On the notion of the Padres trading right-hander James Shields to the Red Sox for benched third baseman Pablo Sandoval, one scout told Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune, “James Shields is not good in Fenway Park in his career. Some people think he’s a National League pitcher at this point of his career. But it’s one fewer year (on his contract) than Sandoval. I think Sandoval would be better off outside of Boston. I think he’s been eaten whole there. That trade actually would make some sense.” Both players are coming off down seasons, albeit Shields was easily the more valuable of the two in 2015. Shields, 34, exceeded the 200-inning barrier for the ninth straight year and set a career high with a 9.61 K/9, but he also logged personal worsts in BB/9 (3.6) and FIP (4.45) to accompany a mediocre 3.91 ERA. Sandoval is a half-decade younger (29), though that plus is offset by a well-known weight problem and the fact that he had the worst fWAR in baseball in 2015 (-2.0). Moreover, the two carry undesirable financial commitments. Shields is due $60MM over the next three years, though he can opt out and become a free agent after next season. That would mean leaving $44MM on the table, however. Sandoval, meanwhile, is owed $70MM through 2019. Both players’ deals have expensive club options at the end that their respective teams surely won’t exercise, which will lead to buyouts ($2MM for Shields in 2019, $5MM for Sandoval in 2020).
More from around the majors. . .
- With president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in charge, the Red Sox are a meritocracy when it comes to putting together a roster, as Alex Speier of the Boston Globe writes. That was evident in the team’s decision to relegate Sandoval, whom it signed just a year ago, in favor of Travis Shaw at the hot corner. The Dombrowski-led Red Sox began the trend of valuing performance over contract when they elected last summer to end the short-lived, disastrous experiment of Hanley Ramirez in left field, Speier notes. “My focus is on the guys that are in uniform, not what’s attached to them or what their contract states,” manager John Farrell said. “We’re all about evaluating and what’s best for our team.”
- The Astros have informed left-hander Wandy Rodriguez that he will not crack their Opening Day Roster, tweets Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. Rodriguez, who inked a minor league accord with the Astros in the offseason, had been competing with James Hoyt and Michael Feliz for the final spot in the team’s bullpen. Rodriguez had an opt-out in his contract for last Saturday, per Evan Drellich of the Chronicle. With that deadline having passed, it’s unclear what the immediate future will hold for Rodriguez, but he could end up on the market and in search of a major league deal elsewhere. “Let me see what happens if somebody picks me (up),” he told Drellich.
- The Cardinals aren’t looking for outside help at shortstop in the wake of Ruben Tejada’s injury, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Instead, the Redbirds will at least wait until they have a better understanding of Tejada’s status. He’ll start the season on the disabled list with a muscle strain in his left quadriceps, leaving Jedd Gyorko and Greg Garcia as the Cardinals’ options at the major league level. They also have Aledmys Diaz of Triple-A Memphis as a potential call-up.
- Nick Burdi, the Twins’ best relief pitching prospect, is “out indefinitely” with right forearm tightness and will begin the season on the DL, reports LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. Of course, forearm injuries sometimes portend Tommy John surgery. Burdi, who’s capable of hitting 99 on the radar gun, threw three scoreless spring innings for the Twins. The 23-year-old tossed 63 2/3 innings at multiple minor league levels last season and pitched to a 3.82 ERA with an 11.7 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9.
- Right-hander Roberto Hernandez is drawing interest from teams that want to sign him to a minor league contract, but he’s holding out for a major league deal, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. Hernandez, 35, opted out of his deal with Toronto earlier this week after the club didn’t add him to its active roster. In 84 2/3 innings last year with Houston, Hernandez worked to a 4.36 ERA with 4.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.
- Lefty reliever Wesley Wright has garnered multiple Triple-A offers, per Cotillo (Twitter link). Wright, whom Arizona released Monday, has thrown 371 innings of 4.16 ERA ball to accompany an 8.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in his major league career. Those mediocre numbers belie his success versus left-handed batters, who have hit a paltry .234/.313/.334 against Wright.
And yet people still think Shields will opt out
If every projection system out there is right and posts something right about 3 WAR in 2016, he’ll wind up with a lot more than $44M on a deal next winter.
0 interest in a straight up Pablo for shields swap
I agree. Sandoval has no value. Shields is still a good pitcher, not an ace but a good pitcher.
Shields is a 34 year old #4 whose making over 20mil a season for the next 3 years.. He’s probably a negative asset. Maybe not as much as Sandoval but still doesn’t have value
Shields would be a 3 or 2 in the sox rotation, and I don’t think he’s negative
For starters, that doesn’t mean anything. Chris Tillman is the Orioles #1 that doesn’t mean he’s a #1 pitcher.
James Shields was worth 1.1 fWAR last season with a 4.4 FIP. He’s also 34 and has seen his velocity dip along with the effectiveness of his change up. He’s a decent 3/4 pitcher that’s capable of throwing innings, but isn’t as good as he was with the Rays and Royals. He’s a similar pitcher to Wade Miley. Durable, but not great.
