UPDATED: Shields and Davis to KC for Myers, 3 other prospects
UPDATED, 11:11: The deal is James Shields and Wade Davis and a player to be named to the Royals for blue-chip outfield prospect Wil Myers, and three other prospects, righthander Jake Odorizzi, lefthander Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard.
The prize in the deal is Myers, who was the consensus minor-leaguer player of the year after hitting a combined .314 with 37 homers, 109 RBIs and a .987 on-base plus slugging percentage between the Royals' Double- and Triple-A teams. Myers, who turns 22 on Monday, is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-handed masher with the athleticism to play centerfield.
Odorizzi, 22, made it the majors in September was ranked the Royals fifth-best prospect by Baseball America. Montgomery, 23, was ranked their No. 1 prospect, ahead of Myers, going into 2012, but had a second straight rough season. Leonard, 20, was a 2011 draft pick who played at rookie-level Burlington last season, hitting .251 with 14 homers and a .340 on-base percentage.
Shields, who turns 31 this month, has been a Ray his entire pro career, joining the rotation in 2006 and emerging as the leader of the staff. He is the team's all-time leader with 87 wins, 217 starts, 1,250 strikeouts and 1,454 2/3 innings. He also has the franchise's only World Series win. Shields' streak of six consecutive seasons with 200 or more innings is the second longest in the majors.
Davis, 27, was moved to the bullpen last season, and responded well, primarily in a middle-relief role, going 3-0, 2.43 in 54 appearances with 87 strikeouts in 70 innings.
With Shields and Davis traded, the Rays have a stating core of Cy Young Award winner David Price, Jeremy Helllickson, Matt Moore, Jeff Niemann (who is coming off injury), Alex Cobb and Chris Archer, plus Odorizzi.
Myers was considered a first-round talent in 2009 but dropped to the third round due to a $2-million asking price (with an offer to attend South Carolina), and switched from catching to the outfield after the 2010 season..
Though he may not be ready to start this season in the majors (or the Rays may not want him to for arbitration and/or free-agency reasons), Baseball America scouting reports rave about his “outstanding raw power” that he pairs “with an advanced approach at the plate and excellent hand-eye coordination.’’ Overall, BA said, “he projects as an eventual No. 3 hitter in the lineup because of his batting eye and power potential.’’
Odorizzi made his way to the majors last season after going 15-5, 3.03 between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, and was 0-1, 4.91 in two September starts. A 2008 supplemental first-round pick by Milwaukee, he was considered the Brewers top pitching prospect when traded to the Royals in the December 2010 Zack Greinke deal.
Montgomery, 23, was ranked the Royals top overall prospect, even ahead of Myers, going into the 2012 season. But the 6-foot-4 lefthander with a blazing fastball had a disappointing season, going 5-12, 6.07 in 27 starts between Double- and Triple-A, allowing 179 hits and 64 walks in 149 2/3 innings. That after a rough 2011 season at Omaha, going 5-11, 5.32
BREAKING: The Rays have agreed to trade pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals.
The return is not clear yet, but is likely to include blue-chip OF prospect Wil Myers and pitching.