This week's episode of The Baseball Show with Rany and Joe is their National League and American League Central Division preview.
As you might expect, the Royals were the main event of the episode and Rany Jazayerli took a look back at the James Shields trade and how it impacts this season. He worded it perfectly and in a way I haven't managed to put it.
In so many words, Jazayerli said the Shields trade put the Royals in position for a "moral victory" in 2013. And that's really exactly what the trade accomplished. The Royals will be decent this year. They'll be respectable. They won't be a laughing stock (I don't think).
But there's virtually no chance the Royals make a postseason appearance in 2013. And looking ahead to 2014, they will rely almost exclusively on the development of their own players to hope to make a playoff run in 2014. (If you thought this past offseason was devoid of impact free agents, next offseason appears even more bleak and there are still months between now and then for would-be free agents to sign with their current clubs.)
So, in short, Royals fans realistically can only look forward to two years of admirable baseball. Maybe they eclipse the .500 mark and that's pretty much it. A pure moral victory. There won't be any shiny new banners flying in the outfield. But years from now, fans can say to one another, "Hey, remember when we traded for James Shields and finished above .500?"
"Yeah, kind of. But how about that Wil Myers of the Rays? Man, it'd be nice to have a franchise player like that here in Kansas City."
Fire Dayton Moore