That should probably be called the Davis-Odorizzi trade.

Over at Beyond the Box Score, Luis Torres wrote a large trade retrospective about the trade that sent James Shields, Wade Davis, and Elliot Johnson to Kansas City, and brought Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomory, and Patrick Leonard to the Rays.

I don’t think it provides anything new to those who followed the Rays closely at the time of the trade and since, and it doesn’t factor in the contributions of Steven Souza Jr., or any other second-generation progeny of the trade, but it’s a good overall look, especially with how Torres tries to get into the headspace of both teams at the time, rather than to rely on 20-20 hindsight.

Here’s my question. Take this paragraph from Torres:

Davis’ explosion as a reliever is one of the biggest surprises in recent memory. If it were predictable, the Royals would have put him in the bullpen immediately. The difference between his 2013 and 2014 seasons was 5.8 WAR! The Royals only missed the playoffs by one game in 2013, too!

Was it predictable, in 2013, that Davis would fail as a starter but could succeed as a reliever? I think this is a complex question.


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