FEBRUARY 8TH, 7:52pm: The Padres’ offer to Shields four years and between $72-80MM, tweets FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.
11:46am: People around baseball think it will wind up somewhere in the $72-$75MM range across four years, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. The Cubs are still a long shot, according to Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM (on Twitter).
10:45am: Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter) expects Shields’ deal to be a four-year deal worth around $72-$80MM.
10:32am: Depending on the number of years, Shields, could sign for an annual average value of a little less than $20MM, according to Lin.
10:10am: The Cubs are seen as the major outside threat as things appear headed toward a resolution between Shields and the Padres, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Shields isn’t expected to come close to early $100MM projections and at this late juncture, baseball people say they believe he would do well to get anywhere close to $20MM per year. It is believed multiple teams have showed a willingness to extend a three-year offer, and one interested GM said agent Page Odle suggested he had at least one four-year offer.
9:40am: A Padres source that spoke with Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter) expressed confidence that San Diego sign Shields.
9:20am: Shields’ decision could come either today (Sunday) or Monday, according to Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego (via Twitter). Lin hears that Shields was informed early on Saturday that the Padres has made their final offer. Lin adds (link) that he’d be surprised if another team comes in and steals him away.
FEBRUARY 7TH, 7:04pm: Shields never rejected a five-year, $110 million offer, tweets Nightengale. While not pertinent to the present situation, it’s an interesting revelation. Earlier in the offseason, it was rumored that such an offer had been extended. When Shields didn’t sign, it was widely assumed the deal was rejected.
6:32pm: The outcome of the Padres offer is expected to be known within 24 hours, tweets Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
4:20pm: It’s not known which teams remain involved in the bidding, but one involved club was told that a decision is expected soon, tweets Nightengale.
4:07pm: The Padres “badly” want Shields and remain the favorites, but they’re being told that there are other teams still heavily involved in the bidding, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Meanwhile, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio tweets that there’s no “impasse” between the two sides, but rather that Shields simply must decide whether or not to accept San Diego’s “last and final offer.”
2:43pm: The Padres and Shields are currently “at an impasse” after several hours of negotiations, tweets Miller. The ball is Shields’ court at this point, he adds.
1:31pm: The Padres are indeed the favorites to sign Shields, “if not a lock already,” reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). Frisaro covers another team, the Marlins, who have been linked to Shields throughout the offseason.
11:15am: Talks between the Padres and James Shields “have heated up and are gaining momentum,” according to Scott Miller of FOX Sports San Diego/Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Shields, a native of Santa Clarita, Calif. (just 150 miles from San Diego), very much likes the idea of pitching in San Diego, Miller adds.
Last night, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that nothing was imminent between the two sides at this point, though he added that things could change quickly. Within his piece, Lin noted that Cole Hamels (a San Diego native himself) could be the team’s top target, but no club had yet come close to matching an asking price that many clubs believe to be exorbitant.
Rumors have been connecting the Padres and Shields for quite some time now. Adding an arm of his caliber to an already-strong rotation would be the icing of the cake, so to speak, on what has been a nearly unfathomably active offseason for first-year general manager A.J. Preller. The former Rangers executive was named GM in August and set out to transform the Padres’ low-scoring offense not with a lengthy rebuild, but by using his farm system to acquire several win-now bats. San Diego has added Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks this winter as well as relievers Shawn Kelley and Brandon Maurer while keeping the big league roster largely intact. The most notable subtractions from last year’s 25-man roster are Seth Smith, Yasmani Grandal and Jesse Hahn.
Shields, the prize of the remaining crop of free agents, is reportedly expected to make a decision on a destination before the weekend is complete. If signed, he’d join Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy atop a strong group of starters and further the Friars’ chances of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2006.