James Shields is going to be a popular name in trade rumors this winter. But according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the Rays don’t seem like they are in a hurry to move their best pitcher.
Rays seem dead-set against trading Shields. They might listen on Hellickson before they listen on Shields (very unlikely they trade either)
Yesterday we looked at the projected payroll for the 2012 Rays. At this point, if no players are moved, payroll will go up more than 25 percent. But with Stuart Sternberg’s recent comments on attendance, it would see that the Rays are unlikely to add to much to the payroll. And if the Rays want the payroll to remain at 2011 levels, the easiest way to achieve that would be to trade Shields and BJ Upton.
But as we have been saying for a while, if the Rays want the best possible team on the field in 2012, keeping Shields is a must. Plain and simple, the Rays are a better team with Shields, than they are without Shields.
And it is telling that the Rays consider Jeremy Hellickson more expendable than Shields. Hellickson is still very cheap with a whole lotta talent. And this suggests that Shields is much more valuable to the team despite his $8.0 million salary in 2012.