In our continuing series on the trade deadline, we'll take a look at some players that could be on the market and are likely to interest the Rangers:
We don't know whether the Tampa Bay Rays will actually consider moving James Shields, who has a favorably contract and is under club control (in terms of options) through 2014. But if the Rays want to shed a little salary, they could do it by trading Shields and still have plenty of pitching in their system.
Shields is making $7 million this season and has club options for 2013 at $9 million ($1.5 million buyout) and 2014 at $12 million ($1 million buyout). That would certainly be appealing for the Rangers to have a pitcher like that in the rotation for a few more years. While Shields may not be as much of an impact pitcher this season as Zack Greinke, for instance, he's a solid hurler who has pitched in big games down the stretch.
The 30-year-old has pitched more than 200 innings the last five seasons and has 20 starts and 131 innings under his belt this season. He's got a 4.00 career ERA, which includes a 16-12 mark and a 2.82 ERA in 2011. This season, Shields is 8-6 with a 4.39 ERA with 124 strikeouts and 39 walks.
Shields would increase the club's rotation depth and give them another pitcher with experience in games that matter down the stretch and in the postseason. He may not have the "wow" factor of Greinke and others we've discussed, but he's a solid pitcher with an affordable contract and someone that would not be a rental.
How do you feel about Shields? What are you willing to give up to get him?