Around the AL East: James Shields possibly signing with New York


Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The off-season is starting to dwindle down. The only “big name” free agent that has yet to go unsigned is right-handed pitcher James Shields. As his asking price goes down, more and more teams are inquiring about the nine-year veteran, including Orioles’ division rival, the New York Yankees.

Shields was drafted in the 16th round of the 2000 MLB Draft by the team then called the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He played seven seasons with the Rays, after which he was traded to the Royals on December 9, 2012 and played the last two seasons in Kansas City.

Shields owns a career 3.72 ERA with 114 career wins, 22 complete games, 1626 strikeouts and a 1.220 WHIP. While his career ERA is high, his 3.18 ERA in the last two seasons has gotten some teams’ attention.

Many experts are wondering if the Orioles will make a push to sign Shields. However, financially, it appears the Yankees are in the perfect position to acquire the 2011 American League All-Star pitcher.

Both CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka battling back from season-ending injuries in 2014. Hiroki Kuroda left the Yankees to return to Japan to play ball and Shane Greene will be playing in Detroit for the Tigers in 2015.

The Yankees desperately need that arm they can rely on to stabilize their pitching rotation if they want a shot to win the AL East Divisional Crown. This is where Shields comes into play. The Yankees have the payroll to give Shields the contract he wants unlike other teams that are interested in signing him.

Along with the Yankees, other teams that are interested in Shields include the Padres, Cubs, and Blue Jays. It was reported that Shields may make his decision by the end of the week so stay tuned for more updates as Opening Day to the 2015 season gets closer and closer.