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Trade Details

Date: December 9, 2012

Kansas City Royals acquire

  • Right-handed pitcher Wade Davis
  • Right-handed pitcher James Shields


Tampa Bay Rays acquire

  • Infielder Patrick Leonard
  • Left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery
  • Outfielder Wil Myers
  • Right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi

Initial Reaction

Passionate Royals fan and Baseball Prospectus co-founder Rany Jazayerli was among the many analysts around the league who believed this trade was lopsided...in favor of Tampa Bay.

RHP James Shields

Kansas City traded for Shields with the expectation that he would continue being one of MLB's most durable starting pitchers. He rewarded the Royals by leading the American League in innings pitched from 2013-14 (455.2 IP) and helping the franchise end its 29-year postseason drought.

RHP Wade Davis

The Royals hoped Davis could join Shields as an effective member of the starting rotation, but he had to settle into a bullpen role after struggling throughout the 2013 season. In hindsight, that "disappointment" was the best thing that could've happened for both the player and team. Davis blossomed into a dominant closer, ranking first among all qualified MLB relievers from 2014-2016 in earned run average (1.18 ERA).

Davis K's Flores, Royals Win World Series (2015)

After coming up one game short of the 2014 title, the Royals made it back to the World Series the following year. Davis didn't allow a single run during eight appearances in that postseason, and he was on the mound for the final out.

OF Wil Myers

Initially, this trade appeared that it might benefit both sides equally. Myers impressed in his first season with the Rays and earned AL Rookie of the Year honors while helping them make the postseason. Unfortunately, he slumped throughout 2014 and the club decided to trade him away that December.

Trade's Legacy

Prior to this blockbuster, the Royals were considered one of baseball's most embarrassing, hopeless franchises. Shields and Davis played critical roles in the turnaround.
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