D-backs expressing interest in Shields

The Diamondbacks are reportedly interested in marquee free agent pitcher James Shields, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

The D-backs were initially interested in bringing Shields to Arizona via a trade with the Rays two years ago before Shields was ultimately dealt to Kansas City instead. Now a free agent, Shields is again creating some intrigue in the desert, though the D-backs would likely need to free up some payroll before making a serious push to sign him.

Arizona’s payroll for next season is currently projected to be approximately $90 million once all of its arbitration cases are settled. That already falls within the $80-110 million range that chief operating officer Tony La Russa said he expects the club’s final 2015 payroll to fall within.

Given the fact that Shields will likely garner a contract in the range of $100 million, his yearly salary would push the D-backs’ payroll right up to the high end of La Russa’s range.

The market for Shields is still very much developing, but the D-backs are one team that seems to at least be entertaining the idea of making a run for the veteran right-hander.

— Paul Casella

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