Desperation is a dangerous thing and can lead to poor decisions. When you can feel that your dream job is in jeopardy, it can make a rational man, one who has preached patience and a trust of “The Process,” become overanxious and make hasty, impatient decisions. Decisions like trading away the consensus minor league player of the year, Wil Myers.
Kansas City Royals GM Dayton Moore is seriously considering doing just that, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
Moore wants to add at least one more impact arm and would prefer to do so by trading prospects from the club’s farm system rather than deal someone off the major-league roster.
“I’d like to use our farm system in a way to support our major-league club now that we have good, young players who are all under control. Now, it’s time to do everything we can to begin to move forward,” Moore told the Star.
Dutton’s piece says trade talks involving the Royals have been underway and that the likes of Boston’s Jon Lester and Tampa Bay’s James Shields have been the targets, with Myers going the other way. As important as a front-of-the-rotation starter is, Kansas City would have to take on a lot of salary and get only a couple years of security from either pitcher. Lester is due to make better than $11 million next year and has a club option for 2014. Shields will earn a total of $21 million over the next two seasons.
Myers, meanwhile, will be under team control for six years and has the potential to be a legitimate cleanup hitter with 30 homer, 100 RBI potential. As one member of the Royals front office wondered, “You’d have a middle-of-the-order bat that’s controllable and affordable. What’s more important?”
I understand the frustration from fans of the Royals. They’ve seen re-building plan after re-building plan come through town for the past 20+ years. They’ve watched as their young hitters have matured, played well, and were traded away. Now, here’s a new batch of young hitters, a group perhaps more promising than any they’ve produced at one time in recent memory. And Myers have the highest ceiling of any of them.
He’s a prospect that has other clubs drooling about acquiring. He might not be rated as highly as Bryce Harper or Mike Trout were last year, but he’s isn’t far behind. Myers clubbed 37 home runs and drove in 109 in 134 games between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012 at age 21. There is no reason, including the contract of Jeff Francoeur, that Myers shouldn’t be the everyday right fielder for the Royals in 2013.
I like Shields and Lester is one of the better southpaws in the game, and arms like those don’t come cheaply. But Myers has a real chance to be a once-in-a-generation bat for a franchise that hasn’t had one of those since George Brett retired, and that’s an awfully difficult thing to want to give away.
If Moore wants to trade away a young player or two to land an impact arm, he’d do well to dig a bit further into his well-stocked farm system.
But “The Process” that Moore has been preaching has taken its toll on the fans and most likely on the front office as well. The pressure is one Moore to bring his club a top-tier pitcher and for the Royals to mature into the winning club they’ve promised to be.
It’s a desperate situation for a man who has staked his career to being patient with his young talent. It would be unwise to jump ship now.