Also, not sure about that. Buchholz was a much better pitcher last season (although he’s injury prone) and Erod was better as well (112 ERA+).
He’s a 4 based on the ridiculously unsustainable HR rate he gave up last year, odds of that sustaining this year are extremely low. Maybe he will still look like a 4 in a couple of months cause other stats will regress, but the homer rate will regress surely.
Shields would be behind Price, Bucholz when healthy, Rodriquez when he returns and maybe even Porcello in a possible R/Sox rotation.
Shields isn’t close to the SP he was 3y ago and is as the article described.. A large stadium, NL pitcher right now, who would get punished with all the small fields and powerful lineups which make up that division.
FanGraphs Depth Charts, Steamer and ZiPS project James Shields with 2016 WAR of 3.0, 2.6 and 3.1, respectively, making the righthander pretty much worth his $21 million salary at $8 million per WAR.
FanGraphs Depth Charts, Steamer and ZiPS project Pablo Sandoval with 2.016 WAR of 1.0, 1.6 and 0.9, respectively, falling short of his $17 million salary.
Shields has way, way more value than panda. Only way this seemingly-too-often-mentioned swap happens is the Bsox throw in a ton of money or a half decent prospect.
Shields is not great, but hes at least useful. Sandoval is taking up a spot on the 25 man for negative value.
I would take Shields over Porcello EVERY day of the week.
Conner’s comments are simply wrong. Shields is hardly coming off a “down” year. He was 13-7 for a team that lost 88 games. He was one of the few bright spots for the Padres last year. He did exactly what ANY team can hope for when signing a FA: a player living up the expectations based on their production in previous seasons. His previous four years, JS won between 13 & 16 games, logged 200+ innings, had an ERA under 4. In fact, JS had his best season ever when it came to winning percentage for a very bad San Diego team. No one is saying he’s a #1 starter….but he is far and away the Padres best and the notion that a guy with JS’s record last year is a #4 is just being blind to the facts. He is and has been a quality MLB pitcher and signing him was a FAR better deal than signing Sandoval. Forget WAR and all these other new stats…..look at what the people actually do on the field!
Happy April Fools day to you too, Lance!
You can’t be serious…
This makes some sense. Both have similar contracts and while Sheilds was a bit better last season, some of that is made up in age difference. Sandoval (29) is 5 years younger than Shields (34)
I’d imagine the redsox would AT LEAST have to eat Sandovals contract down to match Shields. My guess is, the Padres would want even more money eaten/ with a solid prospect like a Owens or Travis involved as well.
So maybe something along the lines of Sandoval, Owens, and 20mil for Shields could work. The Redsox get a 3/4 starter who can throw 200innings. The Padres save 5-10mil a year, get a good pitching prospect, and if Sandoval bounces back, they’d have him for his aged 29-32 seasons instead of Shields at 34+. Redsox get better, Padres get younger and cheaper, which is usually good for a rebuilding team.
No way this happens , Red Sox won’t give any prospect for shields
Well, in this trade, theyre also dumping Sandoval, who has less value than Shields. In order to make up for the difference in value, the Redsox would be adding some money and a solid prospect
which is why no deal will happen
I think what will happen is padres will ask for sandoval and a top prospect+ for shields. Once the Red Sox say no, this non story goes away.
Indeed. Its a too oft mentioned storyline because SD pursued panda in FA. It’s a completely different situation now.
Sandoval is a dumpster fire and Shields still has value. There will be nothing close to a 1 for 1 swap.
And why should the Cards sign an outside SS? They lost the replacement to their starting SS lol, no point in getting a replacement for the replacement
Not sure how long Tejada is actually out but I didn’t really understand the need for him anyway. Isn’t Tejada a defensive lite hitting shortstop? Doesn’t every organization have those? I get the experience factor but if I’m filling Peraltas shoes I would have rather brought up Diaz and give him a shot. I could see similar results or the chance of more. With Tejada I guess you know what you have but you also know it’s nothing special
Yeah that’s how I saw it with Tejada. I’d like to see Gyorko getting semi regular playing time with the depth of the injuries now because I remember hearing great things about him when he was just a prospect and this may come to light now that he’s with a much better franchise.
It’s nice to assume that there is a store that a team can go out and buy a 0.00 or better fill-in for two months for waiver fee prices. That doesn’t necessarily exist.
I’m not sure if the Cardinals have or don’t have anyone beyond Carpenter/Wong/Gyorko/Garcia/Diaz for second, third, and short. Even if they don’t, they aren’t in trouble now-today.
However, if they don’t have a guy they can easily plug in to fill the spots, they could be in heavy trouble if they get anymore injuries. Even slight ones.
I’m trying to learn about their Triple-A options beyond Diaz on the fly, as a blogger.
I’d take Shields at third over the fatboy!!!
