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MLB Kansas City RoyalsTampa Bay Rays

James Shields Trade Makes Kansas City Royals AL Central Contender In 2013

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There were shockwaves sent through Major League Baseball on Sunday night when it was announced that the Tampa Bay Rays had traded James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals for top prospect Wil Myers along with three other minor league players. This is a trade that helps both teams with Myers likely to take over somewhere in the Tampa outfield and Shields and Davis going straight into the Kansas City rotation. I do think though that the Royals get the better end of this deal and are now a serious candidate to win the American League Central in 2013.

Kansas City has a rotation with Shields, Davis and Ervin Santana that can compete with anyone in that division along with a powerful lineup that didn’t get touched in the trade for Shields. The best thing for Kansas City is that all those younger players got another year of experience last season and I don’t think Eric Hosmer has as bad of a year while Billy Butler became a superstar designated hitter in 2012. This will be a team to be reckoned with now.

There are teams around the American League who have to look at this trade and now can’t just look past the Royals. The fans of Kansas City haven’t had much to cheer about over the past two decades and now have a real chance to make the playoffs if all the pieces fit. If the Royals don’t make the playoffs though this coming season, I would still keep my eyes peeled on them for the next two or three years.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.