We can judge "Shields-Myers" trade in a decade or so

Rob Neyer

Tuesday night, Jonah Keri and I were talking about the big Royals-Rays trade. By way of noting how hard these things are to evaluate, I mentioned that Wade Davis, sort of a throw-in, is (arguably) having a better season than James Shields, the big prize. And that Davis was actually pretty awful in the role for which the Royals acquired him, only to thrive upon the enaction of Plan B.

All of which is true. But then Jonah sort of blew my mind. I had completely forgotten that the Royals sent, in addition to hot prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi, a couple of lesser prospects.

Well, those lesser prospects might still show up. Three years ago, left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery was considered one of the best prospects in the minors. Then he struggled, which is why the Royals were willing to let him go. Well, now he's in Triple-A and pitching decently. Still a long shot for stardom, but he's got a chance to be useful, at least.

Then there's first baseman Patrick Leonard. Still only 21, he's among the Florida State League leaders in most of the important hitting stats.

He probably won't become a star, either. But assuming he does reach the majors, Leonard will probably still be under team control in ... oh, maybe 2023?

Maybe, maybe by then we'll be able to tie a nice bow around this trade and pick a winner.

Unless the Royals win the World Series this year. In which case we'll know.