The market for James Shields is picking up steam, to say the least, with multiple reports indicating that he could decide upon a team before this weekend comes to a close. As of yesterday, the Marlins were still said to be in talks for Shields, with the Cubs “kicking the tires.” The Padres were indirectly connected to Shields, as reports had them seeking a top-end starter, though Shields was not mentioned by name.
Here are today’s Shields-related items…
- “The Padres…have to be considered favorites for” Shields, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. The fact that Shields lives in San Diego could indeed give the Padres the edge, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman writes.
- While the Padres are indeed “among the favorites” for Shields, Heyman reports that “a few other teams, including at least one surprise” are in contact with Shields’ camp. A person connected to the Cubs tells Heyman that Chicago could get involved in Shields’ market if his price falls significantly; the Cubs’ interest in Shields was first reported yesterday.
- The Blue Jays are “kicking the tires” on Shields, which is a surprise to Heyman given their payroll limitations. This isn’t the first time Toronto has been linked to Shields, though it remains to be seen if the Jays can create the financial space to sign Shields even at a lowered price tag.
- The Dodgers are currently focused on international stars Yoan Moncada and Hector Olivera and not Shields, tweets Hall of Fame journalist Peter Gammons. Many have speculated that the Dodgers could make a play based not only on their deep pockets but on the presence of former Rays GM Andrew Friedman atop the new L.A. baseball operations department.
- Multiple sources have told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that they do not expect the Marlins to sign Shields. One source characterized the chances as “zero percent.” For what it’s worth, others have also reported the chances as “zero,” only to have rumors of talks between the two sides resurface. Ultimately, however, it seems that the Fish are long shots. Shields’ reported desire to play for a team on the West Coast and the Marlins’ limited payroll are both detrimental factors.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has been told by sources in recent weeks that the Cardinals “are not a team with interest.” As Goold outlines, the Cardinals may be wary not only of forfeiting a draft pick but of forfeiting the portion of their draft bonus pool that would go along with it. Based on last year’s slot figures, signing Shields would cost St. Louis 28.3 percent of its bonus pool.