It’s been three days since the blockbuster trade between the Rays and Royals, and fans from both teams have mixed feelings about the deal. The Rays traded pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis for Royals prospects Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, and Patrick Leonard.
When fans from either team discuss the deal, James Shields and Wil Myers are the two players being talked about the most. Myers was the Royals number one prospect, and Royals fans cannot believe that Kansas City was willing to give him up since he has been compared to the Milwaukee Brewers’ hitter Ryan Braun. Fans hoped Myers would help boost the Royals offense and make them contenders in the AL Central division. Although Royals fans acknowledge that James Shields can bolster Kansas City’s pitching rotation now, they wonder if he will still be worth the trade in a few years, as he will turn thirty-one this month and is under team control for just two more seasons. Myers and the other three prospects offered a promising future for the Royals for years to come but now will see their futures play out in Tampa Bay.
While Kansas City fans have mixed emotions about welcoming James Shields and Wade Davis and letting go of four of their top prospects, Rays fans seem to have a more united approach to the trade: how could the Rays let James Shields go? Royals fans know that James Shields can improve their starting rotation, but Rays fans love everything Shields has done for Tampa Bay in his six seasons with them. Shields holds the franchise record in Tampa Bay for most wins, 87, strikeouts, 1,250, and complete games, 19, just to name a few. But, Rays fans also love Shields because he was drafted by the Devil Rays in the 2000 amateur draft and represents the homegrown talent Tampa Bay is known for.
Even though fans know the Rays can benefit in the future from adding four top prospects to their farm system, Rays fans cannot let go of their sentimental attachment to Shields and Davis, who came to the Rays in 2009. Once fans grow fond of certain players, trades like these become an emotional rollercoaster. Only time will tell if Rays fans will grow to love Myers, Odorizzi, Montgomery, and Leonard like they do Shields and Davis.