Finding a Place for James Shields

It’s not that there’s nothing left to be done. Eventually, someone’s going to sign Yoan Moncada. Eventually, someone’s going to sign Hector Olivera. There’s no telling when a team might make a strong enough offer to grab a pitcher like Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, or Cole Hamels. It’s still the offseason — it’s still the middle of January. But for the most part, people are looking ahead, with the start of spring training a month away. With the Max Scherzer contract complete, all the big fish are accounted for. All the big fish, that is, but James Shields, who very much remains a free agent, with a very much unclear future destination.

The free-agent market at this point is terrible. As you’d expect it to be. Just yesterday, I was reading a rumor connecting the Astros to Ryan Vogelsong, even though the two parties involved were the Astros and Ryan Vogelsong, and that tells you a little bit about who remains out there. Shields is the exception, since, no matter how worried you are about the mileage on his arm, he appears a good-enough bet to contribute next year. The guy just needs to find a home. How might we be able to help him find a home?

What follows is simply an exercise. I wanted to find out who might stand to gain the most by signing James Shields as a free agent. There’s no easy way to turn that into math, considering all the different details, but we do have projections for 2015. We do have projected starting-rotation depth charts. While teams interested in Shields will be thinking about more than just one year, you figure next year is the most important of the years, since it’s the year in which Shields has the highest odds of being good.

So which rotations would improve the most with Shields? That’s what you’ll find in the table below. Because it’s all just based on Steamer, it’s not perfect, and I had to make some judgment calls with making space for Shields on each staff. Basically, I took Shields’ projection, added it to each rotation, and then took away innings from the back-end arms until the frames evened out. For the record, because some guys are projected to get innings as both starters and relievers, I had to make a few little adjustments that I don’t think changed much significantly. Anyhow, it’s the table you want, right? This is a table of projected WAR gains, for 2015, with a brand-new (but actually heavily-used) James Shields:

Team WAR Gain
Reds 3.6
Phillies 3.5
Tigers 3.3
Braves 3.2
White Sox 3.2
Orioles 3.2
Rays 3.1
Angels 3.1
Athletics 3.0
Blue Jays 3.0
Diamondbacks 2.9
Astros 2.9
Cubs 2.8
Giants 2.6
Brewers 2.6
Padres 2.5
Marlins 2.5
Rangers 2.5
Pirates 2.3
Mets 2.3
Cardinals 2.2
Twins 2.2
Dodgers 2.1
Royals 2.1
Yankees 2.0
Rockies 2.0
Mariners 1.8
Red Sox 1.6
Indians 1.6
Nationals 0.8

So the Nationals wouldn’t improve much at all. We knew that, or we at least could’ve guessed that, but it’s funny. James Shields is going to sign for something in the rough vicinity of $100 million. If the Nationals gave him that contract, they would project to get better by less than one win. Stupid crazy Nationals.

Anyhow, the real interesting teams are the teams toward the top. Let’s go through them individually, since this table considers one thing and one thing only. Which of those teams would actually make sense?

Based on this, no team would improve more than the Reds, albeit by a small margin. The problem: the Reds don’t have money. This offseason, they’ve had to balance money coming in with money going out, so they’re not going to be involved in the Shields market. Simply can’t afford it.

The Phillies would get a lot better. This is because the Phillies, as currently constructed, suck. That’s also the reason the Phillies won’t be involved in the Shields market.

The Tigers are an interesting candidate. They’re familiar with Shields, and they’ve got David Price a year away from free agency. The current starting rotation doesn’t have depth, and it does have Alfredo Simon, who isn’t particularly good. But the Tigers also paid a decent price to get Simon from the Reds, and that would be strange if they didn’t think Simon could give them 150 innings or so. You definitely can’t rule the Tigers out, but they’re also not my most likely destination.

The Braves are like the Phillies, in that they suck. Now, they did pay for Nick Markakis, oddly enough, and that move doesn’t fit with a team that’s trying to rebuild, but Shields is going to cost twice as much as Markakis did. The Braves aren’t a candidate.

The White Sox have little rotation depth at all, and bringing in Shields would allow them to have a downright terrifying front four. The move might also boost them into favorite position in the AL Central. That’s the argument for. The argument against: Rick Hahn’s already had an incredibly busy offseason, and the team might be just about out of wiggle room. The payroll projects to be much higher than it was last year. The White Sox, perhaps, are a dark horse.

