Marlins still considering making push for Shields
The Marlins are “still discussing” the possibility of pursuing free agent right-hander James Shields, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
The market for Shields remains mostly unclear at this point, with numerous teams being linked — and then unlinked — to him this offseason. The Marlins are certainly one of those teams, as the club has been mentioned as a potential landing spot at times this winter, but ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported earlier this week that the chances Miami will sign him are currently “zero.”
That, of course, could change rapidly, especially if Shields’ price tag begins to drop. The 33-year-old is said to be seeking a five-year, $125 million deal, while some reports have suggested that teams are leaning more towards offering him a four-year pact in the neighborhood of $80 million.
While the market portion of things will shake out in the coming days, the Marlins could certainly use Shields in their rotation. Shields could provide the team with an ace-caliber pitcher until Jose Fernandez is ready to return from Tommy John surgery, at which point the Marlins would figure to have one of the stronger starting pitcher duos in the National League.
It would also bolster the postseason chances for a team that is clearly looking to make a push into October after a busy offseason. Those postseason hopes also get a lift in the short-term by the fact that the Marlins play in the NL East, a division that currently features three teams that are in various stages of rebuilding in the Braves, Mets and Phillies. All signs point toward trying to build an immediate contender in Miami and adding a pitcher of Shields’ caliber could make a significant impact.
— Paul Casella