Deadspin Re-Opens the Wil Myers-for-James Shields Debate for the 716,842nd Time

December 12, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore (left), newly acquired pitcher James Shields (center), and manager Ned Yost display Shield

This debate is never going to go away, is it?

Deadspin wrote a piece today extolling the virtues of James Shields and Wil Myers as the Royals and Rays each try to nail down a wild card spot. The post was flattering of both, and noted how each team needed each player in order to get the point they are today.

Here a short excerpt:

Recall just why the Wil Myers-James Shields trade was so controversial: both teams were trying to get better. In most cases, these kind of marquee, ace-for-prospects trades involve one team clearly embarking on a rebuilding course and another trying to load up for a playoff run. But this trade was something else, a fair exchange that came with an unspoken and built-in challenge: Let’s see who made the right choice.

It is the “challenge” part that keeps bringing this deal up: The winner hasn’t been decided yet.

And there will be a winner, that’s how these things go. Yes, it is possible for both teams to benefit heavily from the trade, but one team is going to benefit from the trade more than the other. It’ll play itself out either in the standings, statistically, or in the each team is allowed to move forward in the future. Someone is going to be declared a winner eventually.

What we do know is that the “winner” of this trade probably isn’t going to be determined this year. There are still many variables still left at play. As a result, this debate is going to continue for a long time. Maybe forever.

I’m not looking forward to that.

Topics: James Shields, Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, Wil Myers

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  • jimfetterolf

    Royals seem well ahead at the moment, unblocking David Lough pretty much neutralizes Myers for this year and alone makes it good for the Royals as power doesn’t play at the K while exceptional defense makes our pitchers much better.

    Myer is a talent, but Royal’s fans have seen a steady parade of messiahs come through town and it will take a few years to decide whether Myers is George Brett or Clint Hurdle. My guess is he’ll be Alex Gordon without the defense. Another guess is that the Royals wouldn’t be playing meaningful games in September without Shields and Davis.

    • BobDD

      At the moment Myers has a 138 OPS+ and Lough 92, so the idea that Myers has not been missed is erroneous. And going forward I really do not think that anyone would choose Lough as superior or even equivalent to Myers.

      So we will have six cost controlled years of Myers to judge against over $20M of Shields for 2 years to see which was more valuable. About the only way Myers can lose that competition is to flame out entirely. Possible, but it was a horrid gamble by Dayton Moore from the beginning.

      If the Royals make the playoffs this year and Myers ends up giving triple the production over those six years for half the cost of two years of Shields, will some still call it a good trade for KC? Yes, they will, but they will be wrong.

      • jimfetterolf

        Going on WAR, which includes all facets of the game, so comfortable with Lough-Myers being a wash this year. In the future, who knows? Myers is starting out about like Hosmer did or even Angel Berroa and not as good as Salvy Perez, so, like Gordon, it might take a few years to find out what he will be.

        As for the long term, KC needed to win this year and they needed pitching to do it, so they got what they needed and gave up four minor leaguers to do it. Having Myers in RF and not having Shields and Davis would have the team needing to be lucky to reach 80 wins. Winning gives the kids good experience, makes the place more attractive to FAs, and energizes the fan base. Unless Myers becomes Trout, which he wouldn’t have done at the K, it was a good trade. I think most see it as a win/win for KC and Tampa.