James ShieldsFormer Rays pitcher James Shields has agreed to a contract with the San Diego Padres according to several reports.

The deal is reportedly worth approximately $75 million over four years with a 5th-year option.

Shields was considered one of the top three free agents available and there were some early rumblings that he could end up back in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox. However, Shields wanted to play on the west coast.

Shields grew up in southern California and has a home in the San Diego area.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The tampering investigation against the Cubs for the hiring of Joe Maddon is expected to be resolved by opening day. [TBO.com]
  • John Jaso will not work with the catchers during spring training and is instead “pondering how to prepare like Boston DH extraordinaire David Ortiz.” [TampaBay.com]
  • New VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom says Tim Beckham plays shortstop “as well as anyone we have.” [TampaBay.com]
  • The Bucs have the top pick in the NFL Draft and now everybody thinks they will take Jameis Winston over Marcus Mariota How good is Winston? One expert calls him the second-best QB prospect of the last 10 years. [BI Sports]

Rays director of Minor League operations Mitch Lukevics was recently interviewed on the MLB Network.

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10 Comments

  1. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    I'm pretty sure preparing like Ortiz means taking HGH.

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  2. Dave L says:

    From the interview it seems like he responded after Tompkin or one of the other scribes brought up Ortiz and Jaso repeated it.

    When was then last time the Rays had a successful DH only? Especially one with such pronounced splits he never has hit lefties well at all. I am on board with all of the other moves since and including last years trade of Price but this one not so much as I said the day it was announced.

    Hope i'm wrong.

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    • OriginalTom says:

      What exactly are you against? The entire Zobrist trade? or the fact they want to DH Jaso?

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      • Dave L says:

        I was 100% behind getting something for Zobrist while he has value. Thats Rays 101. The value was in the kids we got namely Robertson, hopefully. One year of Jaso was as much taking him off their hands. We got cash to take his salary remember. He has a roster spot on only a few teams. DH only is a really really hard job to do effectively. Its rarely pulled off by league average hitters like Jaso. Although I agree league average hitter is an upgrade for this team at nearly every position. His OPS+, etc. vs LHP is always horrible so he is a liability 1/4 of the time offensively and has now zero defensive value.

        He isnt going to back up fellow lefty Loney at 1st base who has the 5th most innings logged at any position the last 5 years or whatever.

        Oufield? Seriously? The Rays were nervous to put Myers out there late last year and he played OF his whole life, Jaso never played outfield its silly. Remember when Damon and Scott were going to play OF?

        Concussions are progressive and geometric in their effects. He was shut down the last 5 weeks of 2014 due to a concussion. Not only catchers get their bell rung, one bump on the noggin and his season and maybe career, is over.

        Like I said I hope I'm wrong and he rakes and stays healthy.

        For the Rays I think Jaso was a flier they took <5% of the total value. The real pieces were mostly Robertson and hopefully Powell. So for me if Jaso isn't on the roster even by midseason its no big deal, actually.

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        • OriginalTom says:

          I think you are underrating Jaso. He has had a OPS+ of at least 111 in 4 of his 5 seasons and has a lifetime OBP of .359. I would bat him 1st or 2nd against righties and sit him against lefties. Steamer rates him as our 3rd best hitter by OBA.

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        • OriginalTom says:

          Jaso has been significantly better than league average in 4 of his 5 years in the league. Steamer projects him to be the 3rd best hitter on the team and Zips has him 2nd. You are focusing on what he cannot do and he is a limited player no doubt, however, the Dude has a .359 OBP lifetime, rakes against righties, and is a smart baserunner. Bat him 1st or 2nd against righties and he will be well worth his salary.

          Also Myers did not play OF his whole career, he was (ironically enough) a catcher when he was drafted.

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          • Dave L says:

            We shall see. Virtually no MLB player has experience has much experience as "DH only" until age or injuries force him to do so. Jaso is an energy guy as you note and being a catcher(fielder) is part of his makeup.

            Doing nothing over the course of 3+ hours besides taking 4 trips to the plate isn't for everyone.

            Take this stat 2014- John Jaso

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=jasojo01&year=2014&t=b

            Think his RHP LHP Splits are bad?

            Take his batting as a Catcher vs as a DH

            Jaso as a C 188 PA .298/.362/488 for a .850 OPS

            Jaso as a DH 140 PA .208/.293/.296 for a .598 OPS

            Extrapolate that out and it aint pretty.

            Look i don't hate Jaso. I am just trying to temper expectations of his value to the team and his part of the trade. If and when he does crap out Rays fans dont melt down and declare the trade a disaster. He was what we had to take to get what we want and hopefully he will be a decent part time DH.

            The trade was for the kids. If we get anything out of Jaso 2015 its pure gravy thats all.

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  3. OriginalTom says:

    140 PA is a small sample size. Over is career:
    As C .266/.353/.404
    As DH .22/.367..374

    I am not arguing DH is a tough job. The fact is you need a DH and Jaso is best suited for the job against righties.

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    • Dave L says:

      Ok how about 2013?

      Musta been better right?

      As a C .293/.399/.400 for a .799 OPS on 179 PA
      As a DH .200/.343/.240 for a .573 OPS on 60 PA

      Thats a trend and hes 31 and its going the wrong way.

      Small numbers because he was shut down due to concussions on Late August 2014 and late July 2013.

      He may never see a 2015 AB in a Rays uni. Just be prepared for that.

      He is a total crapshoot and the Rays took him off the A's hands. Who knows what we are getting. Like I said I hope Im wrong. How much money did the A's give us in the deal? It was to help pay Jaso since they had no spot for him.

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      • OriginalTom says:

        Jaso was not under contract, he was arbitration eligible. They did not need anyone "to take him off their hands". Who do you think should DH?

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