Scot Shields sounded as if he was closing the door on his baseball career last September, but while the veteran reliever says he is still "not leaning any way" about whether or not he wishes to continue pitching, Shields seemed a bit more open to returning in an interview with Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
"If something comes along that seems like it's a good deal in a good place, I will play. If not, I'll be happy to stay home and spend time with my family," Shields said. "I feel really good....It doesn't take me long to get ready for the season. If I do play, I'll have a lot of desire to prove I can still pitch."
DiGiovanna speculates that if Shields does return, either with the Angels or another team, it will be on a minor league contract given Shields' injury-plagued 2009 and 2010 seasons. If Shields is healthy, he could provide a team with a nice right-handed bullpen option. The 35-year-old posted a 2.93 ERA, a 2.53 K/BB ratio and an 8.2 K/9 rate in 428 appearances with the Halos between 2001 and 2008, earning a "set-up man of the decade" distinction from Sports Illustrated.