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The Royals are interested in James Shields, but it would cost them

Dec 5, 2011, 11:06 PM EDT

james shields getty Getty Images

We mentioned earlier tonight that the Royals have interest in Athletics’ left-hander Gio Gonzalez as they look to upgrade their starting rotation, but Bill Chastain of reports that they have also expressed interest in Rays right-hander James Shields. However, the asking price is high. Really high.

According to Chastain, the Rays want closer Joakim Soria, top hitting prospect Wil Myers and infield prospect Christian Colon in return for Shields. Now that would be a haul. Can’t blame Andrew Friedman for aiming high here, but there’s no chance Dayton Moore would even think about accepting that deal.

That being said, the 29-year-old Shields remains a very attractive trade chip, especially as an alternative to an underwhelming field of free agent starting pitchers. The Rays exercised his $7.5 million option in October and hold reasonable options on his services for 2013 ($9 million) and 2014 ($12 million).

  1. hittfamily - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Reasonable options?

    Everything I have read says these are amazing options….like 50-55 million undervalue amazing team options. I think that trade sounds about right. Also, who is running the negotiotiations for the Rays right not, because it isn’t Friedman. Friedman is not under contract right now.

    Leave out Soria, add Hosmer and Upton, and it is a deal.

  2. Ick McWang - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    not under contract? what? technically you may or may not be right but freidman works for sternberg under basically, handshakes agreements. And as I hear it, the reason freidman has been turning down gm offers elsewhere is because he has a handshake agreement on an ownership stake. I mean, why else would he stay with the Rays unless he has a direct interest in a part of the tea? (See Todd Lieuweke with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he left one of the top sports owners to work for for an ownership stake.)

    • hittfamily - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:31 AM

      Friedman is not currently an employee of the Rays. I’m sure he will be soon, but he has no job at this moment.

      • blakebuchanan87 - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:30 AM

        This is false. He has never stopped being an employee of the Rays, he just does not have a contract guaranteeing him being here long term. He still works for them, though.

      • hittfamily - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:56 AM


        Johnny Damon conceded that his free agency is tied to Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman in an interview with the Boston Globe at a David Ortiz charity golf tournament.

        “I haven’t even talked to them just because our GM [Andrew Friedman] is a free agent,” Damon said. “He’s not going to sign me and then leave. If he goes to Houston, his hometown, he’s going to try and bring me along with him. That’s where my waiting game is.” Damon, 38, hit .261 with 16 homers and 73 RBI for the Rays last season. He is not expected to receive interest from clubs other than the Rays or Astros this offseason.


        I’m sure are more in the know of Friedman’s activity than Johnny Damon.

      • steve7921 - Dec 6, 2011 at 8:57 AM

        Friedman is an employee of the Rays. He has never had a contract and when asked has said that he doesn’t need a contract! Just because he doesn’t have a contract doesn’t mean he isn’t an employee!

  3. oikosjeremy - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    Surely the Rays should ask for a massive haul for Shields. A true ace in the prime of his career, with cheap team options through 2014? That’s *really* rare and *really* valuable–the kind of thing you build around, not use as a trade chip to rebuild.

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