It’s been a pretty rough 19 months or so to be a fan of the Colorado Rockies. A combination of ill-fated trades from that time period, poor drafting from the middle to latter part of the last decade, and just plain old rotten luck with injuries and circumstance has left the Rockies with the second worst record in all of baseball over the last 300 games. Yes, it’s been nothing short of terrible – But as Sunday reminded us, it could always be worse.
Yesterday, in what can be described as nothing less than baseball’s equivalent to a daylight armed robbery in a public square, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired Baseball America’s top prospect Wil Myers, pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard from Kansas City. In exchange, the Royals will receive two years’ worth of control of James Shields and half relief pitcher / half starter Wade Davis who was about to get a little too expensive for Tampa’s taste.
With the exception of Odorizzi who pitched a grand total of 7.1 innings last season in Kansas City, none of the four players the Royals gave up have reached the majors, so unless you’re familiar with their farm system, it can take a while to fully appreciate the haul that Tampa just pulled in here.
You could start by noting that Wil Myers was the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award winner for 2012 – And also point out that the last five men to win the honor before him (Jay Bruce, Matt Wieters, Jason Heyward, Jeremy Hellickson, and Mike Trout) have all gone on to be nothing less than solid contributors at the major league level. You could go to the SBNation Royals Review blog and read reactions of the fans who are on the ledge. You could even just read reviews of the trade like here, here, and here that all point to multiple reasons why the Rays dusted the floor with this move.
But even this doesn’t quite grasp the scope of the deal and make it really hit home. For that, we turn to John Sickels of Minor League Ball who ranked the Royals top 20 prospects for 2013 last month. According to him, the Royals just gave up their #1, #4, #14, and #17 prospects – and this man tends to know what he’s talking about when it comes to farm systems. He hasn’t done the Rockies list yet for 2013, but we can still take his 2012 list to get a sense of what just happened here.
Can you imagine what the reaction would be here if Colorado traded away the #1, #4, #14, and #17 prospects on Sickels’s list? Think for just one moment about James Shields and Wade Davis for Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Christian Friedrich, and Rosell Herrera. People would be calling for O’Dowd’s head on a platter!! Either that or just follow the lead of our own Dan Lucero.
If Dan O'Dowd made a trade like Dayton Moore just did, I'd go to the park, find the freshest dog turd, and mail it to 2001 Blake Street.— Dan Lucero (@danluceroshow) December 10, 2012