UPDATE - James Shields receives $750,000 as a bonus for being traded, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports:
James Shields receives $750,000 trade bonus as a result of trade, source says. @mlbonfox— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 10, 2012
ORIGINAL - The Kansas City Royals have traded major major prospect Wil Myers along with Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for James Shields and Wade Davis (first reported by Marc Topkin), according to Ken Rosenthal:
Source: #Rays will send James Shields and Wade Davis to #Royals for Wil Myers and other prospects.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2012
Wil Myers has been been dangled as trade bait by Royals General Manager Dayton Moore pretty much since the end of the World Series, if not before. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star suggested as far back as August that Myers' minor league success (and Jeff Francouer's comically bad performance in RF combined with his $7.5 million 2013 salary) could lead to a Frenchy trade this off-season.
However, once the post-season passed and the Royals' obvious need for a starter transcended every other need (like basic understanding of years of team control, value, aging ... I could go on), something changed. Suddenly it was Wil Myers was the movable piece, not Frenchy.
First came the rumors that it was Myers-for-Shields, which received a well-justified backlash considering Shields is under team control for 2 more seasons while Myers is under control for 5 (I need to check that part). Then the rumors were Myers for Dickey, but that was no-go, and then it was Jon Lester, but that wouldn't happen either.
And here we stand. The Royals have traded away their one can't miss prospect for 2 years of James Shields. Yes, there's Wade Davis, and there's that "other prospects" business which needs to be addressed which we can save for the next update.
But for now it's clearly obvious the Royals are playing for 2013, and it's just as obvious Dayton Moore probably made the one move that will either get him fired -- or save his job. How long will it take to find out whether he was right?