The Orioles, in theory, would improve, but it’s hard to see how they’d make space. Already, they have one too many starters what with Ubaldo Jimenez‘s presence, and there’s growing buzz regarding the return of Dylan Bundy to the bigs. So, to me, Baltimore would be a surprise.

The Rays don’t have the money. Moving on.

The Angels suggest they don’t have the money. There are a lot of expensive players already on the payroll. They’ve done pretty well to accumulate a group of low-cost starters who can help them for a while. But given the state of the rotation, and given the state of the division, I don’t think you can rule the Angels out until Shields has actually signed somewhere else.

The A’s can’t afford it. Which brings us to the Blue Jays.

I like Marcus Stroman. I like him a lot. Yet a starting rotation includes five pitchers, not one, and right now, at the back, the Jays are looking at Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, and/or Liam Hendriks. Sanchez has an undeniably awesome fastball, but in his career as a starter, he’s never really thrown strikes, and he hasn’t missed enough bats against advanced competition. Sanchez profiles better as a reliever, which is incidentally something the Blue Jays say they’re interested in finding. Norris has a better record of strikes than Sanchez, but he has very little experience at Double-A or higher, so he functions better as depth. I don’t think I need to tell you anything about Hendriks.

And, wouldn’t you know it, but the Blue Jays are in position to go to the playoffs. At least, they’re in position to contend for the playoffs, and they could win the AL East. So they’re in that delicate win-curve position, and a year from now, Mark Buehrle‘s gone. R.A. Dickey is maybe gone. Shields wouldn’t block anyone. It’s hard to imagine a better fit than this.

Right after the Blue Jays, we see the Diamondbacks, who we know to be interested, but they’re not good, and they’ve conveyed that they probably won’t make the high bid. The Astros might have the money, but they’re still not really a James Shields away from being strong. The Cubs could make sense, but already they have too many rotation candidates, and they might prefer to roll with what they’ve got instead of making another expensive free-agent-pitcher acquisition. The Giants have publicly all but ruled themselves out. The Brewers like Jimmy Nelson too much. The Padres are probably too cash-strapped. And on, and on.

Other teams do fit. Aside from the Nationals, there’s no team James Shields wouldn’t fit, on paper. He’s a good player, and it might well be Shields ends up with a team that isn’t his best match. Players don’t always go to where those same players are the best matches. But for whatever it’s worth, as I write this, it seems to me the best match is in Toronto. They have an interest, and they have a need, and they have a team good enough to conceivably win the next World Series. I suppose you could consider the Blue Jays my James Shields favorite. Now I need to quit this and look at Twitter to see if it might’ve already happened.

—–

(Note: realized, during the course of this, that Dan Szymborski just wrote a similar piece for ESPN Insider, based on ZiPS instead of Steamer. That was a coincidence, but you get to read them both! If you want to. I don’t know what you want.)



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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John Elway
Member
1 year 4 months ago

I’ve been saying all along the White Sox are a dark horse.

Just neighing.

Ben Cerutti
Guest
Ben Cerutti
1 year 4 months ago

I’ll guess the Angels as his eventual landing spot. Seems like a good fit. Larger park, the need is there, the money is there.

yolo
Guest
yolo
1 year 4 months ago

yeah, but is the money there? the josh hamilton contract’s ridiculously backloaded and he’s owed 90 million over the next 3 years (24,400,000 in 2015, 32,400,000 in 2016/17). Pujols’s contract is slowly escalating. They actually have to pay Mike Trout soon (6 million next year, then 16, 20, and 3 years of 34 million).

the angels are obviously rich, but I just don’t see them buying another marquee free agent.

Spencer Jones
Member
Member
Spencer Jones
1 year 4 months ago

AFAIK I don’t think payroll is so much the problem with the Angels as the luxury tax is, so the backloading of the Hamilton and Trout contracts wouldn’t necessarily affect that. If my math is right they’re at about $150M, so they could comfortably add Shields and stay under the $189M threshould.

Robert L
Member
Robert L
1 year 4 months ago

They are about $18M below the luxury tax, so Shields would really need to bring down his #. But, if they are going a few million over, we are talking a tax of 17.5% on $1M (for example). After the 2015 season they also shed some payroll and after 2016 they shed a ton

Robert L
Member
Robert L
1 year 4 months ago

Sorry, it is actually about $14M

sausagemcbiscuit
Guest
sausagemcbiscuit
1 year 4 months ago

Over the past calender year, the Angels have made it an effort to acquire young, cost-controlled SP. Signing a 33 year old Shields to a 4-5 year deal at an AAV of $18-$20 million kind of doesn’t fit with what they are currently trying to do. He’d need his price to drop considerably if they are going to show interest

I think he ends up in either Toronto or with the White Sox

Bob
Guest
Bob
1 year 4 months ago

The kind of thing that makes me question the validity of projections such as this:

The Rockies are fifth from the bottom of this list, tied with the Yankees.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
1 year 4 months ago

Toronto, it seems, is out of money. I can’t see him going there. I like the Angels as the eventual landing spot. Have you seen how terrible their bullpen is? They need to move some talent back there if they want to come out ahead of the M’s or the A’s. Signing Shields would allow…I dunno, somebody (Santiago? Heaney?) to move back.

