We learned last night that the market for James Shields was taking shape, with multiple offers on the table and an expectation that the righty would be signed by the end of the week. Today figures to deliver plenty more reporting on the best remaining free agent, and we’ll keep tabs on it here.
- The Cubs have entered the fray and are “kicking the tires” on Shields, reports David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com. Kaplan, too, hears that Shields is expected to choose a team by the end of the week, and the Cubs are among those he is considering. Kaplan tweets that the Cubs have been waiting to see where the Shields market ended up before getting too involved. He adds that Shields has interest in Chicago, with his relationship with manager Joe Maddon being a factor.
- Shields’s agent, Page Odle, has indicated to some clubs that his client is “getting close to resolution,” according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter).
- While it remains unclear exactly where they stand, the Marlins “remain in talks” involving Shields, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports. As he writes, the club is more interested in a three-year deal than in going to four, with its pursuit complicated by payroll projections and the undecided situation of Dan Haren.
- If Miami is in, several other at-least-hypothetical landing spots appear to be out: The Cardinals prefer to plug Carlos Martinez in the rotation rather than signing Shields, tweets Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Rangers have not modified their intentions to avoid major free agent pitching investments, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan (via Twitter). And the always-unpredictable Athletics are not involved, per a tweet from Heyman.
- Two more west coast teams, the Giants and Angels, are also not currently in the running, Heyman reports (Twitter links). San Francisco had been in conversations in the four-year, $80MM range with Shields earlier in the offseason, per an Olney tweet, but ended up pursuing (and signing) Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong when they were rebuffed.
- The Royals have not discussed Shields in some time, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports on Twitter. Instead, Kansas City is “focused” on picking up a draft pick, which it stands to do if Shields signs elsewhere since he declined the club’s qualifying offer.
- The Yankees are “not on Shields” in spite of some suggestion that the club could become a suitor, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. As Heyman notes, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported last night that the club was not interested in chasing an expensive free agent starter.
- The Red Sox do not have an offer out to Shields, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports on Twitter. Boston has, of course, long been suggested as an at least theoretical landing spot for Shields since it lost out on Jon Lester, though the club is also said to be wary of putting Shields on the rubber at Fenway.
- Shields has a “strong preference” to play for a West Coast club, multiple general managers tell Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). The veteran makes his home in San Diego, Nightengale notes.
- That news does not necessarily suggest a connection to the Padres, but it should be noted that GM A.J. Preller is said to be working hard to add a top-end starter to his re-worked roster, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweeted last night.