- Scot Shields, who announced his retirement today, said on a conference call that he drew interest this offseason before calling it a career. "There were some teams interested, but nothing seemed like the right fit," Shields said.
- A longtime GM tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney that he has heard "less trade talk this spring than in any other year [he has] been on the job" (Twitter link).
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Cardinals are excited about their rotation despite Adam Wainwright's elbow injury. The Cards will go with Chris Carpenter Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, Kyle Lohse and Kyle McClellan.
- Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie joined CAA, according to the agency (on Twitter). As MLBTR's newly launched Agency Database shows, CAA also represents Blue Jays J.P. Arencibia and Travis Snider.
- Scouts tell Joel Sherman of the New York Post that they aren't enthusiastic about Jesus Montero's ability to catch in the major leagues.
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.
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, 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.
Wednesday night links, as Daniel Hudson attempts to keep his NL ERA under 2.00….
- David Ortiz tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he thinks Carl Crawford will sign with the Yankees or Angels this winter.
- Joe Girardi doesn't expect Alfredo Aceves or Damaso Marte to be back with the Yankees in 2010, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
- The chances of lifetime Angel Scot Shields returning to the club's bullpen next season are "less than remote," says Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Whether Scott Kazmir will be a part of the Angels' rotation also remains to be seen, DiGiovanna writes in a separate piece. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith examined the team's 2011 rotation yesterday.
- The Astros are looking into the possibility of signing Barret Loux, but haven't made an offer yet, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
- Carlos Guillen would like to play second base for the Tigers next season, write Jason Beck and Alex DiFilippo of MLB.com.
- Jack Moore of Fangraphs looks into the outstanding numbers Geovany Soto is putting up this year. Earlier today, we looked at Soto as a possible candidate for an extension.
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.