Rays Exercise Option On James Shields

The Rays exercised James Shields' $7.5MM option, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. Shields would not have been eligible for free agency if the Rays had declined the option. Instead, Tampa Bay would have gone to arbitration with Shields and he would have obtained a salary in excess of $7.5MM.

Picking up Shields' option was an easy decision, even for the low-payroll Rays. The right-hander posted a 2.82 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 249 1/3 innings in 2011, leading the league with 11 complete games and four shutouts. He would have extremely high trade value, though Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has said he wants to preserve Tampa Bay's pitching depth.

The Rays still face decisions on Kyle Farnsworth and Kelly Shoppach.


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27 Comments on "Rays Exercise Option On James Shields"


3 years 10 months ago

If they declined this I probably would have drove my car off a cliff

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
3 years 10 months ago

And this day gets crazier.

philliesfan136
3 years 10 months ago

Now to decide if they want to trade him..

diesel2410
3 years 10 months ago

I see the Rays exercising Farnsworth and declining Shoppach. Then they will trade Farnsworth

kdawg89
3 years 10 months ago

Well…you called that…

kdawg89
3 years 10 months ago

Don’t forget the team needs a SS, Catcher (They declined Shoppach) some more bullpen help and most likely a First Baseman since Kotchman may be in for a good size payday after a very solid season. I know he (Friedman) wants to keep that depth, but any one or 2 of those guys may net them at least a starting SS and catcher. Pitching may be important, but only having 6 good position players isn’t gonna get it done either. I don’t see them doing any 1-1 trades..It would have to include atleast a major league ready player and a good prospect..That’s the way the team operates, if they don’t have the upper hand in trades or they stand pat….

NYPOTENCE
3 years 10 months ago

I sure hope the Rays know they probably won’t be able to retain when the options run out. I would trade him now before he goes out there and wrecks his trade value. Rays fans sure would be kicking themselves if they don’t trade him and he ends up sucking.

slider32
3 years 10 months ago

I could see the Rays trading Shields for Alonzo and Grandel of the Reds.

JacksTigers
3 years 10 months ago

They may have exercised his option, but I doubt they will keep him.

3 years 10 months ago

James Shields to the Blue Jays? They could grab Adam Lind for some power and a solid 1B/DH that could provide some protection for Longoria… They might even be able to get the Jays to thrown in a nice pitching prospect.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
3 years 10 months ago

Hahahahaha. No.

Hodor
3 years 10 months ago

SWEET!!  Big Game James is back for another year!  I would love to see a rotation of Shields/Price/Hellickson/Moore/Davis.  Nieman is too inconsistent and could go in a package deal for a decent catcher or shortstop.  While I doubt there would be any trading going on within the same division, getting Montero would be nice.  We need a catcher and shortstop that can actually provide some offense.  I love ya S.Rod, but you just haven’t proven yourself as an everyday guy and Brignac is even worse.  Hopefully we can get back at least one of Kotchman or Damon as well.  Perhaps Nieman for Logan Morrison?

kdawg89
3 years 10 months ago

I’d rather they retained Kotchman than Damon. I love Damon for his leadership but it’s easier to replace an aging DH than a good 1B both defensively and offensively (now that he can actually see) They may try to sign Mag Ordonez as a DH if he’ll take a big pay cut.

Hodor
3 years 10 months ago

Agreed, Kotchman has a slick glove and came to play this year…hopefully the offense sticks around next year.  There are plenty of DH options out there that are affordable if Damon doesn’t come back (Mags, Thome, Vlad, Matsui) but at least Damon can still run.  He can beat out some infield hits, steal some bases and actually still play the outfield with competence unlike the other options (remember Vlad in the 2010 WS?).  Damon wants to play for the Rays and he is great for the clubhouse, so I’m hopeful we pony up another 5 mil to keep him around.  Just please, please, please drop JP Howell!  

kdawg89
3 years 10 months ago

Price just opted out so he’s gonna be in for a pay raise of about $6-$7 mill a yr. through arbitration…He’s under team control through 2015 so he may have just made himself a trade candidate if it was for a very good position player, or per the Rays team model, a buttload of prospects

philliesfan136
3 years 10 months ago

I agree they should keep him as well, but some people are stubborn enough to think they’ll trade him only because his value is at an all-time high. I definitely think they should keep Cobb and trade Niemann or Davis, or both.

