In the same link we posted in the trade rumor thread earlier, Jayson Stark has some telling comments about the future of James Shields with the Rays…
“…clubs now say that after getting a sense of what was out there and reflecting on [James] Shields’ true worth, the Rays have basically taken him off the market — and not just for July…Those clubs say they were given the impression the Rays probably won’t even revisit those talks next winter, because, while they have lots of young pitching coming, they don’t have the ability to replace an inning-devouring No. 1 or 2 starter on the trade or free-agent market. So you might hear some rumors surrounding, say, Jeff Niemann over the next few days and months. But Shields almost certainly isn’t going anywhere.”
The big push for trading Shields was based on the idea that his value has never been higher. But those same traits that make Shields valuable are also the traits that help ballclubs like the Rays win. That is, he is a legit no.1 or no. 2 starter that will only cost $7 million in 2012. Those are the type of guys that the Rays need if they are going to win.
So maybe the Rays came to their senses and decided they don’t have to trade every valuable chip for several chips that might be valuable 3-4 years from now.