Royals’ trade with Rays shows win-now mentality

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“When you get a chance to upgrade and get a pitcher the caliber of James Shields and Wade Davis, we felt it was the right thing for us to do for our team today and going forward,” Moore said.

The Royals have made a significant financial commitment to winning this season.

Along with taking on Santana’s hefty contract, the Royals will pay Shields $10.5 million this season while holding a club option of $12 million with a $1 million buyout for next season. Davis is due to make $2.8 million this season and $4.8 million in 2014, with the Royals holding options on the next three years.

Shields said he relishes the opportunity to return to the role of franchise ace.

It was the same role he had his first few years in Tampa Bay, before David Price and others blossomed, and a role in which he feels comfortable. He’s logged at least 200 innings six consecutive seasons, has 14 complete games over the past two years, and his 3.89 ERA for his career makes him the most effective starter in the Royals‘ new-look rotation.

Kansas City starters combined for a 5.01 ERA last season, fifth-worst in the big leagues.

“Starting pitching, I think that’s where it starts,” Shields said. “What the Rays did the last couple years, it’s been about starting pitching and defense. That’s the key to success. Hopefully me and Wade can get the job done.”

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