Rays, Angels Have Discussed James Shields Trade

The Rays and Angels have talked about a deal that would send right-handed starter James Shields to Anaheim in exchange for outfielder Peter Bourjos and catcher Hank Conger, and possibly right-hander Ervin Santana, a source tells Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com.

The deal is complex because of the money involved, the source tells Kurkjian, which accounts for Santana's possible inclusion. Santana makes $11.2MM this season with a $13MM club option for 2013. He can become a free agent at season's end with a $1MM buyout.

Shields, 30, could be locked up through 2014 and is considered quite affordable. He's owed $7MM this year with a $9MM club option for 2013 and an $11MM club option for 2014.

Bourjos, Kurkjian reports, would be a likely replacement for B.J. Upton, whom the Rays plan to allow to walk as a free agent this offseason. Conger, meanwhile, was once a pretty well regarded prospect, and the Rays have been rumored to be seeking a catcher.


119 Responses to Rays, Angels Have Discussed James Shields Trade Leave a Reply

  1. Get it done, get it done. The rumors of trading Bourjos for a reliever have me stumped, but trading Bourjos for three years of James Shields — a completely different story. Throw in the absolute abomination that Ervin Santana has become and the never-developing Hank Conger and I would be a happy guy!

  2. VegasANGELSFan 3 years ago

    Shields has two more years of control if options are exercised. I actually think this deal makes sense…

    • Two more years of controlling the guy who currently leads the league in most hits allowed isn’t exactly appealing.

      I like the IDEA of Shields but that price tag is too rich for my blood- possibly because I’m attached to Bourjos but nevertheless, I would be hesitant.

      • VegasANGELSFan 3 years ago

        I hear you, this year has not been great for Shields. But, I think there is reason to believe he will be better. He obv has good stuff, he was great last year, but not good the year before that. Depends on what they think he will do rest of the year and next two years. He probably has to be an upgrade over what they are running out there now. I like Bourjos too, and love the defensive OF when he plays, but they don’t want to play him much. Plus, Shields’ numbers would seem to have to improve in the AL West, and in Anaheim in particular.

        I could be wrong though, I liked the Scott Kazmir trade at the time it was made too, and that was an epic fail…

        • Yep. I foolishly thought that a change of scenery/reuniting with an old pitching coach would turn Kazmir around. Joke’s on us i guess lol.

          I also think there’s reason to believe he will be better, and, to be fair, 6 of his worst games this year were against offensive juggernauts (nyy, det, etc), but that still doesn’t bode well for the playoffs, since he’d most likely be facing those teams.

          All in all it’s probably worth it, but i just like the idea of having the best defensive outfield in baseball for the next 5 years lol.

          • VegasANGELSFan 3 years ago

            Me too. I am definitely not a proponent of trading Bourjos, I am a fan. But, the rotation went from sparkling to 2 very good pitchers, and one very good pitcher if his back holds up. Then after that, your guess is as good as mine. Richards has been strong in some starts, and not so much in others. I am ok with him in rotation though. Santana has been a train wreck, and there is no sign of turnaround. The Angels can’t give away every 5th game and try to catch the Rangers, which is what they are trying to do. Shields would have to be quite a bit better than Santana or Williams, and he gives them a much better chance this year, assuming he picks it up a bit. Plus, he has the potential to be good for another two years, and affordable. If he sucks though, then of course its a bad trade for the Angels :/

  3. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    I’d do this for the angels, and I like Bourjas a lot.

  4. Nick Sossamon 3 years ago

    Something more better be coming back from Tampa for that.

    Shields is pretty average these days, and has been for most of his career. Wrong side of 30, nearly 250 IP last year. Don’t see the infatuation with this guy.

    • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

      He’s a solid three that has been unlucky with the fly ball this year (15.6% FB/HR ratio) and 337 BABIP with low LOB% (68.9%) while dempster is a regress to the norm guy Shields is the opposite, has a 3.42 xFIP against terrific competition.

    • Commander_Nate 3 years ago

      An earlier version of this rumor said Zobrist was included too. I’d probably do that.

      • J Walls625 3 years ago

        THe Rays are not trading Zo unless they get a ton back. He is the model of versatility, something the Rays love.

  5. What a package for shields!! That would be a great trade for the rays. The angles are pretty stocked, so it might be worth it for sure.

    • Mauck98 3 years ago

      Exactly where is his a good deal for the rays. Bourjous is the only piece worth havin coming n the deal. Conger has barely been able to reach he Mendoza line in any of his time with he angels, and Santana is not a playe the rays want as he makes 11 million a year. No way Friedman makes this deal.

