That's why trading away four inexpensive prospects for two much more costly major league players opened some eyes.
In reality though, the time seems right for Kansas City to take the plunge. The Royals were never going to compete without improved pitching. All of the prospects in the world would not change the fact that the Royals could not compete with a staff that has not had a true ace since Zack Greinke.
Good young offensive players the Royals have. Consistent starting pitching? Not so much.
James Shields gives them a true ace. A starting pitcher that has thrown 200 innings the last six straight years and tossed 11 complete games just two years ago.
Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Salvy Perez, Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon give the Royals a good, young talented core. The addition of Shields along with Wade Davis adds depth to a rotation that can now at least compete with the Tigers in the Central.
Wil Myers is the key piece going to the Rays. An impact bat that can hit for average and power, Myers has been rated one of the top prospects in the game. The Royals however must feel he is not yet ready for the big leagues and they need to win now.
With the collection of talent they have assembled at the major league level, there is a window of opportunity for small market teams like the Royals to strike before their talent becomes too expensive to keep.
Does this move put the Royals on par with the Tigers? Not in my estimation, but they are now in the neighborhood.
The Tigers rotation is still very deep and talented with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister in the top three spots. Throw in a more experienced Drew Smyly and the Tigers still control the division on paper, especially as long as they employ Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez.
Still, you have to admire Dayton Moore's willingness to give up some of the future for the here and now.