Scot Shields Rumors

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Scot Shields To Retire

Longtime Angels setup man Scot Shields will officially retire today, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports (on Twitter). 

Shields said he was likely to retire last fall, but remained undecided as recently as January. He told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that he would play only if "a good deal in a good place" presented itself. Instead, the 35-year-old is ending his decade-long playing career.

Shields had consecutive disappointing seasons in 2009-10. He dealt with a sore elbow, underwent knee surgery and posted a 5.65 ERA in 63 2/3 innings over the course of his final two seasons. At his best, Shields helped define the Angels bullpen. He averaged 85 innings per season from 2004-08 with more than a strikeout per inning and a 3.11 ERA in that five-year stretch.

Longtime Angels Garret Anderson and Brendan Donnelly also retired this offseason.

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Scot Shields Still Undecided About Retirement

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.

Scot Shields Likely To Retire

Scot Shields, who was a durable, sometimes dominant weapon in Mike Scioscia’s bullpen for the last decade, told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that he’s “probably” going to retire after the season. He realizes the Angels have younger options and would like to spend more time with his family.

"On the personal side, your family comes first, and I've missed too much of my life with them. It might be time to go home," Shields said.

Shields missed most of the season’s last month with a sore elbow and his season ERA is now 5.28. The 35-year-old right-hander can still strike opponents out (7.6 K/9), but he walks too many batters (6.7 BB/9). This was Shields’ second consecutive disappointing season; he struggled last year before undergoing knee surgery.

At his best, Shields defined the Angels bullpen (along with Francisco Rodriguez and, for a while, Troy Percival). He averaged 85 innings per season from 2004-08 with more than a strikeout per inning and a 3.11 ERA in that five-year stretch.

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Scot Shields May Be Designated Soon

Angels reliever Scot Shields "could be designated for assignment soon," in the opinion of Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times.  Relievers Jason Bulger and Brian Stokes, both dealing with shoulder injuries, may return from the disabled list soon. Shields could be a roster casualty.

Shields, a 35-year-old righty, is a lifelong Angel.  As DiGiovanna notes, he's the last remaining link to the '02 World Series champion team.  Shields' control has never been great, but it's been terrible the last two years.  Since 2009 he has a 6.23 ERA, 7.3 K/9, and 7.3 BB/9, with seven home runs allowed in 56.3 innings.  He had knee surgery last summer. 

Shields signed a three-year, $14.6MM extension in March of '07, a contract that began with the '08 season.  Angels GM Bill Stoneman committed to four years of Shields at top dollar.  He was 31 at the time and had compiled a staggering 284.6 relief innings over 2004-06.