than that. I was hoping that someone who covers the Royals on a regular basis might make an actual argument. "Your opinion" works fine when debating whether Lincoln or Seven Psychopaths was the more enjoyable experience--different kinds of people, with legitimate opinions, are going to disagree--but it's not that great when discussing the merit of trades in baseball. The fact is, signing another free agent pitcher--Dempster, or even going for broke with Greinke or something--and keeping Myers was better in the long term. And that's what me this other guy who's tweet I jumped on were hinting it. Bob Dutton's not really having it, though.
The exciting conclusion:
@Royals_Report Fine @CommissarTaco Indeed, but I think I've got a pretty good basis for it. Trading Myers wasn't necessary to improve the pitching.
Anyone who has more experience with Dutton's tweets find him to similarly so brief?
Well anyway, that part really doesn't matter. And Shields probably is the safer bet versus Dempster - I really only brought up Dempster because he was the first non-back of the rotation FA that popped into my mind. The potential difference between the two isn't worth Myers, but you can sub you favorite FA pitcher in, and the argument still works.
I'm mainly just stuck on the idea that the Royals wanted Shields, rather than "any good starting pitcher." The sad thing is, that's probably true. Mr. Dutton never responded to my question about what makes Shields a better option than any other good pitcher. I'm sure it's because he couldn't possibly know. "Wanted Shields" does not explain, or justify trading Myers for Shields, when other options were available.
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