Ken Rosenthal has an interesting piece up today detailing some of the behind-the-scenes dealings that occured surrounding the James Shields trade. The Royals were at first very reluctant to part with a massive collection of prospects that Tampa Bay was demanding for Shields.
Moore, using a dry-erase board, ranked all of the Royals’ top prospects by position. And then, after informing those in the room that the Rays would not waver in their demands for right-handers James Shields and Wade Davis, he started erasing names.
Makes me think Dayton Moore should shill for UPS.
Rosenthal seems to imply how the Royals had their prospects ranked. We at Royals Review have that list of prospects with an EXCLUSIVE look at the Royals internal scouting report on those players:
1. OF Wil Myers - not versatile enough to play 3B; trade bait
2. OF Bubba Starling - rock star
3. OF Jorge Bonifacio - hells yea
4. P Jake Odorizzi - MLB-ready, but expendable with Hochevar in the fold
5. P Kyle Zimmer - great pick off move, fields position well
6. P Yordano Ventura - great velocity, but does he have mentality and intellect of an ace?
7. P Jason Adam - local kid, OFF-LIMITS
8. P Mike Montgomery - due for a promotion
9. P Danny Duffy - hurt, needs to be grittier and not get hurt
10. P John Lamb - hurt, should get him on the mound as soon as possible to build up his tolerance for pain
11. P Chris Dwyer - WE BELIEVE
12.P Donnie Joseph - must validate Braxton signing
13.P Justin Marks - I know he's not a prospect by any reasonable person's definition of "prospect", but we got him for DeJesus, so he's a prospect dammit
14.3B Patrick Leonard - pretty good, but expendable with Cuthbert, who apparently is even lower on this list
Meanwhile, back in Arizona, Kevin Towers was busy assembling the greatest roster full of grit that ever existed. Already armed with the Captain of Grit, Kirk Gibson, and "The Spork" Willie Bloomquist, Towers acquired Cody Ross, Cliff Pennington, and Didi "The Next Derek Jeter" Gregorious. But he needed to deal the talented but grit-less superstar outfielder Justin Upton. That's when Tampa Bay and Texas stepped in with a proposed three-team trade that would send Upton to Texas, Shields to Arizona, and a boatload of prospects to Tampa Bay. Kevin Towers was going all in. He was going to out-Dayton Dayton Moore.
Luckily for us, that deal fell apart, and Dayton was able to swoop in and pick up the pieces with a bold swap for James Shields.
Myers, 22, is one of the game’s top offensive prospects, a right-handed hitter who draws comparisons to Dale Murphy. The Royals didn’t want to trade him. But they had no other choice if they wanted Shields and Davis.
They had no other choice. They had to get James Shields. There were literally no other pitchers they could have gotten. I mean, had Arizona pulled off the Shields trade themselves, they probably don't sign Brandon McCarthy, and would you want the Royals to be left having only guys like Brandon McCarthy left to choose from? THEY HAD NO CHOICE!
"If you focus on what you’re giving up, you’ll never make a deal," Moore said. "It will paralyze you. You’ve got to focus on what you’re getting and what it brings to your team."
Which is why when they dealt Zack Greinke, they tried to get the best deal possible regardless of the team he would be going to. They absolutely did not care if he went to a rival American League club or not. You don't get hung up about what you're giving up, that is how you limit your maximum return.
Jeremy Guthrie raises a good point regarding the Royals "all-in" philosophy:
"You can only stockpile prospects for so long. If you never cash out, you just continue to roll the dice with 10-20 prospects, maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t."
The Royals are at a point now where they can't depend on risky prospects. They need sure things - dependable veterans like Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie. Just look how solid and dependable those pitchers were last year.
The deal hurt. It might hurt for a long time. But for the Royals, at that moment, there was no turning back.
This Plaza Parade only moves in one direction baby. FORWARD.
Other links today:
The Rays think Wil Myers has some things to work on. Perhaps a shot at the Royals development or just some excuse-making to keep Wil in the minors til the Super-Two cutoff date.
Rany Jazeryli also had a Q&Aand teasingly called out Royals Review for being too easy on Dayton Moore. (h/t BabyBlues)
In case you missed it, Baseball Prospectus released their Top 101 Prospects list and the Royals Adalberto Mondesi was a surprising entry.
Steve Physico has no soul. (h/t Gross(est))
He also likes the comedy stylings of George Lopez and Carrot Top.
Yahoo's Big League Stew identifies each MLB team in a movie cameo. The Royals entry is a bit weak - as the opposition in "Moneyball." Any better options? They were pretty prominent in "The Bronx is Burning." Has George Brett ever appeared in a movie? Bo?
Our neighbors across the parking lot have also traded the future for a good, but not franchise-changing player, with similar outcry.
I still do not tire of this: