Kansas City Royals Owe it to Fans to Extend James Shields Past 2014
It was during the previous MLB offseason that the Kansas City Royals made a huge splash in the trade market with a very controversial trade. They sent Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard to the Tampa Bay Rays for Wade Davis and James Shields. Though the trade of probable 2013 Rookie of the Year Myers hurt for sure, the Royals did see some improvement because of the trade. Almost all of that rests in ace Shields.
Shields just had his option picked up for the 2014 season but he will be a free agent after that. Myers is going to be doing great things for a long time and every time he does the Royals fans will shake their heads and wonder what might have been. That is unless they are able to really achieve success with Shields as their front-line ace starter.
Obviously the Royals do not have all the money on the market but they have to find a way to extend Shields past the 2014 season. Assuming he continues his current success rate which includes eight consecutive double digit winning seasons and only a couple without an ERA in the mid-threes, he would be a big game pitcher worth keeping for an eventual playoff run.
There are no guarantees in MLB and it is anyone’s guess how well Shields will do over the course of the 2014 season. He has plenty of years left in his arm however unless something goes wrong. That should be plenty of incentive, along with maybe a month or two of success in 2014 to convince the Royals to give themselves a chance to win with Shields involved. Otherwise the Myers trade will continue to be controversial for the rest of his career.