White Shadow
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White Shadow
1 year 4 months ago

Jeff, I want to thank you for your cameo on MLB Network. It was pure pleasure to see my favorite sports writer on TV. Thanks for all of your hard work, Sir.

joser
Guest
joser
1 year 4 months ago

Can I get a link? Or does MLB Network, in its proud parent’s tradition, black out the broadcasts I most want to see?

Fletch
Guest
Fletch
1 year 4 months ago

I enjoyed Jeff’s appearance as well. Here’s a link to it for those that are interested:

http://m.mlb.com/nyy/video/topic/7417714/v37152101/jeff-sullivan-joins-the-guys-on-mlb-now

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
1 year 4 months ago

Thank you, it is nice, once in awhile, to put faces and voices to the writers.

tz
Guest
tz
1 year 4 months ago

Though I somehow expected Jeff to look older than Brady Aiken lol.

joser
Guest
joser
1 year 4 months ago

Thanks!

Bobo Polaroids
Member
Member
Bobo Polaroids
1 year 4 months ago

Just watched that video on mlb.com. Seriously, Jeff, awesome job!

Pokkit
Member
Pokkit
1 year 4 months ago

Cistulli was right. Jeff is a pretty handsome blogger.

joser
Guest
joser
1 year 4 months ago

He cleans up well. I wonder if he actually had a tie, or if MLB network put that on him?

triple_r
Member
Member
1 year 4 months ago

Serious question: What are the odds that Shields takes a Jimenez-like deal — 4 years at $50 million, or something like that? For how long does he have to go unsigned before he’s that desperate?

pft
Guest
pft
1 year 4 months ago

No comparison between the 2. Jiminez had like 2 good months in 3 years, Shields has been consistently very good and a lock for 200 IP, although a bit older.

My prediction is 3/60 with a vesting option

tz
Guest
tz
1 year 4 months ago

Sounds about right.

The mid-point between what Lester and Santana got is about 5/105, or would have been about 5/100 if Lester had a QO stuck on him like Shields and Santana. With Shields being 2 years older than the Lester/Santana hybrid, teams would probably want the 3 year deal while Shields certainly would be pushing for at least 4.

Which sounds like the makings of 3 years plus a vesting option. Which Shields would probably say yes to if the average salary is $20m.

witesoxfan
Guest
witesoxfan
1 year 4 months ago

I think he’s getting 4 years at the bare minimum. There’s probably not a whole lot of teams afraid of giving James Shields 3 years at $20 million, and I think there are quite a few who view him as acceptable for 4 years. I think some team will cave and give him a 5th or a large buyout for a 5th year option at the very minimum.

JayT
Guest
JayT
1 year 4 months ago

I think at 4 years $50 million pretty much every team would be in on him. My guess is that if he’s willing to do 4/$80 he wouldn’t have to hard of a time finding a taker. I think the main issue stopping him from signing is that he wants a fifth year.

Who is Zorbist?
Guest
Who is Zorbist?
1 year 4 months ago

The Rays would sign him to a 4 year 50 mil deal tomorrow! Trade Dejesus and Forsythe, and they could afford it. I think that answers your question as to whether he will accept that money.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew
1 year 4 months ago

The Blue Jays should also sign Rickie Weeks for a nominal amount of money. He seems like the type that would thrive in Rogers and he is better than Ryan Goins

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
1 year 4 months ago

Do you really want to see Weeks’ defense on turf though? That has disaster written all over it.

Dan
Guest
Dan
1 year 4 months ago

What about the Cardinals? There are questions about Wainwright’s health and they may not believe in Martinez as a starter. They were rumored to be in on Scherzer, so Shields seems like a logical fallback option.

jim fetterolf
Guest
jim fetterolf
1 year 4 months ago

It’s being suggested around here that Shields with some deferred money could work for the Royals if he’ll take four years. Royals get a new local TV deal in 2020, so a 4/80 with $20m of it deferred until beginning in ’20 could work for both parties.

phaddix
Member
Member
phaddix
1 year 4 months ago

At what point do the Royals become an option again? Any chance Shields price falls far enough where they can afford to resign him without risking the future of the franchise?