      • I just dont think I would send conger and bourjous AND santana over for a # 4. Shields had a spectacular year last year, but the rest of his numbers are average. About the only plus is that he consistently eats 200 innings every year. Santana on the other hand has had a 17 win season and an era in the mid 3.00 region his entire career (with the exception of this year.) I also think from a scouting standpoint that Santana has better stuff. Shields, in my opinion, is only an upgrade for this year.

        • The only other reason this makes so much sense is Santana’s contract, but no way he goes with out LA picking up at least some of it.

  6. Bourjos and Conger alone are too much for Shields. I’d do Bourjos/Conger/Kendrick for Shields/Zobrist.

  7. Keep bourjos but find a way to get a new pitcher! Trading Bourjos should be last resort.

    • ultimate913 3 years ago

      Angels have too many OF’s anyway. Unless they find someone to take Wells and/or Hunter, somebody has got to go. Cause it’s Trumbo, Trout, Bourjos, Wells, Hunter and Morales for 4 spots. 5 if you consider the bench a spot. Trumbo and Trout will automatically take 2 of those 4 so it’s Bourjos, Wells, Morales and Hunter for 2 spots left.

      That is, of course, unless they plan to play Trumbo at 3B again. Which is a pretty bad idea. I’d probably try to throw Morales in the deal if I’m the Angels.

      • Find a way to dump Wells, immediately. Trade him and eat $15 million. Release him. ANYTHING. Hunter is willing to take a pay cut. 3 years, $20 to $25 million seems good. Trout, Trumbo, Hunter, Bourjos (assuming he isn’t traded for Shields). Seems good enough. Pick up a third baseman and maybe some more outfield and bullpen help and we should be good.

  8. saidin09 3 years ago

    Maybe the Sox, should check in on Price’s price

  9. J Walls625 3 years ago

    If I’m the Rays, I would try and sub Santana for Richards if you want a pitcher. Maybe throw in another smaller prospect if the Angels need it for Richards.
    Also, arn’t the Angels looking for relief help?Why not package Shields with Farnsworth for a little more back from the Angels. It may be a little much but try and get a guy like Cron or another good close to MLB bat back.

    Edit: Another thing that makes Santana to the Rays stupid, I just read Santana has quite the hefty contract. He is making $11 millionthis year and has a $13million option for 2013. Thats way to expensive for the Rays. No way that happens.

  10. make it happen Jerry. shields is down from last year’s numbers but he still represents quite an upgrade for the Angel rotation.

    • brianc6234 3 years ago

      The Devil Rays only trade pitchers when they know their arms are done. Shields was overused last year and has worn out. No thanks.

  11. MB923 3 years ago

    Sounds like a fair trade

  12. vinh 3 years ago

    hopefully that we get Ben Zobrist too

    • J Walls625 3 years ago

      Yea and hopefully we can get Trumbo. Not gonna happen, but hopefully it might.

    • MB923 3 years ago

      Um, not happening.

  13. Jeff Linder 3 years ago

    What?? Shields has a 4.40 era, he leads the league in hits allowed, he gives up a ton of home runs, he’s lost 6 games…And the Angels want to give away the future of their outfield and catching positions for him??

  14. rovert22044 3 years ago

    Why is everyone so high on Peter Bourjos? His stats aren’t appealing at the least, but I know he’s a good fielder and is fast. That’s about it… Or am I missing something? Someone let me know.

    • Nick Sossamon 3 years ago

      With fulltime play he should be potentially be a 3.5-5 WAR player, as he showed last year. He doesn’t thrive in a part-time or bench role.

      And he’s under control for 4.5 more years.

      • mlbscout6 3 years ago

        Or he’s a poor man’s Franklin Gutierrez. Who hit in his first season like many rookies do until pitchers pick up a hitters weaknesses and exploit them. The reality is, if the Angels thought he was better then their other outfielders, he would be getting playing time.

        • yes, because every team will bench $40 million and play the young guy.

          • mlbscout6 3 years ago

            They will if the younger guy is better and they are serious about winning. You make it sound like they only lose the $40 mil if he sits on the bench.

          • melonis_rex 3 years ago

            if it wins baseball games they should.

    • mlbscout6 3 years ago

      It’s just Angels fans talking. Rays would be wise to decline this offer.

      • Nick Sossamon 3 years ago

        Thanks for the glowing and abundant analysis!

