Rangers in the market for another starter, not in on Shields
Though the Rangers remain interested in adding another starting pitcher this offseason, it apparently will not be right-hander James Shields, according to a report by MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.
The Rangers met with Shields at last month’s Winter Meetings, but have not followed up with the 33-year-old free agent since leaving San Diego.
“It’s not in the cards,” general manager Jon Daniels said on Monday.
With that in mind, Daniels confirmed that the Rangers are obviously not the mystery team that reportedly extended a five-year, $110 million offer to Shields. The market for Shields has been relatively quiet, though it’s apparently a strong one given that recent report. Though teams such as the Red Sox, Giants, Marlins and D-backs have been tied to Shields at various times this offseason, it’s unclear at this point if any of those teams indeed extended a nine-figure offer to Shields.
“We’re not in that game,” Daniels said. “We like the pitcher, he would be a good fit for our team. He is a talented strike-thrower. But we’re not in the mix.”
With Shields supposedly off the table, the Rangers are turning their sights elsewhere to shore up their starting rotation. The club has already made strides to improve the rotation this offseason, re-signing Colby Lewis and acquiring left-hander Ross Detwiler from the Nationals to pair with Yu Darvish and Derek Holland. As for the final spot in the rotation, they currently have young right-handers Nick Tepesch, Nick Martinez and Lisalverto Bonilla, who all could compete for the job.
Though it’s possible one of those three begin the season in the rotation, the Rangers haven’t ruled out adding another veteran starter to the mix. After top-end starters Shields and Max Scherzer, the next tier of free agent starters includes pitchers such as Ryan Vogelsong, Chris Young, Kevin Correia, Roberto Hernandez and Wandy Rodriguez.
The Rangers haven’t been linked strongly to any one of those pitchers, in particular, but they could ramp up their pursuit as Spring Training draws closer. Texas could also add a starter via another trade, though the club doesn’t appear to have any set trade targets at this point.
“We’d still like to add another starter,” Daniels said. “We’ve had some discussions, but it’s hard to handicap.”
— Paul Casella