TangoAlphaLima
Guest
TangoAlphaLima
1 year 4 months ago

I suspect David Glass will not authorize any additional spending, especially not any of the long-term nature. Every deal they did this winter was a short one or two year deal, and that’s generally been their modus operandi for quite some time. They’re very gun shy about committing long-term dollars, and I think they want to keep some flexibility for when the homegrown talent become free agents.

Who is Zorbist?
Guest
Who is Zorbist?
1 year 4 months ago

Like Billy Butler? Who are they saving money for?

Sal is locked up for years. Holland is replaceable with Davis. Ventura is 2 years away from arb. Lo Cain is arb eligible for the first time, and is already 28 years old. Gordon is really the only one close to FA that is any good.

DL80
Guest
DL80
1 year 4 months ago

But Hosmer and Moustakas bring the passion and chemistry!

TangoAlphaLima
Guest
TangoAlphaLima
1 year 4 months ago

Hosmer is a free agent in 2018. Lorenzo Cain is a free agent in 2018. Mike Moustakas is a free agent in 2018. Alex Gordon has a player option for 2016 that he won’t pick up. Greg Holland is a free agent in 2017. Danny Duffy is a free agent in 2018, etc.

Look, I’m not saying it is something they should be thinking about, but Dayton Moore has repeatedly stated that they want long-term flexibility to sign homegrown talent when they’re up for free agency. I’m relatively dubious that will even come to fruition, though.

DA DA DA
Guest
DA DA DA
1 year 4 months ago

They signed Infante and Vargas to 4 year deals just last year.

TangoAlphaLima
Guest
TangoAlphaLima
1 year 4 months ago

With small commitments, yes. They aren’t afraid to blow $30 million on a long-term deal (Vargas 4 years, $32 mil, Infante 4 years, $30.25 mil), but they won’t get anywhere close to $80 or $100 million over a similar length, which is where Shields will likely end up. Moore doesn’t go for big contracts for big names, he prefers to pay decent money to a bunch of mediocre players instead.

jim fetterolf
Guest
jim fetterolf
1 year 4 months ago

For the Royals, money can be handled, the years are more a problem. David Glass keeps bumping the payroll up and has made plenty of extra profits even through the Process, so has the reserves to handle Shields as well as likely has the confidence to take the flyer for him. With Scherzer leaving the division, bringing Shields back becomes more likely to get the team back to the playoffs.

ocurtiss
Guest
ocurtiss
1 year 4 months ago

To be fair, wouldn’t the Nats have still been in the bottom half to bottom third of teams, using this metric, if we were to have looked for a spot for Scherzer just a few days ago?

pft
Guest
pft
1 year 4 months ago

Well, he had to wait till Scherzer and Lester were off the market, so I expect he signs within the next week

Yankees would be the biggest beneficiaries. Their top 3 starters are all likely to end up on the DL before June. Red Sox need an ace. Although Shields is probably a 1A or 2 at this point, he strengthens the top of the rotation. Most teams improve with Shields, but only a couple can afford him, and teams like the Yankees who could afford him just don’t want to spend (beauty of a monopoly, 85 wins can still draw 3.4 million fans).

So my guess is the Red Sox get him for 3/60 with a vesting option. They have the prospects to deal, but why give up prospects when you can part with your large stockpile of cash (they are already over 189 and are missing the rebates so might as well go a bit more over)

The Canadian Dollar
Guest
The Canadian Dollar
1 year 4 months ago

The Yankees aren’t a monopoly. They are just in the largest market.

Jim Price
Guest
Jim Price
1 year 4 months ago

I’m not sure Shields is even a #2 at this point, he couldn’t get through 5 innings in playoffs. And no way he only signs for 3 years. Someone will give him 5 and a lot of teams would be willing to do 4.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
1 year 4 months ago

Wait, what? We’re using a 1-start sample to judge his value?

….

arc
Guest
arc
1 year 4 months ago

He’s produced 12-13 WAR over the last three years (depending on which metric you use). No one in baseball has pitched more innings that time. He was in the top 15 in MLB in innings pitched per start last year.

There is absolutely no valid argument that he is worse than a #2.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew
1 year 4 months ago

I don’t get the Giants. They have a pretty weak farm and guys like Hudson and Peavy that could break any minute. Cain is coming off an injury. Lincecum is bad. Petit hasn’t pitched more than 120 innings.