shysox
3 years 10 months ago

Davis to the White Sox for Carlos Quentin 

BustBigDieHappy
3 years 10 months ago

Shields will probably never have a season like he did this year. I say sell high and pick up some top tier prospects or some much needed offense. If this year proved anything its that the Yankees and Red Sox are not going to run away with the division any time soon. Trading Shields or Price may just tip the very unstable AL East in the Rays favor. And that 7.5 mil could be put toward a signing young minor league talent…

BustBigDieHappy
3 years 10 months ago

Even though it may seem otherwise, Shields will never have a year quite like this. I know that Verlander was phenomenal, but the narrative surrounding the Tigers and their ace was similar for Tampa and Shields. Now could be the time to sell big and gain huge rewards. Face facts: Longoria needs some major help in that lineup and by trading Shields for offense or top tier/major-league ready minor-leaguers (Montero and Belt are the first that come to mind), the Rays could tip the scales in the AL East. If this year proved anything its that the Yankees and Red Sox aren’t running away with the division anytime soon, especially if the Yanks lose CC. 

kdawg89
3 years 10 months ago

I’d like to see us trade Davis or Niemann (Preferably Davis) to the Rockies for Chris Ianetta…apparently the sides have already been feeling each other out and he seems to be the one the Rays seem to be inquiring about ….

philliesfan136
3 years 10 months ago

I could see how Chicago would want that trade, but TB isn’t in dire need of outfielders.
They need a SS and possibly a C.

diesel2410
3 years 10 months ago

If Quentin is willing to DH

MetsMagic
3 years 10 months ago

What makes you think he won’t have another year like this? Last year he had a putrid home run rate, but his peripheral stats have been consistent throughout his career, but now he can strike out more batters and pitch 50 more innings.

There isn’t a single team in that division that doesn’t have a shot at the playoffs next season (except for the Orioles, but sadly that goes without saying), and a rotation of Shields, Price, Hellickson, Moore, and Cobb/Davis/Niemann/possibly McGee though I don’t think he’ll start, will be very tough to beat. 

BustBigDieHappy
3 years 10 months ago

“…a rotation of Shields, Price, Hellickson, Moore, and Cobb/Davis/Niemann/possibly McGee though I don’t think he’ll start, will be very tough to beat”

My point exactly, just worded differently. The narrative surrounding Verlander in Detroit is similar to the one of Shields in Tampa, “single handedly pitching their teams into the playoffs.” However, the facts point that the Rays have an abundance of pitching and Shields is a luxury in that rotation, not a necessity like Verlander is in Detroit. By betting that he will replicate, or even come close to replicating last season is a very risky decision considering the below average statistics surrounding their offense this year. I’m not saying that he can’t be the stud he was this past season, I’m saying it would be better to trade him now, get some big rewards for him, and work on honing that raw pitching talent rather than risking a bust.

BustBigDieHappy
3 years 10 months ago

“…a rotation of Shields, Price, Hellickson, Moore, and Cobb/Davis/Niemann/possibly McGee though I don’t think he’ll start, will be very tough to beat”

My point exactly, just worded differently. The narrative surrounding Verlander in Detroit is similar to the one of Shields in Tampa, “single handedly pitching their teams into the playoffs.” However, the facts point that the Rays have an abundance of pitching and Shields is a luxury in that rotation, not a necessity like Verlander is in Detroit. By betting that he will replicate, or even come close to replicating last season is a very risky decision considering the below average statistics surrounding their offense this year. I’m not saying that he can’t be the stud he was this past season, I’m saying it would be better to trade him now, get some big rewards for him, and work on honing that raw pitching talent rather than risking a bust.

MetsMagic
3 years 10 months ago

Davis still has tremendous upside…aim for Rosario before you settle for Ianetta. 

kdawg89
3 years 10 months ago

I agree about Davis, but what scares me about him is he has meltdowns like Kazmir and Garza used to…He loses focus QUICKLY. He has electric stuff but out of all their pitchers I’d  say he’s most expendable with Niemann a close second…Everyone focuses on Hellickson, and Moore coming in, but Alex Cobb is gonna be very good as well. Ianetta isn’t my first choice either, but he’s solid and apparently the Rays think he fits their needs.