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.



  1. Michael says:

    Best news I've heard all month.

    • LSX says:

      Agreed! Shields is one of the most dominant pitchers in the game right now, still young, wants to be here, and has great value as far as his contract is concerned. So why trade him? Our farm system is deep enough as it is.

  2. phil says:

    they need a ss; 1st baseman and catcher. Can they get it by trading upton and Neimann?

    • Hal says:

      I'm with you on the catcher and SS, but I really hope that Kotch stays - allthough he probably went Benoit on us and earned himself a bunch of money from someone else next year.

      • ALLEN says:

        I like Kotch a lot and hope he returns next year. He's missing HRs for a 1st baseman. No power. He also has not been productive with only 29 RBIs. However, I bet if he was given a full season in the #3 or #6 spots he could get 70+. His defense is superb and he can usually get the bat on the ball.

        The big holes are catcher and SS and relief pitching. RF is not helping right now, but I would hope Joyce can get back into a groove.

        Go Rays!

  3. Daredevil says:

    I have to disagree with Cork a bit on his last line. The most-rumored trade involving Shields was with the Reds for 2 or 3 prospects that are ready right now (Alonso & Mesoraco), not "3 or 4 years". They are performing impressively in AAA, not A. Also, we have a #1 pitcher in Price, plus several more that would be strong candidates for a #2 starter in Hellickson, Moore, and Cobb. I love Shields, and what he's done this year has been outstanding. However, with Cobb ready, and Moore close to ready, we have to trade 2 starters, one now or in off season, and another off season or during next year whenever Moore is ready. $7 mil for Shields is 1/6 of the team's payroll, and I think it would be better served to plug some of our holes by trading James, and then spend some money at relief pitching or SS or DH. Then, hopefully Davis starts pitching better, and we can trade him too when Moore is ready.


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