White Sox right-hander James Shields is drawing interest from playoff contenders as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline creeps closer, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. The 36-year-old turned in his fourth straight quality start Saturday and has pitched to a 4.48 ERA/4.28 FIP with 6.01 K/9, 3.66 BB/9 and a 38.1 percent groundball rate in 76 1/3 innings this season. Shields is on a $21MM salary – though his previous team, San Diego, is paying $11MM of that – and has a $16MM club option for 2019. His employer is sure to decline that in favor of a $2MM buyout, as Levine notes.
More from around the American League…
- Boston’s among the teams keeping an eye on Royals closer Kelvin Herrera, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. If acquired, the 28-year-old would return to a setup role with the Red Sox, thanks to the presence of closer Craig Kimbrel, and would further bolster a late-game mix that also includes Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes. Herrera, who’s in his last year of team control and making $7.94MM, has allowed just two earned runs and hasn’t issued a walk in 22 2/3 innings this season.
- Left-hander Zach Britton could return to the Orioles’ bullpen by June 15, manager Buck Showalter told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com and other reporters Saturday. For now, Britton – who’s working back from the ruptured Achilles he suffered in December – will continue with his Triple-A rehab assignment. When he does get back to the majors, it seems Britton will be auditioning for other teams leading up to the deadline. Not only are the Orioles already well out of contention, but Britton’s not under contract past this season.
- The Rangers activated outfielder Carlos Tocci from the DL and optioned infielder Hanser Alberto to Triple-A on Saturday. Given that Tocci was a Rule 5 pick last winter, Texas had to decide whether to add him to its 25-man roster upon his activation or designate him for assignment. The 22-year-old will stick with the Rangers for the time being, even though his tenure with the team began poorly before he went to the DL on April 22 with a hip issue. The rookie has hit .080/.148/.080 over a small sample size of 28 PAs.