      • bjsguess 3 years ago

        The deal – as it is constructed here – Shields for Santana + Bourjos + Conger … you’d have to be crazy to turn that down. Santana and Shields are close (Shields is slightly better and has the favorable contract). Conger was terrible as a rookie but he has a solid body of work in the minors and projects to be a good starting catcher in the bigs. Bourjos offers crazy upside defensively and a solid bat.

        This would be a huge win for the Rays.

        • mlbscout6 3 years ago

          Then as the Angels fan that you obviously are, you won’t be disappointed when the deal doesn’t happen.

    • Look at his age, offensive stats last year, defense stats so far in his career and years of control… there isn’t much not to like.

      Especially when a team like TB could flip Upton for a haul.

    • VegasANGELSFan 3 years ago

      Probably best defensive CF in the game. Hit pretty well last year with normal playing time, this year has not hit well, and has not had steady playing time. Many years of control, and will likely hit better. Though, he cannot lay off an outside slider. He simply cannot do it.

    • Commander_Nate 3 years ago

      I don’t like 5-WAR seasons either.

      • Sky14 3 years ago

        When has he ever been a 5 WAR guy?

        • Commander_Nate 3 years ago

          4.8 in 2011. Sorry for the slight rounding error.
          link to baseball-reference.com

        • Commander_Nate 3 years ago

          4.8 in 2011 according to BB-Ref. Sorry for the slight rounding error.

          • you can’t just ignore the rest of his career to this point, speed is the most overrated tool in baseball

          • bjsguess 3 years ago

            — 1.8 WAR in 2010 (193 PA) – extrapolated over a regular season he had a 5 WAR year.
            — 4.3 WAR in 2011.
            — 1.4 WAR in 2012 (169 PA) – extrapolated over a regular season and you have a 4 WAR player.

            That’s his ENTIRE career. Downside of a 4 WAR/year outfielder that hasn’t hit arbitration yet.

            Speed is accounted for in WAR … it is already heavily discounted.

          • he is an average mlb player.. period

          • melonis_rex 3 years ago

            even if bourjos is an average player, ~4.5 team controlled years, one being prearb, of a league average player is valuable.

            also note what stats are valued in arbitration: power numbers. a guy who derives lots of his value from defense will get less in arb than a guy who derives most of his value from power hitting or flashy stats.

          • hey I’m not saying he’s not valuable, if i was making a 25 man roster he may be on it, all I’m stating is that i don’t think he is a 5 war player every year going forward

    • mlbscout6 3 years ago

      He hit in his rookie year, then pitchers figured him out and he hasn’t been able to adjust, albeit in limited playing time.

      • BK 3 years ago

        Uhh, he had a bad month and has been benched all year. He needs to get at bats.

      • Not true. Bourjos has risen his average almost 5o points since losing his starting job. You can thank Mike Trout.

  15. rjc 3 years ago

    Bourjos is the only player worth getting in this deal. We have plenty of pitchers in AAA that are better than Santana these days. Conger isn’t any upgrade over Lobaton or even Molina. We need a catcher that can actually hit, not another washout. I wish we would have dealt Shields last offseason when his value was sky high and gotten someone like Trumbo in return.

  16. Commander_Nate 3 years ago

    Conger is still a pretty well regarded prospect by anyone not named Mike Scioscia. Unbelievable that we’ve kept him down in SLC while Hester and Wilson get to fail away on a nightly basis.

    • mlbscout6 3 years ago

      He is but if other teams play they waiting game, he will be traded for peanuts just like Napoli was.

    • Conger is a terrible defender and has been slow to develop at the plate.

    • Classic12 3 years ago

      Conger also was on the for a substantial stretch after Iannetta got hurt.

    • Joey Grimes 3 years ago

      The Angels can keep Santana. The Rays entire AAA and AA staffs are better than him. Throw in C.J. Cron or Morales and you have a deal. I would even throw in a reliver like Gomes, De Los Santos or Lueke who are all major league worthy relivers.

  17. Jake Tillinghast 3 years ago

    Bourjos is possibly the best defensive CF in baseball. His bat is average. If he hits .250 and steals 30 bases you have to be ecstatic about that with how good his defense is and how many runs he will save. I’m an Angels fan. I dont think he will be anything more than a 250 hitter who is superb on defense. So for the Angels to trade him now is great for them. Trout is a natural Center fielder. And who knows maybe in a few years Bourjos will turn into a nice hitter who can hit near.280. He doesnt have to with his defense though. Great trade for both sides.

    Angels get Shields

    Rays get Bourjos and Conger

    PS Give the Rays Santana aand maybe try to bring back one of the relievers the Rays have. Not sure who they could get but worth a shot right?

