KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Newly acquired Royals’ pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis were introduced to the media Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium. Shields and Davis were acquired by the Royals in exchange for prospects Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomey and Patrick Leonard. Dayton Moore acclaimed this move, stating “It’s time for us to start winning at the major league level.” Shields and Davis are expected to bolster a pitching corps that included other off-season additions Ervin Santana, who was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels, and Jeremy Guthrie, who the Royals signed to a three-year, $25 million contract.
The Royals’ front office has often been maligned in the past for trading away talented players too often in hopes for preparing for the future. Moore said it is time for Kansas City to adjust.
“This is the time that we need start trying to win every year. You can say you can wait till ’14 or ’15 when some of these young players get established. But the culture has to be created now, ” Moore said at the press conference.
Shields brings a formidable career stat line to the Royals’ pitching staff. In his seven-year career with the Rays he posted a 3.89 ERA while winning 87 games and finishing 19 complete games. He’s been an All-Star and finished third in Cy Young voting in 2011. However, Shields said that personal accolades were less important than the collective effort of the team and developing rapport with his teammates
“My main goal here as well as Wade’s is we’re gonna try to feed off each other as starters, we’re gonna try to create a good chemistry with each other. It’s not just about me or Wade or one individual guy. We want to feed off each other every single day,” Shields said at the press conference.
Davis spent the past year as a reliever with the Rays bullpen after pitching two seasons in the starting rotation, finishing fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2010. His role with the Royals may be undetermined, but he knows what results he wants regardless.
“At the end of the season we want to look back and say ‘We are one of the big reasons that we won games.’ A lot of the motivation comes from him and what he brings to the table,” Davis said.
Shields also touched on what matters the most in this swap of proven talent for prospects: Winning.
“I think Kansas City should be excited, this is going to be a great year. We’re going to try and bring that winning culture back to Kansas City,” Shields said.