Royals owner Glass backs trade for Shields, Davis

Royals owner Glass backs trade for Shields, Davis

Royals owner Glass backs trade for Shields, Davis
KANSAS CITY -- Royals owner David Glass has approved a sizable increase in the club's 2013 payroll.

When Glass permitted the acquisition of pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis from the Rays in a trade for four prospects on Sunday, the Royals' payroll increased to nearly $80 million, or perhaps more.

"I don't know exactly where we are right now, but I would think in that range," Glass said. "We need to do what we need to do. But ultimately, my goal is to operate at a break-even point over a period of time."

The Royals agreed to take on Shields' $10.25 million salary and Davis' $2.8 million for 2013. Beyond that, Shields' 2014 contract is for $12 million and Davis is down for $4.8 million, with club options of $7 million in 2015, $8 million in '16 and $10 million in '17.

"The focus on the dollar and the payroll is immaterial, really," Glass said. "The focus should be 'What players do you have and what players did you get?'"

Glass supported general manager Dayton Moore's decision to swap four Minor League players with low salaries for two Major League pitchers with substantial contracts.

"The money doesn't make the player and regardless of what our payroll is, it's about the players that you have," Moore said. "Mr. Glass has always been very supportive of us getting the opportunity to improve our team if indeed we felt certain players made a difference for us.

"This is certainly in character of what he's allowed us to do. We had a very high payroll in 2009 when we felt we had an opportunity to win, but we just didn't stay healthy that year and we couldn't repair that roster. So he's demonstrated in the past that whatever we need to do to improve our team to win that he would support it."

Glass expects that Moore will take criticism along with praise for the trade.

"He's going to take some heat," Glass said. "The fans love the young players and even the unproven young players. We build them up to the point where the fans' expectations are very, very high for them. So they hate to see any of them go. But at the same time, if Shields and Wade Davis come in and win ballgames for us and they have productive years and we are competitive in our division and have a real shot at getting in the playoffs, then the fans will be very supportive. It all boils down to what happens this year."

Moore was asked if more deals might be in the works that would reduce the 2013 payroll.

"If there are other deals that make sense, we'll look at them, but we're not in a position where we're trying to shed payroll," he said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.