    • txftw 3 years ago

      You want Rodney back? 😛

      • thebigbangdito 3 years ago

        if he pitches like he was the first part of the season then yea

      • Jake Tillinghast 3 years ago

        Rodney was horrible with the Angels. Hated him. Looks like he is fine with the Rays though…

        • txftw 3 years ago

          Even though he’s had a great year, I think most Angels fan would be quite mad if he was pitching for them again after his first stint.

  18. So first, Bourjos is way too much for David Wright and now he’s way too much for James Shields. Couldn’t it just be possible that the guy is massively overrated?

    Yes he plays good defense and yes he had a nice season last year. He also never walks ,strikes out in over 20% of his plate appearances, doesn’t hit line drives and has hadd a wRC+ of under 70 two of the past three seasons.

    He’s not that good and he should not be the center piece for any big name player.

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      He’s very overrated. Angels fans would tell you that you have to see him play every day to appreciate what he brings to the table, but the numbers just don’t hold up to scrutiny.

      • How can numbers hold up when he doesn’t get an opportunity to put up numbers regularly? The reality is that he’s got no place to play here. You don’t bench the two star players or the two ridiculous contracts, so Bourjos is the one to go. He’s proven elite on defense, and has the potential for good offense in CF. That’s what teams want out of that spot, he’s extremely valuable.

        People were saying no to Wright because he was coming off injury. I’m on board with this trade, Shields may not be as good this season but he’s got a track record for eating innings with solid stats to go with it. I’ll take it, it’s a huge upgrade.

    • ArchAngel_7 3 years ago

      Of course I heard Rays fans saying the same about Trumbo. You give to much credit to the stats and to little to those who actually see them play

  19. Michael Gardiner 3 years ago

    Atlanta should jump in on this. Go with Salcedo, Spurill, Bethancourt, and Delgado

  20. TigerFan1968 3 years ago

    why would the Rays want Santana? I believe he has about 25 mill
    guaranteed. That is probably the catch22 here.

    • daze 3 years ago

      He’s making $11.2M this year and has a $13M club option for next ($1M buyout).

  21. mgsports 3 years ago

    Chris Innetta is the starting Catcher for the Angels and if aquiring a CF then Rays need to Trade Upton because as Magic letting Shaq and maybe know Howard for nothing.

  22. A=MT2 3 years ago

    This is a great trade for both teams. Rays get controllable talents while Angels get an upgrade to their rotation to make run at Texas. Santana could benefit from a change of scenery much like Fernando Rodney. Hopefully Shields would pitch like he did last year and not bombed out like Scott Kazmir (although Scott did pretty well in 2009 after getting traded).

  23. harrigang 3 years ago

    You’d think the Angels would think twice about trading with us after the Kazmir trade…

    • mlbscout6 3 years ago

      The alternative is the Rays trade Shields to the Rangers and the Angels get to watch him pitch from their TV sets at home.

    • ArchAngel_7 3 years ago

      Well Rodgiruez hasn’t exactly lit up the league dude

    • Devon Henry 3 years ago

      Kazzy was good in the postseason no regrets there. Sean Rodriguez is an average player at best.

      • Nolan Ryan Voodoo Doll 3 years ago

        No he wasn’t, Kazmir got his rear end handed to by Boston and New York. 7.71 ERA isn’t very good.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          Shields isn’t exactly great either vs Boston.. They own him when he pitches at Fenway (Madden usually skips his turn there) and boston does decent vs him at The trop. without looking it up.. Think NY hasn’t done too shabby vs Shields either..

  24. Every trade we make with the Rays ends terribly. Sending away Conger will undoubtably do the same.

  25. bacon_bitz 3 years ago

    Throw in, say, C.J. Cron and I’ll take it.

  26. bjsguess 3 years ago

    The Angels do NOT have an abundance in the OF after this season is over. Dumping Bourjos would be an awful idea.

    Hunter is gone. Wells is expected to be cut. That will leave Trumbo/Trout/Bourjos in the OF. Morales is slated at DH and Pujols at 1B. Even if Wells isn’t cut he can ride the pine and spell the other outfielders.

    Shields is simply not a big enough upgrade over Santana to make this work. Santana + Conger for Shields is doable. Throwing in Bourjos is just silly.

  27. they just need to go for trumbo. the only good people on the angels are him and trout.

