The WIll Myers for James Shields trade is an example of how there is no proof in how a trade will work out. What some modern day baseball fans lose track of is how all MLB teams want to win,. And because more teams want to win now as opposed to five years from now (of course, the goal is for all teams to win every year), the teams that make the bold trade to win now are treated like they are subhuman. Like they should have no right to trade for a player that can help them win now. As if they should stay in mediocrity for the next couple seasons until every player that is touted in the minor leagues has made it to the majors. Though the Shields for Myers trade was bold, I said at the time that it had to be done from the Royals end. And though the Royals did not win the World Series in 2014, the trade for Shields, which included RHP Wade Davis as well, allowed for them to reach the postseason. Without that trade, perhaps the Royals do not get there.
But of course, the team that traded for the younger, un-established, unproven "prospect" is the one that is given credit for making the great deal. Myers will likely bounce back after an injury riddled 2014, but the truth is Tampa Bay is in a very bad spot. Their return on their good players is getting less and less and they have no money to invest in their own players. If things were so great in TB, than why did darling GM Andrew Friedman bolt for LA and genius manager Joe Maddon not return to take the same job in Chicago?
I am going to quote wikipedia's definition of what a trade in sports is:
"In professional sports, a trade is a sports league transaction involving an exchange of players' contracts or draft picks between sports clubs. Cash is another commodity that may be packaged together with contracts or draft picks to complete a trade. Typically, trades are completed between two clubs, but there are instances where trades are consummated between three or more clubs." One of the bigger trades that involved as many as four teams included three players who have been guests on the Passed Ball Show, Willie Montanez, Al Oliver and Jon Matlack. The Mets, Braves, Pirates and Rangers engineered a four team, 11 player trade which also included Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven. The Rangers acquired Matlack from the Mets and Nelson Norman and Oliver from the Pirates. The Pirates added Blyleven from the Rangers and John Milner from the Mets. The Braves added Tommy Boggs, Adrian Devine and Eddie Miller from the Rangers. And the Mets acquired Montanez from the Braves and Ken Henderson and Tom Grieve from the Rangers.
The deal that involved the most players took place on this date in 1954. The New York Yankees were searching for some younger pitching after not winning the World Series, let alone AL Pennant for the first time since the 1948 season. The deal was actually announced on November 14, but the 18th was when the trade was finally completed. The Yankees and Baltimore Orioles got together on an unprecedented 17 player trade that involved Bob Turley and Don Larsen. Billy Hunter also went from the Orioles to the Yankees in the deal. In exchange, Baltimore received catchers Gus Triandos and Hal Smith from the Yankees. In addition, the Orioles received Gene Woodling, Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald and Willy Miranda. This trade also included four players to be named later going to both teams.
On December 1, it was announced that C Darrell Johnson, RHP Mike Blyzka, OF Jim Fridley and 1B Dick Kryhoski were being sent from the Orioles to the Yankees. The same day, it was announced that LHP Bill Miller, 2Bs Don Leppert and Kal Segrist and OF Theodore Del Guercio. Del Guercio was the only player in the trade that never made it to the major leagues.
Turley, Hunter and Larsen all played for the Yankees in 1955. For the Orioles, Hal Smith was the everyday catcher and Triandos was the team's 1B. With Miranda being the everyday SS, that gave the Orioles three everyday players from this trade. Woodling, Leppert, Siegrist, Byrd and McDonald all appeared for the 1955 Orioles, with McDonald being traded back to the Yankees for LHP Eddie Lopat.
One of the things reported about the trade from the Orioles end was the fact that the team was looking to abolish its St Louis Browns history. One of the ways to do so was to have completely different players than during the time in SL. New GM and mgr Paul Richards led the charge. In this trade alone, Hunter, Fridley, Kryhoski, Larsen, Turley and Blyzka were all part of the 1954 Orioles. In fact, only 4 impact players on the 1955 Orioles played as part of the 1954 squad. CF Chuck Diering, the only everyday holdover from the previous year, Cal Abrams, Gil Coan and Eddie Waitkus- the latter released mid season by Richards. (Coan was a guest on the Passed Ball Show.) 1954 starting SS and St Louis Browns icon Vern Stephens was released after just 3 games and 7 ABs before catching on with the White Sox to finish his Hall of Fame worthy career.
Even more fascinating that was the fact that the only 4 pitchers to pitch in 1955 that were on the 1954 team did so in much reduced roles. Joe Coleman, who made 32 starts for the 1954 team, appeared in just 6 games, making 2 starts before being released. Duane Pilette made 25 starts in 1954 and appeared in just 7 games, 5 starts for the 1955 Orioles. Lou Kretlow, who appeared in 32 games, 20 starts for the 1954 team, appeared in 15, 5 before being sent to Seattle of the Pacific Coast League. Finally, Bob Kuzava, who the Orioles had acquired from the Yankees during the 1954 season, appeared in 6 games, making 1 start, before being placed on waivers and finishing the rest of the season with the Philadelphia Phillies.