Originally posted on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 12/9/12

Since the start of the Major League Baseball winter meetings, the Rays and Royals have been tied to a deal that involved pitching and prospects with each other or in a multi-team trade. Well late Sunday evening, Tampa Bay and Kansas City completed their much anticipated trade.  AP Photo The Rays sent pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis along with a player to be named or cash to the Royals in exchange for top prospect Wil Myers, pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery, and third baseman Patrick Leonard. The 30-year old Shields (31 by season’s start) was the Rays innings eater. His 227.2 innings pitched in 2012 was fourth highest among major league pitchers. In the past two seasons, he had an ERA of 3.17 with a record of 31-22. Shields recorded the most complete games in all of baseball in 2011 with 11. Will Myers (KC Star Photo) Prospect outfielder Wil Myers will be 22 years old when the season begins. He was the 2012 Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year. In 2012, between the Royals AA and AAA affiliates, Myers hit a combined average of .323 with 37 home runs and 109 RBI (24 HR and 79 RBI in 99 games in AAA). Myers was drafted in the third round of the 2008 amateur draft. Pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi was his team’s Pitcher of the Year in 2012. He finished with a 2.93 ERA, an 11-3 record, 88 strikeouts and 40 walks for Roayls’ AAA affiliate Omaha. The word “prospect” gets thrown around a lot with the Tampa Bay Rays organization. But this trade for them may prove to be their best move in the long run. They free up around $14 million in salary while acquiring young players to keep around for a longer period of time with cheaper price tags. And after missing out on a potential Mike Trout trade last season and passing on Buster Posey in the draft, Friedman and the Rays were not going to play it safe on the trade front anymore. The post Rays pull off a blockbuster of their own appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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