Don’t see it. It isn’t some one for one bad contract swap. Shields is not a number one top of the rotation guy. He’s a solid innings eater. Don’t love his contract but it’s nothing like Sandovals. Sandoval has been reduced to a bench role. I love that they are putting the best players on the field and not just trotting out guys because of contract but that being said I’d bet if it was anywhere close Sandoval would be their their basemen. Business wise you’d want him out there working through it and regaining some value in his deal either for you to get some of what you paid for or to establish some type of trade value. They don’t believe it’s worth it at this point and that’s telling. You’d be trading less money and more value for more money and maybe a grain of hope of resurrection. No way. So what would the Red Sox have to include? Does some throw in prospect get it done? Doubtful. But would they throw in a blue chip prospect to get an innings eater and lose Sandoval? Doubtful. Not sure how this deal happens. I think SD could probably take on some of this deal and get a high upside but no real success to show for it so far prospect and hopefully help him bring it together but if not they’ve shed a contract they don’t need when they have little chance of immediate success. There is nothing more telling than how a players current organization values a player. I think in Sandovals case the verdict is in. If Sd helps offset some dollars I can’t imagine nobody could use Shields at a more manageable figure. SD overpaid for the guy but he isn’t garbage. What exactly was everyone expecting from him? Dominance? Why?
Exactly. Well put!! If Shields was to hit the open market today he would still be offered a multi year multi million dollar contract. Look at what Kennedy got and Shields had a way better year than him. If Sandoval was to hit the open market he would be offered multiple minor league make good contracts. He would probably at best be looking at a Stephen Drew 1 year $5 million contract that he received from the Yankees. This 1 for 1 swap talk is nonsense. Boston fans talking about Shields like he is of similar value to Sandoval is ridiculous. Shields still has positive value. Personally, I would like to see Boston eat a majority of his contract and ship him plus prospects to San Diego for Cashner. The Padres need a 3rd baseman and could probably work on transitioning him to 1st. Myers can’t seem to stay healthy and they need a backup plan besides Norris. Cashner has a better chance of success in Fenway than Shields does.
One for one there’s not even a chance SD makes that deal. I think Shields has value. Maybe not the kind of value he’s being paid for but he’s not a throw a way guy you get rid of for a bench player with significantly more dollars on his contract with a 5 million dollar buyout at the end over Shields 2 million buyout. I was shocked when SD offered Shields that much but I’m not shocked by his performance. There is such a buzz around some free agents they become players they never were until they have to go back out and prove it and we all act shocked somebody didn’t become a number one when we gave him number one type money(although on the low end of one of those these days). SD should eat a portion of the deal and trade him for a prospect with all the tools but hasn’t put it together and how they can make something from it and if not they shed significant unneeded payroll. Who the hell wants Pablo? Why would someone give up anything for him. You can’t say all bad contracts are created equal. Lots of “bad contracts” but some are still somewhat productive. Shields can have a bad contract and have value. Eat what you have to eat to make it work and move on. No need to get Pablo Sandoval involved
Well put.. I would disagree that Shields is getting #1 money though. If my memory is correct the Cubs offered Shields similar money and he turned it down. His AAV is only around $17.5 million. That puts him comfortably in the #2-#3 range. He makes just a bit more than what Leake signed for and nobody is calling Leake a TOR pitcher. The “buzz” you are talking about was not attached to Shields at all. I would say last year that “buzz” was attached to Lester more than anyone else. He landed a contract for twice as much as what Shields settled for and except for his 2014 season he wasn’t a true #1 (definitely an ace but not a true #1). He also had to wait until very late in the offseason to sign because the interest was in Lester and Scherzer. When both of them signed new contracts the attention turned to Shields. I would equate his trip through free agency with that of Cueto this year, Even though Cueto signed for more money than Shields and has put up true #1 stats in the most hitter friendly park in baseball. He still didn’t attract the buzz Grienke and P;rice did. They both had question marks, Shields’ was his age and mileage on his arm. Cueto was his health and second half performance last year. Cueto should have atleast equaled the contract of Lester but he fell way short. Samardzija doesn’t have near the history of Shields and still landed more money. If Samardzija gets $90m to be a #3 then Shields is being paid what he is worth. Its not his fault the Padres only wanted to pay him $10m last year and backload the rest of the contract. Going strictly by AAV Shields is right in line with others of his ability.
It’s spelled “mediocrity” not “meritocracy.”
I think he’s got it right.
Meritocracy- government or the holding of power by people selected on the basis of their ability.
But I was a little confused also.
You missed the joke almost as badly as Sandoval misses routine plays at 3rd.
Don’t worry Doug, the literate people in the room thought the joke was quite funny.
Can we all just take a moment to acknowledge the hilarious “Pablo Sandoval has been eaten whole” comment? At first I misread it as “Pablo Sandoval has eaten whole…” and I’m thinking, what, pizzas? chickens? cows? sharks?
Hahaha well played!
Twins should trade SS Escobar to the Cards and plug Santana in as their shortstop.
Besides the fact that Shields still has value, I would take him in the locker room over Panda any day.
Where would Panda fit anywhere except the bench anyway? Solarte has to play.
He got eaten whole by bigpapi4ever
If another team takes terrible contracts off of Bostons hands I will throw a brick through your computer screen. Why would I do it to my own?