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Twins considering trade for Rays righty James Shields?

Nov 4, 2012, 11:41 AM EDT

james shields getty Getty Images

The Twins had one of the worst pitching staffs in the majors this season, finishing with a combined 4.77 ERA that ranked 28th out of baseball’s 30 teams.

It was a given that they’d try to do some patchwork this winter, but could a big splash be on the way?

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Twins have already made “inquiries” about a possible trade for Rays right-hander James Shields. Nothing is close, but it stands to reason that Tampa Bay will be open to making a deal involving Shields this offseason given their solid organizational rotation depth and cost-conscious methods.

Shields is owed $9 million in 2013 and carries a $12 million club option for the 2014 season. And unless something changes drastically, the Rays won’t have the money to lock him up long term.

Minnesota’s Chris Parmelee could be attractive, packaged with either Denard Span or Ben Revere.

Shields, 30, registered a sparkling 3.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 223/58 K/BB ratio across 227 2/3 innings (33 starts) this summer for the Rays. Cafardo suspects that the Dodgers will also make a run at him.

  1. proudlycanadian - Nov 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    How does the Boston Globe know what the Twins are thinking? This story belongs in the trash can.

    • paperlions - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      The same way the pioneer press would know…they have these guys that have phones and email accounts and such, and they talk to people they know in baseball to find out stuff. Because both reporters and FO personnel tend to change cities/teams, reporters often have contacts outside their own city. Crazy, huh.

    • Bryz - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      Sorry dude, but this had been reported in MN before today.

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 4, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        If someone other than the Boston Globe broke this alleged trade interest on the part of the Twins, why does the Globe appear to be claiming credit? Has anyone checked in with Tampa Bay to see what they think about a possible trade?

      • wlschneider09 - Nov 4, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        This rumor must conflict with the “big trade” involving TB and the Beavs that PC was prognosticating in the Mike Aviles post. You’re taking this a little to personally, it’s a rumor.

      • wlschneider09 - Nov 4, 2012 at 4:19 PM

        *too

  2. sknut - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    To be fair PC Darren Wolfsen of a local sports radio station in the Twin Cities reported the same thing on Friday. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it for both sides, their needs each match up well.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      In other words, the Boston reporter used the musings of a Minnesota reporter as fact without naming another reporter as the original source. I strongly doubt that the Twins leaked anything to the local media indicating their interest in a specific player. That type of leak inevitably blows up in your face as other interested teams use the information against you.

  3. raysfan1 - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    A .229 hitter with no power? No thanks.

    • indaburg - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      I agree with you. To go more in depth, last year Parmelee had a negative WAR (-0.6) and his OPS was only .671. He does have potential–his AAA numbers are great (OPS 1.102 in 228 AB) and he has a little pop in his bat, but I think the Rays can do better. We need someone who is ready now.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 4, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        Yeah, I was just too lazy to go into further detail. I also agree with your comment below.

        On the other hand, Span (who went to high school in Tampa) could be a useful pick up for the outfield, particularly if Upton departs as expected. However, replacing Upton with Span would make a decent-hitting 1B with power even more important. I trust our GM, and he certainly knows baseball better than I do, but he needs to be very sure Parmelee is ready to be that guy before pulling the trigger on the deal.

      • indaburg - Nov 4, 2012 at 8:06 PM

        I trust in Friedman too. He’s a shrewd negotiator. He won’t do us wrong.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 4, 2012 at 6:50 PM

        Morneau + Span, and maybe some cash would definitely interest me though.

    • Bryz - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      You should pay attention to what he’s been doing in Triple-A recently. His low average and poor power was more a case of Gardy either failing to give him consistent ABs, or failing to give him a consistent position to play (often yo-yo’d between RF and 1B, but mostly on the bench).

      • indaburg - Nov 4, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        “…Gardy either failing to give him consistent ABs, or failing to give him a consistent position to play..”

        Although I did note Parmelee’s AAA numbers in my comment, your comment that I quoted is another reason he may not be a good fit for Tampa Bay. Maddon likes his players flexible and adaptable to fit with the Rays model. He may not get consistent ABs or a consistent position with TB although we are in need of a 1B.

      • Bryz - Nov 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        Good point that Maddon might not give him a consistent position.

  4. buffalo65 - Nov 4, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Would Tampa trade him to Toronto? They have the pieces to make it happen

    • cur68 - Nov 4, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      Big Game James in TO? I’d love it. The Rays can have Johnson, Rasmus & Lind in return. And some bats. Maybe some previously loved balls, too. Sounds fair to me.

      • bjbeliever - Nov 4, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        I don’t think Toronto can afford him either. Tampa’s payroll was 25th, ours was 22nd in the league. I don’t see AA giving up Rasmus to get a pitcher he too will not be able to afford after next year. On a budget like ours it’s all prospects and patience!

      • raysfan1 - Nov 4, 2012 at 6:33 PM

        Only if you can also convince Shania Twain to move to Tampa too, Cur!

      • indaburg - Nov 4, 2012 at 8:18 PM

        Cur, I see you’ve been sniffing the seal blubber again…

  5. buffalo65 - Nov 4, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Just heard twins talking to Rays, want to flip Span, Morneau and Sheilds to Toronto
    for 2 A ball pitchers, Gose and another.
    Blockbuster

  6. canadabaseball - Nov 4, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Would the jays give up on arincibia or trade danaurd

  7. buffalo65 - Nov 4, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Good question. Give up JPA and you are going into a season where you hope to contend with a rookie catcher. Tough to do. Giants won with rookie Posey 3 years ago I guess.

  8. buffalo65 - Nov 4, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    That is about to change I believe. And can’t afford a 13 million dollar pitcher? Come on. They offered Beltran 13 million last year over 3 years. I think they can handle Sheilds for 2.

  9. shawnuel - Nov 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Agree that Parmalee wouldn’t even begin to get it done. span with someone good, maybe. Span and Morneau?

    • indaburg - Nov 4, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      Will the Twins pick up some of Morneau’s salary? Morneau is set to make about $13 million for next year. Shields has just set the record for highest yearly salary in the Rays’ history at a little more than $10 million. Morneau’s also a free agent after 2013, I believe. I agree that he’s more what I had in mind. I just think he might be a little too rich for us.

      I do like Span. We have a hole in CF now with Upton being a free agent. Span’s a Tampa native too, signed through 2014, and the price is right ($3 million.). He also seems to have recovered nicely from his clavicle fracture.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 4, 2012 at 6:46 PM

        Every team’s income is going up, so there might be a bit more flexibility regarding paying Morneau, but I’d bet the Rays would want to know his plans past 2013–and how much he’d be willing to take to sign with the Rays first.

  10. buffalo65 - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Give it a rest. Morneau is coming to Toronto. TB’s 5000 fans a night can’t support morneaus salary.

  11. notdumb - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Oh JOY I do love it when the shysters that run the Twins leak stories like this so they can pretend they’re getting involved in FA then when they refuse to put together a decent offer to get him because they dont want to pay him they can play the we got outbid because we’re the pluggy small market Twins card.

  12. hansob - Nov 5, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Span’s deal is SO team friendly, that him straight up for Shields might be fair or even an overpay.

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