We already heard that the Dodgers have pegged James Shields as their top target this winter. And now we can add the Minnesota Twins to the list of teams that are at least curious about the asking price.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Twins have already called the Rays asking about Shields…
We suspect the Rays will field a lot of calls on [James Shields] in the coming weeks. Whether they pull the trigger in order to obtain offense remains to be seen. With former Rays special adviser Gerry Hunsicker now in LA, the Dodgers may make a push to get Shields, but what could they give back? Ethier? It makes sense if they have their eye on Hamilton. But the Rays may not be able to carry Ethier’s contract. They have already received inquiries on Shields from the Twins.
I’m not even sure the speculation of Shields-for-Andre Ethier is even worth commenting on. Ethier, who is still owed $85 million over the next five years will make about $3 million more than Shields in 2013. So why would the Rays ever do that unless the Dodgers wanted to pay a big chunk on a contract they just gave Ethier a few months ago. Not happening.
In the meantime, it seems clear at this point that the Rays are going to get numerous offers for Shields. But will the Rays take the best package or will they hold out for their asking price (whatever that may be)?