  28. Look at the recent trades for pitchers. Half a year of Dempster returned a top 50 SP. Half a year of Anibal Sanchez and one and half years of a utility IF returned a top 25 SP and two B-/C+ prospects. Two and half years of James Shields is much more valuable than either of the rentals above. I would expect something along the lines of Segura, Richards, Cron and Conger. Two top 100 prospects in Segura and Richards, plus two B-/C+ types.

    • Odawg8 3 years ago

      The difference is that both of those pitchers are significantly better than Shields, and thus worth much more.

    • cookmeister 3 years ago

      so the angels 2 top prospects, a major league starting pitcher, and a young switch hitting catcher for an inconsistent starter? please…

    • ArchAngel_7 3 years ago

      No chance you get Richards. Why give up an electric rookie who will likely be dominent next year?

    • brianc6234 3 years ago

      James Shields has been used up. The Devil Rays are ready to throw him away. It’s well known they abuse pitchers and then trade them. Shields isn’t worth much at all now.

  29. No. No. No. No. No….
    NO.

  30. Sean Feeney 3 years ago

    Sam Fuld and Peter Bourjos in the same outfield would be freakin sick, But I’m not ready to part ways with P Bo yet

  31. Robert Eichhorn 3 years ago

    Two words – Scott Kazmir. James Shields looks pretty good from 3K miles away, but so did the previous pitcher from Tampa. Not interested in seeing the Angels trade Conger yet.

  32. Christian Hamby 3 years ago

    Worst deal ever for the Rays. How about a Mark Trumbo for James Shields and Wade Davis?

  33. Nolan Ryan Voodoo Doll 3 years ago

    Shields stinks, I’d hold on to PBo and Conger then take on a mediocre pitcher.

  34. brianc6234 3 years ago

    No thanks on that trade. That would be waaaaaay too much for the Angels to give up. Make it Santana for Shields straight across or nothing. When the Rays want to get rid of a pitcher it’s because they used up his arm. The Angels don’t need Kazmir Part 2.

  35. The Angels have to go all out for Greinke. At this point, Shields for Conger, Bourjos, and a minor league prospect. The Angels are going to need to trade their top prospects (Segura, Richards, Cron) to get Greinke. If we can’t get him, then maybe you will see Cron potenially in a trade to the Rays.

  36. You’re underrating how absolutely ridiculous the Angels rotation would be with Weaver, Wilson, Haren AND Shields… that’s four pitchers who could pitch #1 on plenty of major league teams.

  37. bourjous is a great glave and passive bat, set your expectations lower, seems like a fair deal how it is. Shields will soon get too expensive for tampa.

  38. Let’s be honest, to give up Bourjos to obtain Shields is fine when we can plug in a guy like Calhoun for a season and see what happens.

  39. VegasANGELSFan 3 years ago

    I believe the idea would be that with Bourjos gone, a certain LF making $22,000,000 or so a year could also play…

  40. Nick Sossamon 3 years ago

    Come on, let’s be realistic here. Shields is not a #1, and it isn’t close. Maybe last year he was, but 3 of the past 4 seasons he’s had a 4.00+ ERA and a 1.40+ WHIP.

  41. ogueira 3 years ago

    “Weaver, Wilson, Haren AND Shields” — Don’t stop there! Considering Bourjos and Conger were not prominent pieces mentioned in rumored deals for Greinke, it’s still *possible* to add him to the mix. Likely? No. Overkill? Yes. Would it be awesome? Absolutely.

  42. J Walls625 3 years ago

    I agree with this. I’m fine with Conger and kinda fine with Bourjos in this deal, but Santana makes no sense. An expensive pitcher who has been succesfull before but is pitching like crap this year.

  43. mlbscout6 3 years ago

    I agree, and knowing Andrew Friedman’s trade history, I doubt there is much merit to this rumor. LAA is a large market and large market media often fabricate trade rumors to keep fans entertained. So i’m inclined to think this was just made up.

  44. Commander_Nate 3 years ago

    Making, but not earning.

  45. VegasANGELSFan 3 years ago

    I don’t disagree that he SHOULD be, but it’s pretty hard to eat that amount of money. Especially with Torii likely being out next year, I believe they will keep Wells around unless they can actually get rid of him for something (with Angels paying his contract), and I highly doubt that.

  46. VegasANGELSFan 3 years ago

    100% agree. I hated that trade from day one. I thought there must have been a mistake and kept waiting for the traderumor post to update… it never did.

  47. ogueira 3 years ago

    With a 8.50 K/9, 2.67 BB/9, and 53.8% ground ball rate, I would gladly take my chances that the results going forward will be much better than his ERA and WHIP suggest.

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