Jayson Stark of ESPN.com polled 17 “prominent executives, agents and scouts” and asked them, among other things, who is the player most likely to be traded this week at the Winter Meetings. And in a narrow victory, James Shields takes home the honor, receiving five votes.

One executive seems convinced that Shields has played his last game with the Rays…

“Just look at the contract,” one AL exec said. “He’s got this year and next year left. So he’s got more value now than he’ll have a year from now. They’re very analytical about everything they do. It just makes sense that now’s the time.”

As usual, it all depends on what other teams are willing to offer. Early reports are that the Rays are looking for a package similar to the deal they received for Matt Garza as a starting point. And that seems highly unlikely to happen.

In the last few years, teams have started to value their prospects more and more. And deals like the one the Cubs made, one they regret, are going to become very rare. Even the teams that are willing to move prospects, are doing so reluctantly, and certainly aren’t going to add pieces to sweeten the pot (e.g. Rangers/Jurickson Profar, Royals Wil Myers).



  1. Joe says:

    Look, I know he's younger, he's cheaper and under control for longer but trading Hellickson is trading Scott Boras.

    Shields MIGHT take a hometown discount, Helly never will and because of the age and salary, we will probably get more in return for Hellickson. I want a top 3 of Price - Shields and Moore to continue.

    • LaneMeyer says:

      I agree Joe. If they could do something for Shields and Price like they did for Longoria where the new money starts with the new TV contract, they could compete for years to come. Hopefully Boras and his ilk will stop ruining the game.

  2. MJ says:

    Of course, in that same article, Shields also topped the "Who will be the Human Trade Rumor?" list, where Human Trade Rumor is defined as "a player who won't necessarily get traded this week but will get talked about nonstop anyhow".

    I think most of us Rays fans would agree he will be at the top of the trade rumor list, but that he probably won't be traded. I, for one, would like to see the Rays make one last run with both Shields and Price before they break that duo up. I say they stay in tact this year, and then one or both leave by 2014.

    Would a Shields trade shock me? Not at all. But I think they can get a good haul (instant impact bat, multiple prospects, or combo of two) for Hellickson.

  3. Burn H. says:

    Price is due for an off year, while James may have a better year than 2011. Price earned his Cy Young now it James turn....Really if we can stay healthy we should be able to win the East....

  4. Joe says:

    Ned Yost was on MLB Network and he sure seemed like he didn't expect Myers to stay and the rumors say they see the Rays as a much better fit than the Red Sox.

    Gotta keep the faith, maybe something awesome finally happens.


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