Here is an interesting twist, and one we would prefer to the thought of trading James Shields. According to a “big league source” for Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Rays would prefer to trade Wade Davis over one of their other starting pitchers…
When all is said and done, the Rays are expected to be willing to deal Davis this offseason. While teams will ask for James Shields, and the Rays will listen, according to one major league source, Davis is the pitcher they will likely end up dealing for an outfielder or a catcher.
This has been our stance all along. The 2012 Rays are a better team with James Shields. And based on what we saw from Matt Moore at the end of the season, he is ready to join Shields, not replace him.
A rotation with Shields, Moore, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson and either Davis, Jeff Niemann, or Alex Cobb, is far superior to one without Shields and/or Moore.
So at that point, it is just a matter of trading Niemann, Davis, or Cobb if somebody is going to be moved. And based on health history, contract, and experience, Davis is the one that will fetch the most in a trade.