Standing Up For The Royals.

I know the Royals have a reputation as notorious cheapskates, BUT, if they only would’ve taken my advice of dealing Alex Gordon for Cliff Lee, they wouldn’t be getting their blue and white blood spattered all over the web for dealing super prospect Wil Myers (and others) for James Shields and Wade Davis.

Wil Myers was the most productive positional player in minor league baseball last year. 37 homers, 109 RBIs, .314 average and a .987 OPS across two levels. Because the Rays, who plunder their partners in seemingly every deal (even where both teams lose), I’m certain those 2012 numbers Myers put up will be his FIRST HALF in Tampa whenever he makes his arrival. That’s. A. Joke. But since it’s the Royals, just a year or so off the Sanchez (DFA’d) for Melky (sorta won a batting title) transaction, maybe the joke’s on me.

You’re right. Myers for MVP!

I don’t get caught up in the hype of prospects like I used to. I think I got too carried away as a kid when Donruss flamboyantly tagged a player a RATED ROOKIE. As a ten year old baseball card collecting kid, in my thesaurus, RATED ROOKIE was just another way of saying Hall Of Fame. That means you Andy Benes.

Candidly, I didn’t even really buy into Trout and Harper until they consistently produced in the Majors. As decorated as Trout was in the minors, his cup of coffee as a 19 year old with the Angels in 2011, where he batted .220, didn’t offer much foresight into what the baseball-breathing planet got from him this past season. I might like to be progressive minded and enjoy all the shiny new toys, but I’ve got to have something concrete to support my excitement. Sometimes, no, maybe even often times, triumphant minor league numbers…stay there.

So, really, I don’t know what Wil Myers will be. As one of seven people outside of Florida who follow, and even cheer for the Rays, I hope Myers reaches an All Star level, and quickly.

Even if Myers doesn’t smack down his best Mike Trout impression on the AL, and he posts more typical rookie numbers (let’s say .260/18 homers/70 RBIs), I would still need some avid convincing, as the rosters stand at this moment, that the Rays aren’t the favorites in the verrrrrrrrrrry wide open AL East.

Losing Shields and Wade Davis (compliments to him for an outstanding season from the bullpen) is just not a big deal for the Rays. David Price won his FIRST (as in, more are likely) Cy Young, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore as a top three can fairly easily go nose to nose with the Tigers top three of Verlander, Fister and Scherzer. Some combination of Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Jeff Niemann, the newly acquired Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizza (from the Royals), and others in Spring Training will battle to fill out the back end of the Rays rotation.

For good measure, the rebuilt infield of a healthy Longoria, Yunel Escobar, Ben Zobrist and James Loney eradicates the Rays defensive short comings from 2012.

If there’s a way the Rays fall into a catcher who isn’t an instant out, they vault past the Tigers, for me, as favorites in the American League. Of course…other transactions pending, like Josh Hamilton.

Ahhhhh, the Tigers. American League Champions. A team built to power its way through October with emphatic pitching. They’ve upgraded their outfield situation by bringing in Torii Hunter, and they’re still exploring what to do with the short stop position. Let’s not forget that the Tigers fended off the rest of the AL Central with just 88 wins.

Let’s bring the Royals back into this. They’ve got Shields and Davis in this deal, on top of having already brought in Ervin Santana and resigned Jeremy Guthrie. Not really a collection that scares you, but at least it rids them of having long time first overall draft bust, Luke Hochevar from being too close to the top of the rotation.

I, like many, thought the Royals, with their young core ready to emerge, would win more than 72 games in 2012. Billy Butler and Alex Gordon have solidified themselves and provided us with what to expect annually from them. But the kids with All Star upside, Mike Moustaskas and Eric Hosmer, struggled mightily last year. Will they get it this year? I can’t say, because I thought they’d have gotten it last year. 2013 would be an optimal time for Hosmer and Moustaskas to blossom. If not, and Myers is a legend (remember, he’s a Ray, he will be!), this deal is the Shakespearean tragedy the internet is saying it is.

The second half of this decade may have the Royals plagued with regret for having given up Myers, especially when/if James Shields can’t maintain his pristine health or leaves after 2014, but for the short term, I may be the only one in this expanse known as the Internet that believes the Royals made a clever little deal to try and briskly close the not-so-insurmountable gap between themselves and Detroit – a team who should be dreading that Greinke deal. It gets Verlander 30 million a year starting in 2015.

Yes, the Internet is obliterating the Royals today. Google it if necessary. But they’re used to it. It’s been that way before even the web existed. Another few days of poignant criticism won’t do any further damage to the Kansas City psyche. Besides, since they didn’t heed my advice to do a Lee for Gordon swap in order to keep Myers, then maybe they’ll go another uncharacteristic route I suggested.

Sign Josh Hamilton on top of this.


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