James Shields (along with BJ Upton) is going to be one of the names that receives the most attention once the Hot Stove season opens up next week. And our first big rumor comes from Buster Olney and involves the Marlins.

There was some speculation that the Marlins would be interested in Carlos Zambrano. But Olney says they are much more interested in Shields and are “considering making a serious run” at the Rays ace.

We understand the idea of trading a guy like Shields (it will take a lot more than Logan Morrison, as Olney tosses out there). He will make $7 million in 2012, which will be approximately 15 percent of the entire payroll. And the Rays have a young, talented, and very cheap Matt Moore ready to enter the rotation.

But if a team like the Rays really wants to compete, they need guys like Shields on the team. In the grand scheme of things, he is still a great deal and very much underpaid for what he brings. He is also a proven commodity and the Rays are a better team with him than they are without him.

And what the Rays need to decide is, at what point does protecting the future outweigh putting the best product on the field now? In most organizations, the future eventually becomes the present. We will have to wait and see if the same is true of the Rays.

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15 Comments

  1. CRRaysHead90 says:

    I'd rather trade Neimann.

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  2. John thomas says:

    You need to trade while his value is high . Until we get the stadium full this is who we are. I never thought we would be getting anything good after his 2010 year.

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  3. Jeff says:

    I agree. Trade while his value is high. He had a career year this past season and we could take in a huge bounty for him. I am probably in the minority but I am not convinced that James we saw last year is here to stay. I would not be surprised to see a huge drop off in production.

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  4. LoLJFH says:

    Jeff - completely agree, 2011 was a mirage and nothing in his history made us believe this past year would happen - or happen again. He is a great bargain at $7mm but for only one more year and THEN what? We still need a catcher, power hitting 1B and a shortstop that can hit .250 at best. Trade him to the Reds for their catching and 1B prospects that are stuck behind Votto, etc...and some of the best talent in minors. They have to deal them, they are ready and Reds can't use them on field. And besides, Logan Morrison? I think his attitude is a bit Delmon Young-ish from what I have read. Now, they wanna talk Mike Stanton and I'm all ears for sending James south! (still wouldn't address apparent needs, but....)

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  5. Phil says:

    Trade Shields to the Reds for Grandal (catcher) and Alonso (first base) solidify 2 positions and save $7 million to resign Damon and a reliever!

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  6. Cincinnati Reds says:

    Screw the Marlins. We want him worse.

    We'll give you Pete Rose.

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  7. ljk says:

    I couldn't help thinking as he racked up 249 innings that the Rays were "using up" Shields with the idea that he'd be traded in the offseason.

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  8. Caity says:

    The only team that I would accept a trade for Shields to is the Reds.. for Joey Votto and Yonder Alonso... but that's not happening.

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  9. Alex says:

    Shields for Stanton.

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