You come off a World Series win, so you have a good team, but you don’t appear to want to contend.

JayT
Guest
JayT
1 year 4 months ago

They also obviously have the money if the reports are true that they were in on Lester, Sandoval, and Headley up until the very end. They’ve also had a very cheap offseason filling third and left for about $6 million.

I really think they need to get another good starter if they want to make the playoffs, and at least Shields doesn’t cost any talent.

BaseballGuy
Guest
BaseballGuy
1 year 4 months ago

They already have a very high payroll, and I’m not sure how great their TV deal is. Winning the WS is worth something, but not a huge number. I wouldn’t assume they have the ability to go up into the luxury tax realm, which is where signing Shields would take them.

Mountain Landis
Guest
1 year 4 months ago

The Giants seem more likely to try and go with a lower priced option prob by trade – someone like Gee or Bud Norris or a McAllister come to mind.

Shields seems like someone the Yanks are going to grab. They haven’t spent much this winter and could use the stability in the rotation.

ElJimador
Guest
ElJimador
1 year 4 months ago

I suspect the Giants are one of several teams that are spooked by Shields’ massive workload over the past few seasons and see him as too big of a risk for the kind of money he’s asking. It’s not that they don’t have the money to sign him (obviously, if they were in on Lester and Sandoval). They just don’t want to spend it on Shields.

Keep in mind that the Giants have been extremely successful with their mid-season acquisitions. I think they’d rather hold payroll in reserve and see if there’s a better deal to be made prior to the deadline.

No
Guest
No
1 year 4 months ago

I would say the most likely 5th starter for the Jays as they currently stand is Estrada, with Sanchez in the BP and Norris in AAA. I doubt they go with Norris out of Spring Training, and Sanchez had serious issues with his secondaries and going through the lineup multiple times in AAA last year – I highly suspect he is either in the bullpen or in AAA rather than rotation in MLB.

Kris
Member
Kris
1 year 4 months ago

How much does it change some teams’ calculus if they structured a deal like Scherzer’s? Does that make him more affordable to some teams? Like the Astros or Dbacks?

Plucky
Guest
Plucky
1 year 4 months ago

Afforability is not the issue for the Astros. They are front- rather than back-loading deals, because they want max flexibility the next two offseasons. The issue is whether or not they want to pay 33-year old Shields to come and be the #1 a year or two before they are really competitive, or whether wait a year and pay what it takes to land Price, Zimmerman, Porcello, Fister, or Samardjiza. For the right dollar/year mix they’d do it, but it would have to be pretty compelling value. I would think some other team would step in and pay up before Shield’s price would come down to where the Astros would be interested.

jim fetterolf
Guest
jim fetterolf
1 year 4 months ago

Especially for teams with bad local TV contracts that end in a few years.

Jensan
Guest
Jensan
1 year 4 months ago

The issue of the Canadian Dollar is not as large an issue , as 2001-3 , when Canadian currency was severely in the dumper, with new television contracts , Regional Sport Networks, revenue Sharing, Digital Tv , licensing and MLBLAM annual shares , and the trust that Lerner family help create for MLB when he purchased the Expos.
The Revenues contribute Core Revenues in USD over $110 million to each team , therefore even the CDN declines will not be as adverse on Total costs as existed 12 years ago.
Shields would be a great move, with $28 million coming off the books excluding Navarro. Blue Jays have truck loads of young starting pitching two to three years away. They lose Buerhle after 2015, and Dickey after 2016 option expires.
Their Starting Pitching in 2016 would cost less than 2014 , even if Shields receives $20 million annual salary.
Do the deal Jays.

Jordan
Guest
Jordan
1 year 4 months ago

Still holding onto the pipe dream that he resigns with the Royals. Would be a great PR move for the front office and ownership and the teams pitching staff has Ventura, Duffy (despite how great he was last year he isn’t a sure thing yet), and 3 back end starters in Vargas, Volquez, and Guthrie. Medlen won’t be ready to start games again until at least the middle of the season. If Shields were to remain a Royal, we could keep the same rotation as last year (or switch out Volquez and Guthrie) and around the all star break if medlen is ready to go 5+ innings just bump out the worst performing starter and plug him in. The Royals’ biggest weakness at the current time is the rotation in my opinion and Shields could instantly solve that.

