Early trade talk

Last week, Jim Bowden of ESPN and the MLB Radio Network published a list of the 30 best players who could be on the move prior to the August 1 non-waiver trading deadline and where he thinks those players fit best. For some, it’s a tad early to be discussing deals when the deadline is still two months away. Bowden realizes that too and refers to his list as “my first take of the year” on players who could be dealt. Yet, some fans — and writers — find it…

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Is Shields a fit for M’s?

A right-hander that helped lead the Kansas City Royals to the World Series was notched firmly below Max Scherzer and Jon Lester among starting pitchers when discussing the 2014-2015 free agent class. James Shields ended up joining the San Diego Padres on a four-year, $75 million deal last winter, a winter in which the Padres were heralded as the winners of the offseason. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned and with a few key pieces already departed, the Friars are reportedly looking to deal their ace. Shields, who’ll turn 34 a few days before…

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Don’t expect Shields to sign in Seattle

It sounds like the top remaining free agent will soon have a home. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports that James Shields is weighing multiple offers and is expected to make a decision by the end of the week. Morosi mentions the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres have been in recent talks with the right-hander. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the Yankees, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Angels are not among the finalists for Shields. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Boston…

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M’s still have financial flexibility for a big move

As the calendar turns into January, the hot stove typically cools until pitchers and catchers report in February. Although in recent years, including this one, a high-profile Scott Boras client has remained unsigned and figures to be a talking point for the next couple weeks. James Shields is also available, but Max Scherzer is the big fish that has yet to find a home. The Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees are the most discussed landing spots for Scherzer, and one can’t count out the Boston Red Sox or Los Angeles…

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Free Agent Profile: James Shields

The prized free agent arms of this offseason belong to Max Scherzer and Jon Lester, but James Shields is an ace in his own right. Given the moniker ‘Big Game James’, Shields has been among the more consistent pitchers in baseball over the last several years. The 32-year old played a key role in the American League Champion Kansas City Royals trip to the World Series in 2014. Shields was acquired by the Royals prior to the 2013 season in a trade that included top prospects Wil Myers and Jake…

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Free Agents 101: Starting Pitchers

With Felix Hernandez locked-up long term and Hisashi Iwakuma’s 2015 option vested, the Mariners have a secure one-two punch at the top of the rotation. On paper the other three spots will be filled by youngsters Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and Roenis Elias reasonable to significant upside. There isn’t a true need in the rotation outside of some back-end depth, however adding a significant piece strengthens the run prevention of a club that again finished near the bottom of the league in runs scored in 2014. If a frontline arm…

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Qualifying Offers: Who Should Accept?

It’s year three of MLB’s qualifying offer experiment, and we’ve got our list of players that were extended $15.3 million contracts by their clubs. These are they: Melky Cabrera, Toronto Blue Jays Nelson Cruz, Baltimore Orioles Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates Russell Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers David Robertson, New York Yankees Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants Ervin Santana, Atlanta Braves Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers James Shields, Kansas City Royals During the last two offseasons, exactly zero of the 22 players that…

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Wild Card race update — August 11

The addition of the second Wild Card slot in both leagues has certainly increased the intrigue surrounding the playoff race as we enter the stretch drive in August. Plenty of teams still look like they have a shot at earning a chance to play a one-game playoff for a berth in the American League Division Series. Let’s take a look at how the race is shaping up in the American League. GB represents how many games the team is behind in the Wild Card race and does not represent where they sit…

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