Jake Odorizzi has appeared in two major league games -- or one less than the number of baseball organizations the Highland native has been employed by since 2008.
The Kansas City Royals on Sunday sent Odorizzi -- their top pitching prospect -- plus top outfield prospect Wil Myers, pitcher Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard to the Tampa Bay Rays for former all-star pitcher James Shields and pitcher Wade Davis.
This is the second blockbuster trade for Odorizzi, a first-round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers (32nd overall) right out of high school in 2008.
In December, 2010, Odorizzi and three other Brewers prospects were traded to Kansas City for pitcher Zack Greinke and infielder Yuniesky Betancourt.
Shields and Greinke have been two of the top starting pitchers in baseball in recent years, so Odorizzi's presence in those trades signifies his value.
"You can't really think about it, you've got to go with the flow," Odorizzi said when asked about being dealt for the second time in his young career. "They were two pretty big deals and I'm trying to make the most of my opportunity with Tampa, just like I did with Kansas City.
"This is my third place, so hopefully this one will last a little bit longer and the team will have some great success."
A 22-year-old right-hander, Odorizzi was in his hometown of Highland when informed of the trade around 9:45 p.m. Sunday by Scott Sharp, the Royals' Director of Player Development.
"I wouldn't say I'm disappointed, it's part of the business," Odorizzi said when asked about leaving the Royals. "They needed a big upgrade in their starting rotation and that gave them some more starting pitching stability."
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Odorizzi has been added to the Rays' 40-man roster. Tampa Bay has been known for developing some of the top young pitchers in baseball in recent years, including Shields, David Price, Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson and others.
"I'm excited," Odorizzi said. "There's a lot of young talent within the Rays' system and they compete every year for the AL East title or the wild card."
Odorizzi made his major-league debut with the Royals in September, going 0-1 with a 4.93 ERA in two starts.
The major-league promotion came after a strong minor-league summer that included a combined 15-5 record and 3.03 ERA with Class AA Northwest Arkansas and Class AAA Omaha.
Odorizzi was 11-3 with a 2.93 at Omaha, earning that franchise's Pitcher of the Year honors. He was also 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA in seven starts for Northwest Arkansas.
MLB.com had Odorizzi rated as the Royals' third-best prospect overall.
Even without Shields, one of the most durable pitchers in the majors, Tampa Bay's starting rotation still includes Price (20-5, 2.56 ERA), Moore (11-11, 3.81 ERA), Hellickson (10-11, 3.10 ERA) and Alex Cobb (11-9, 4.03 ERA).
Jeff Niemann (2-3 in eight starts last season) and Chris Archer (1-3 in four starts) are also in the mix.
Odorizzi was headed to spring training trying to nail down a roster spot with the Royals, so now he'll change uniforms and do the same thing with Tampa Bay.
"I think I'll probably be in the same boat there," he said. "I'm just going to go in to spring training and be the best shape I can be and be at the top of my game. We'll see where it goes from there."
Myers is considered the top prospect in the deal after hitting a combined .314 with 37 homers and 109 RBIs last year for the Royals' Class AA and Class AAA clubs.
"We're excited to add these guys, anxious to get to know them beyond the information we have on them," Tampa Bay Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman told The Associated Press. "I think it's very possible that Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi will help us win games in 2013, and Mike Montgomery as well."
Shields, who made the 2011 All-Star team, was 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA last season, striking out 223 in 227 2/3 innings. The Royals also have added pitcher Ervin Santana in another offseason deal with the Anaheim Angels.
Some believe the moves signify a dramatic step forward for a Royals franchise whose last playoff trip came during their world championship season of 1985.
"It's time for us as an organization to win at the major league level and we have to use all our resources. Our farm system is certainly one of them," Royals General Manager Dayton Moore told MLB.com. "It's not easy to give up prospects but it's important that we start winning games."
Having been traded once before, Odorizzi understands the business side of the sport a little better now. That doesn't make it any simpler.
About the only player Odorizzi knows in the Tampa Bay organization is former Granite City High catcher Jake DePew, a ninth-round pick out of high school in 2010.
"It's a lot easier to deal with this time, but it's just the fact of meeting everybody in a new organization: teammates, coaching, staff, management, everything like that that," Odorizzi said. "You try to get a feel for everything and everyone and get settled in as quick as possible."
Speaking of transitions, Odorizzi just got married Nov. 12 to his new bride, Carissa. While that transaction was under his control, a baseball trade is the complete opposite.
"You've got to go with it and embrace it, give your best effort for the organization you're with," said Odorizzi, who will begin his offseason throwing program in the next few weeks. "It's still baseball and you have to go at it the same way. If not, there's always somebody that's looking to replace you."
Contact reporter Norm Sanders at email@example.com or 239-2454.