A Look Back: Rays Trade Shields, Davis to Royals for Prospects
On December 9, 2012 the baseball world was rocked when the Tampa Bay Rays traded RHP James Shields, RHP Wade Davis and a Player to be Named Later (INF Elliot Johnson) to the Kansas City Royals for four prospects in OF Wil Myers, RHP Jake Odorizzi, LHP Mike Montgomery and INF Patrick Leonard. With two full seasons since the trade, let’s take a look at how each player has performed since being dealt.
OF Wil Myers: At the time of the trade, Myers was ranked the No. 3 prospect in the Minors by MLB.com, coming off a season in which he hit 37 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A. He began the 2013 season with Durham before a mid-June promotion to Tampa Bay, and he went on to win the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year award despite playing just 88 games. In 2014 he was slowed by injuries, appearing in just 87 contests for Tampa Bay while making seven rehab appearances for the Bulls.
RHP Jake Odorizzi: Like Myers, Odorizzi was a big piece of the deal as he finished the 2012 season as the No. 30 prospect in the Minors on MLB.com’s list. The 2013 season saw Odorizzi post a solid 9-6 season with a 3.33 ERA with the Bulls, and this year he spent all of 2014 with the Rays after winning the battle for the team’s 5th starter out of Spring Training. In his first full season in the Majors, the 24-year-old went 11-13 with a 4.13 ERA while striking out 174 batters in 168.0 innings.
LHP Mike Montgomery: After a 2013 season that saw him go 7-8 with a 4.72 ERA for the Bulls, Montgomery rebounded with a 10-5 campaign in 2014. The southpaw opened the season on a tear, going 9-1 over his first 17 starts en route to being named an International League Midseason All-Star. He’s currently on Tampa Bay’s 40-Man Roster but is still looking to make his Major League debut.
INF Patrick Leonard: This season Leonard enjoyed a breakout year hitting .284-13-58 en route to being named Advanced-A Charlotte’s Team MVP. Just 21, his .448 slugging percentage was third-best in the Florida State League while going a perfect 14-for-14 in stolen base attempts in just his third professional season.
RHP James Shields: “Big Game James” was already a household name when the deal was completed, racking up an 87-73 mark over seven seasons in Tampa Bay. The right-hander has gone 27-17 in his first two seasons with the Royals, helping them to their first postseason and World Series berths since 1985.
RHP Wade Davis: Davis spent parts of three seasons with the Rays as a starter before converting to a reliever in 2012. He moved back into the rotation in 2013 and struggled in his first season in Kansas City, going 8-11 with a 5.32 ERA. This year he reverted back to the bullpen though and was one of the best relievers in baseball, going 9-2 while posting an ERA of 1.00 in 71 appearances, anchoring the eighth inning for the American League champs.
INF Elliot Johnson: Though the initial trade was completed in December of 2012, Johnson didn’t join the Royals organization until February 2013 as the Player to be Named Later. After appearing in 79 games with Kansas City that season, Atlanta picked him up off waivers in August for the remainder of the season. Prior to the 2014 season Johnson signed a deal with Cleveland and spent the majority of the season for Triple-A Columbus, and was granted his release at the end of September.