Well, it happened.
Someone gave Dayton Moore the keys to a bunch of young, promising players and he went and traded them all for two years of an expensive 31-year-old and some other guy (and maybe another guy?).
Justin did a pretty damn good job of summing up the Royals' fan perspective last night, but just in case he didn't convince you, here's a smattering of views from well-respected KC fans across the interwebs.
Craig Brown and the rest of the good folks at Royals Review have a hint of resigned sadness about them in their analysis of the deal. They put their trust in "the process" for years only to watch Moore ultimately give up on the plan for a short-term gain:
As fans, when we looked ahead to the 2013 season, there were two names that topped our list of players we were anxious to see contribute full time: WIl Myers and Jake Odorizzi...
Now they're gone.
This is the first time since The Process started in earnest that Dayton Moore has moved a prospect chip in exchange for big league talent. This means he's going for it. But can he afford to go for it? This is a move that smells of desperation...
This move is from a General Manager who is, as I've noted before, on the hot seat. His contract runs out in 2014 and the clock is ticking. He's had a longer tenure than Allard Baird with less major league success.
Dayton Moore is fighting for his job. When that happens, you sacrifice the long term plan for the short term gain.
From Grantland writer and (former?) Royals super-fan Rany Jazayerli:
From former KC Star columnist and current Jedi Master at Sports on Earth Joe Posnanski:
I felt a great disturbance in the force.— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) December 10, 2012
While the large amount of the reaction around the net seems to be of the "Royals are doomed" variety, not all writers are writing Dayton Moore's eulogy.
JD Sussman of Bullpen Banter:
It’s impossible to know why Dayton Moore made this trade. Maybe he was trying to save his job. Maybe he really believes that Myers will not hit for power – as reported. Maybe ownership wouldn’t okay buying another free agent starter after committing $12 million to Ervin Santana and $26 million to Jeremy Guthrie. This may have forced him to make a trade (albeit, the wrong one). In all, there is a lot of upside on this Royals squad. The defense is very good; Moustakas, Hosmer, Cain, Duffy and Perez should all be healthy and could improve; Francouer could regress towards the league average, making him more useful than he was in 2011; the same could be said for WadeDavis and Santana too.
From Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
People will crush the Royals. People always crush the Royals, and they mostly deserve it after nine straight losing seasons, the last 6-1/2 under general manager Dayton Moore.
But not this time.
Not after obtaining 40 percent of their 2013 starting rotation Sunday night without trading a single major leaguer in their stunning blockbuster with the Rays..."I love prospects, but uncle," one GM said Sunday night. "Myers is no slam dunk. He better hit a ton. And maybe he will. But this is far from a lopsided deal..."
People will crush the Royals. People always crush the Royals. But trust me, the Rays sure don’t feel like they won the trade.
From Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
To the Royals, Shields is The Piece. In his six years as general manager, Moore has done something his predecessors dating back to John Schuerholz couldn't: build a team that looks like it can contend, one with a dynamic core of young everyday players and a dynamite bullpen that assaults radar guns everywhere. The only thing missing was starting pitching...
Desperate? Hell yeah this was a desperate trade. More than a quarter-century of irrelevance tends to foster desperation...
It was a necessary trade. Not necessary because Moore is trying to save his job – any GM who cultivates the farm system Moore has and locks in Perez, Escobar, Gordon and Butler to superb contracts is doing something right – but because he understood that without better pitching, the Royals weren't winning the American League Central, let alone a World Series.
The final jury on this one will be out for a while, of course, but it's always fun to start the week off with some instant analysis on a massive deal like this one.