Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
James Shields, Kansas City Royals
Skinny on Shields: At 6’4, 215 pounds, James Shields is a big, strong pitcher that commands the strike zone with three quality pitches. With that powerful frame, Shields has become one of the more durable pitchers in the MLB – throwing 200 or more innings in 7 consecutive seasons. Needless to say, Shields would easily be a top-of-the-rotation arm for just about any rotation in the league.
So why would the Royals want to trade James Shields?
Well, with Shields set to become a free agent at seasons end and the Royals currently playing sub .500 baseball, another season without October baseball would surely decrease the Royals chances of re-signing Shields to an extension. If the Royals are out of the playoff race near the trade deadline, James Shields will surely be one of the hottest names available.
Reports from CBS Sports Jon Heyman and Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan suggest that the Shields trade buzz will only grow if the Royals struggle in the coming weeks. Only time will tell, but I’m sure the Jays would join a laundry list of teams interested in James Shields services.
Chances of the trade?: 10% – I would say Shields is unlikely for the Blue Jays because the Royals will definitely want top talent in return; something Anthopoulos wants to avoid doing.