Now the bad news, we probably don’t have any more money, the team seems complete as is and I doubt Dayton gonna bay 10-11 million dollars to have Guthrie or Volquez be the long man in the pen. Still a pipe dream but one I’m enjoying entertaining in my head

Orsulakfan
Guest
Orsulakfan
1 year 4 months ago

In spite of what this chart shows, I would not be surprised if Boston or New York throw their hat in the ring. Shields’ #1 attribute is durability and reliability, and several of the projected starters in Boston and NY’s rotations are question marks in that regard.

CrazyPants
Guest
1 year 4 months ago

Absolutely. I’d have to believe the Yankees wouldn’t be happy giving up the draft pick (tho they did add a sandwich rd pick for Robertson). In the Sox case it would be just their 3rd rounder.

I think the Stros failing to close on Vogelsong could indicate they’re in on Shields.

BaseballGuy
Guest
BaseballGuy
1 year 4 months ago

I suspect the Astros were the team that offered Shields a big number and he turned down because he doesn’t want to play for them. Either them or the Twins.

CrazyPants
Guest
1 year 4 months ago

Could be fun playing in Houston the next few years.

CrazyPants
Guest
1 year 4 months ago

whoops, Sox would lose just their 4th rounder already having signed 2 comp-FAs (Panda and HanRam).

fothead
Guest
fothead
1 year 4 months ago

Eh, Yanks can’t draft or develop talent anyways so the pick is wasted. Better to spend it on Shields for today.

Jared
Guest
Jared
1 year 4 months ago

To eliminate the Tigers from serious contention due to having 5 sp’s they kinda like is shortsighted. Everyone at Fangraphs should know teams need 6-8 sp’s.

A.Sanchez is frequently injured.
J.Verlander looked rough and worn down last year.
D.Price is going to command a massive contract as a free agent after this year.
A.Simon is fine as a #4/5…but a major question mark to hold up as a sp all year.
S.Greene is a flyer that they hope comes through.
The Tiger’s current #6 & 7 sp’s are flyers and inexperienced….I would suggest this is the most likely destination for Shields.

witesoxfan
Guest
witesoxfan
1 year 4 months ago

I think this is a good possibility.

RSF
Guest
RSF
1 year 4 months ago

Generally agree, but I think the picture is even a bit more dire than you paint it. Simon has half a year in his career where he has looked like a decent rotation piece. That was the first half of last year. The projections are down on him, and I am inclined to agree.

Dallas
Guest
Dallas
1 year 4 months ago

I was really hoping you’d make an acronym out of the pitchers’ first names

Jim K
Guest
Jim K
1 year 4 months ago

Bizarre. I just loaded the page and only the italicized text showed up. It looks like an ee cummings poem, is NotGraphs back?

David B
Member
David B
1 year 4 months ago

The Reds have the 11th pick in the 2015 amateur draft. Is this pick protected given that Houston has two picks in the top 10?

JAM
Guest
JAM
1 year 4 months ago

For Shields to the Jays to work he’d have to be willing to do three things… play in Toronto, take 5 or less years, take 7M-ish the first year with the rest backloaded amoung the remaining years. The Jays in turn would have to be comfortable with the $ figure on those backloaded years (and burning the draft pick).

That strikes me as enough things that could stop the deal that one would happen. I agree it makes the most sense but I just don’t see it happening.

fothead
Guest
fothead
1 year 4 months ago

This has Yankees written all over it. I don’t think they expected to have Shields unsigned close to February with no clear suitors.

If we’re talking deferments, I dont think the Yanks would have much of an issue giving Shields roughly Lester money if they can defer a sizable potion. Long term the Yanks really (In Yankee terms) dont have a hell of alot of contract commitment once Tex and CC are done.

I cant see the Yanks going into the year with Capuano as thier #5 when Shields is out there. Plus he’s a “proven winner” which we know the NY fanbase has a collective hard-on for.

Gives them the depth they desperately need in the rotation. The only thing scarier than having Capuano as a 5 is the options behind him when the top three inevitably get hurt. There’s nothing there. Yanks need him and put themselves right back into the thick of the AL east race.

SlickRick
Guest
1 year 4 months ago

Lester money?! Good lord. He won’t get half what Lester got. 4/70M or so wouldn’t surprise me.

Logical teams are Yanks, Stros, Tigers, Marlins, or Jays. Teams aren’t throwing big contracts at 33 yo SPs with a lot of mileage however.

shthar
Guest
shthar
1 year 4 months ago

one year deal, may 1st.

Comic book guy
Guest
Comic book guy
1 year 4 months ago

Worst. Contract. prediction. EVER.

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