The Kansas City Royals made one of the biggest trades in the clubs most recent history last offseason when they sent outfield prospect Wil Myers to Tampa Bay in return for ace James Shields and Wade Davis.
Last year Myers won the Amercian League Rookie of the Year and the Rays seemed to get the better half of the deal, but halfway through 2014, while Wil Myers has been inconsistent and injured, the Royals’ Wade Davis has made a name for himself in the bullpen in the late innings and Shields has been a solid starter for the club in his first year and a half.
Sending Shields away
There has been much speculation that the Royals plan on shopping James Shields with the hopes of potentially trading him by the trade deadline if the deal is right. Shields is in the last year of his contract and it does not seem likely the organization will be willing to pay top dollar in order to keep him and sign him to a long-term deal. I would assume Shields would want a four to five year contract, whereas the Royals may only be willing to offer him a maximum of two years. If Shields were not willing to commit to only a few years and the Royals were unable to find a deal worth agreeing to, then Shields could be a big part of the Royals potential playoff run this October.
If he stays
James Shields has always had quality stuff and could be a great addition to any pitching staff. Shields, however, could be the most valuable in his current setting. In the past month, Shields has not been his normal self but still has been able to get the job done with the offense’s strong run support which lacked in his starts last season. The Royals have not made the playoffs since 1985, but with briefly being in first place in June, the Royals are heading in the right direction and are currently in the bright future that once was talked about for many years with their strong farm system.
Shields at times has been exactly what the Royals have hoped. There have been times, however, when Shields has arguably been the Royals fifth best starter this year, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. With strong starts from Jason Vargas, Yordona Ventura, Jeremy Guthrie, and Danny Duffy, Shields has not had to always be the cornerstone of the rotation, but has been able to share the role with his counterparts- something he has not been able to do much of during his career.
Most likely scenario
My gut feeling says that James Shields will be a Kansas City Royal through the 2014 season. I do not see a possible trade that would involve just him that could help the club without possibly moving another player as well. With as much success as the Royals have had to start the season with young players, it would be a shame to see them go in the club’s attempt to put all their cards on this season alone.
James Shields has the experiencing of pitching in big games, hence the “Big Game” James moniker, and could be a valuable asset if the Royals are able to play the wildcard one game playoff, or perhaps even win the division title.
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