The Diamondbacks are “in [the] mix” for free agent righty James Shields, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports report (Twitter links). Shields has received a $110MM offer, but was not interested in playing for that unnamed team, per the report.
Arizona is not interested in guaranteeing Shields nine figures, says FOX Sports, which indicates that present bidding is shy of $100MM. Notably, a report from one week back stated that the D’Backs (and Marlins) felt that they could not reach the necessary price range for Shields.
With the market for Shields still murky, it remains impossible to predict where he will end up. Per the above-linked article, interest in Shields seems to come with significant qualifications beyond that of the since-rejected high-bidding club. Neither is it entirely clear what standards the 32-year-old veteran will use to decide. A native of the West Coast, Shields has a wife and children to consider as well.
As for the D’Backs, the team has made several moves to re-shape its roster since overhauling its front office in advance of the offseason. Coming into the winter, new GM Dave Stewart said that a front-line pitcher was on the wish list, though it was never clear just how likely it was that the team would seriously pursue a higher-level talent like Shields.
As things stand, the team will roll out a rotation that could include some or all of recent additions Jeremy Hellickson, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Vidal Nuno, and even Robbie Ray. Pre-existing options such as Josh Collmenter and Trevor Cahill, along with Tommy John rehabbers Bronson Arroyo and Patrick Corbin, remain available as well, among others.
Landing Shields would obviously put a different spin on the team’s moves to date. Presumably, such a win-now act would add particular impetus to the team’s efforts to upgrade behind the plate, potentially by dealing away from the starting depth.