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James Shields won’t negotiate with Royals past Opening Day

Mar 4, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

Impending free agent James Shields has told the Royals that he won’t negotiate beyond Opening Day, choosing to hit the open market if a deal can’t be worked out before then.

Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that the two sides have yet to engage in any talks, so an extension seems unlikely. Kansas City gave up a prospct package headlined by Rookie of the Year winner Wil Myers to get Shields from the Rays, but they’ll at least be able to fetch draft pick compensation if he does sign elsewhere.

Shields is one of the best starters in the league and will no doubt be a hot commodity as a 33-year-old free agent, but it’s worth noting that recent free agents like Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza, and Ricky Nolasco got deals for closer to $50 million than the usual $100 million-plus that’s often thrown around as speculation for impending free agents.

In other words, it’s entirely possible that the Royals could get a better price on retaining Shields if they let the market unfold a bit, although that’s also certainly a big risk.

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 4, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    After what they traded away to get him in the first place, they had better find the money to sign him up.

  2. gethimgethim - Mar 4, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Comparing Shields’ impending run at free agency to that of Ricky Nolasco is like comparing Derek Jeter’s nightly conquests to Kris Benson’s ex-wife.

  3. uyf1950 - Mar 4, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    It makes sense for Shields to holdout for FA at the end of this year. At the end of the 2013 season there were only 6 what I would consider top shelf FA scheduled to become FA after the 2014 season. Two of those six have since been re-signed: Kershaw and Bailey. Lester will in all likelihood be re-signed by the Red Sox.

    That leaves only 3 that may or may not actually become FA’s: Masterson, Scherzer and Shields himself.
    Masterson is probably a good bet to re-sign with the Indians. That would leave just Scherzer and Shields as the 2 remaining headliners of the 2014 FA class. As such Shields will probably get a bigger payday in FA then he would get re-signing with the Royals.

    • gethimgethim - Mar 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      Not to mention a contract from a likely contender with deeper pockets.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 4, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        Absolutely, and to be fair that “contender” could be anyone of several.

  4. Carl Hancock - Mar 4, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Did anyone really think Shields was going to resign with the Royals when they made this trade? Trading Wil Myers was a huge blunder by the Royals. Whoever pushed for that trade deserves to be fired.

  5. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 4, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    How could anyone blame Shields? Playing for the Royals is almost as bad as playing for the jays, your season is over by the 4th of july and nobody really cares how good you are because of the crappy team you play for.

    • doctorofsmuganomics - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      Eff you too.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:59 PM

        said by everyone, all the time to that commenter. HBT’s serial ass

    • Tyree Studio - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      Yup, season was over for KC last year before July 4th…

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