Toronto Blue Jays Rumors: James Shields Should Be A Priority


Toronto Blue Jays Rumors: James Shields Should Be A Priority

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Ever since the Toronto Blue Jays run of 11 consecutive victories, they have returned to their frustratingly inconsistent form from earlier in the season. With a record of 11-15 in their 26 games since the franchise-equaling winning streak, the team is barely clinging to life in their attempts to qualify for the postseason.

The truth is, it is only the equally erratic play of the rest of the American League East, which has allowed the Blue Jays to remain in contention to this point. However, they can’t just rely on this for the remainder of the 2015 campaign.

The question is, what should Alex Anthopoulos do to save the season, before the team falls further behind in the standings? Simply put, the Blue Jays biggest area of concern remains their pitching.

May 29, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields delivers a pitch against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

After looking dire in the first two months of the season, the pitching staff showed dramatic improvement during June. However, they have since regressed, and now find themselves 23rd in the league with a 4.13 ERA, while allowing the eighth most hits and the sixth most home runs.

Now, depending on who you speak to, some baseball analysts say the Blue Jays need to upgrade their starting rotation, while others believe they need to bring in a new closer. However, the truth is they need both, so any help would be gratefully received by the players.

In that respect, the team should seriously consider taking a look at James Shield. As per a report from, the San Diego Padres are looking to move the 2011 All-Star.

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The news originated from Peter Gammons, on Twitter. According to the respected sportswriter, San Diego have reached out to other teams, to gauge interest in the right-hander.

This may come as somewhat of a surprise, given that Shields was part of the Padres offseason roster overhaul. However, the team currently finds themselves 10 games back in the National League West.

Despite the team’s struggles, the Newhall, California native is enjoying a fine individual campaign, with a 7-3 record in 18 starts. He has a 3.88 ERA and a 1.266 WHIP, while recording the best strikeout rate of his professional career.

Of course, there would be concerns about trading for a 33-year old, but Shields’ age does not appear to be an issue. Just last season, he went 14-8 in 34 starts for the Kansas City Royals. while recording 180 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.21.

The biggest obstacle could be the 2000 16th round draft picks’ salary. While the remainder of this season’s $10 million is feasible, the pitcher is scheduled to make $21 million in each of the next three years.

Overall, for what it’s potentially worth, the Blue Jays have to at least contact Padres General Manager A.J. Preller. There is no denying the addition of Shields would be a massive shot in the arm to the morale and hopes of the Blue Jays.

Next: Cole Hamels isn't ruling out Toronto