Rangers met with RHP James Shields

SAN DIEGO -- Just before the start of the winter meetings, Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels met with free-agent right-handed pitcher James Shields and his agent.

Daniels described Sunday's conversation as just that; no financial numbers were exchanged.

"I don't think anything is going to come out of it," Daniels said Wednesday. "Be prepared in case something changed dramatically."

It was a surprise meeting for the Rangers, because the club wasn't expected to be involved with high-priced free-agent talent. The club wants to sign or trade for a No. 3 starter at a minimal costs so they can maintain club control for one or two seasons.

Shields is considered one of the top pitchers in the game on the free agent market. In 2014, Shields went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA for the Kansas City Royals, and he has pitched at least 200 innings in eight of his nine big league seasons.

Free-agent lefty Jon Lester removed himself from the market Tuesday night, signing a six-year $155 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. Max Scherzer, another elite right-handed stater, is still on the market and will command a big-money deal, as well.

The Red Sox, losers in the Lester sweepstakes, also are interested in Shields, but their commitment level is stronger than the Rangers'.

"It's unlikely," Daniels said about signing Shields. "I enjoyed the visit and I like the guy a lot. In certain circumstances, I'd love to have him."