Rumors: James Shields Is Back At The Forefront
With Jon Lester and Max Scherzer now off the market, the focus has shifted to another top free agent. James Shields is now the target of many a team looking for additional pitching help this offseason. Now that Lester and Scherzer are off the market, the focus on Shields is now clear.
The St. Louis Cardinals have been mentioned as a landing spot for Shields since before Lester and Scherzer’s signings.
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According to a report from Hardball Talk, after meeting with several Major League Baseball executives, ESPN’S Jayson Stark has reported, “What I see now is a lot of teams jumping back in,” said one of the execs. “But part of the reason is, they’re saying, ‘We know now he’s not getting $110 million, so why not jump back in?’ But the problem is, now everyone is bottom-feeding. And when you’re someone like him, that’s the last thing you want, is a lot of teams bottom-feeding on you in late January.”
Unfortunately for Shields, who pitched for the Kansas City Royals last season, he won’t be getting Scherzer level cash.
He will receive a nice pay day. Bob Nightengale of USA Today has reported Shields has been looking for a five-year, $125 million contact but that interested teams are making proposals in the four-year, $80 million range.
Adam Wainwright is on the books with a five year, $97 million deal. That’s pretty much the bar for the Cardinals and I don’t see a deal meeting or exceeding that. Fewer years, less money … the range of the teams making proposals … falls under the Waino bar.
So. It’s possible. But…
I don’t think so.
While having a top tier pitcher like Shields in addition to Waino, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn and John Lackey, would be amazing. Seriously. I get the feeling Carlos Martinez is ready for this spring. He’s ready to put on the jersey with the number of his best friend and brother, the late Oscar Taveras, and pitch his heart out. It’s going to be hard to deny him that if he’s ready to go.
The addition of Shields could also prove beneficial because there have been some serious health concerns involving Waino and Wacha. A top guy like Shields would provide some nice insurance. Remember last season, Marco Gonzales got a lot of work after those two pitchers had their injuries. It really wouldn’t be fair to Marco to get used in a situation like that again. He’s a great, young pitcher and it would just be a disservice to him and us for that to happen again. Let’s use him wisely.
All of that said, I just don’t see the Cardinals making a huge splash on the free agent market for Shields. I think another pitcher could prove beneficial for this team. Another big trade is always possible. Cole Hamels and David Price are names we’ve also heard linked to the Cardinals. I don’t like the thought of what either of them may cost, but it’s worth kicking the tires for, at least.
Spring Training is weeks away! Things are about to get interesting.