Trading youth is not something that I am often if favor of. This is a time that I think I do. Having Wil Myers, the Minor League player of the year by Baseball America, ready to step in and help the MLB team is a huge asset.
Valuing assets is what makes average teams better than average. If a team values the next six years of Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi at the value of one of the more consistent arms in the A.L.,James Shields as well as a dominant reliever or good starter Wade Davis, I understand pulling the trigger.
This gives the Royals two good starters. Both are better than Jeremy Guthrie that they will be paying at least $25 million over the next 3 years. If the Royals can put up some offense and with their new pitching rotation, they could compete in the A.L. Central. With that, they may be able to acquire better talent to add to their youth as it develops, because they have another wave of talent coming.
This is just a boost to jump ahead a year or two. It comes at a cost, but what is that cost. No one knows what Mike Montgomery is or will be. He could be good or we may have seen the best of him already. Odorizzi may not be any better than Wade Davis. A back of the rotation starter or a reliever. Myers could be a solid RF that could be a 3+ win a year player but my bet is that he will produce 6 or 7 wins over the next 6 years before hitting his stride. Patrick Leonard is the wild card here. Players with his profile have turned into first division starters and stars. There is a chance of that.
To me the cost is Montgomery and Leonard. Is that worth not pulling this trigger? I don't think so.
Davis and Shields could put up as much value over the time they are currently signed than Myers, Odorizzi and the rest put up in Rays uniforms and Davis and Shields will do it NOW. There is value in that.
IF the Royals compete this year and have a solid pitching rotation next year, maybe then they have a shot at landing a free agent bat they wouldn't have in the past without over paying. What is that worth? This trade only has proper value is they use this to build the MLB team correctly. That is a daunting challenge for KC.
I like this deal a lot for the Royals. It's the cost of building from the bottom up. It will upset fans and may come back to haunt them but it may be a catalyst to move the Royals up in the standings and make them a contender again.
I like the Rays get here as well. Again it all depends on how you value it. The way the Rays operate, it could work well for them too and a 7 year, 22 million dollar deal would await Myers from his agent if I were the Rays GM.