Yankees Rumors: Team Actively Pursuing James Shields?


After sticking to his word and keeping his team out of the bidding wars for this year’s top free agent pitchers Jon Lester and Max Scherzer, it appears Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees may finally be pursuing the last remaining big name starter on the market in ‘Big Game’ James Shields. According to sources, FOX Sports insider Jon Morosi spoke to a credible GM that believes the Yankees are actively pursuing the right-hander. 

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Being that pitchers and catchers will make their long-anticipated return to spring training in just under three weeks, it’s become evident that time is running out for Shields to join his next organization before the season officially gets underway. He and his agent, of course, may ultimately decide to hold out and see if a team loses a starter to injury early on in spring training with the hopes of cashing in on the void on their roster, but that’s a pretty significant risk in and of itself. As I alluded to all winter, the Yankees are certainly in dire need of some insurance in their starting rotation. Sure, Shields was once commanding a contract in the Lester price range, but with the market inevitably coming to a close, Shields may have to settle for a fraction of the cost, and maybe, just maybe, Brian Cashman is now intrigued.

After all, James Shields is an inning-eating work horse machine. In each of his eight full major league seasons he has hurled more than 200 innings. Though James Shields isn’t a dominant shut down pitcher by any means, as his 3.72 career ERA suggests, he is certainly reliable. The idea of adding 200+ innings to an injury-plagued staff with question marks already surrounding the health status of C.C. Sabathia (knee),  Masahiro Tanaka (elbow), Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery) and Michael Pineda (shoulder) at a reasonable price has to be somewhat appealing to the New York Yankee decision-makers.

In my opinion, something must have went completely wrong in the Shields camp for him to still be unsigned this late in the winter, and somebody’s going to cash in on the discount sooner rather than later. According to the same report, Shields is expected to make his decision by the end of this week.

Shields is a guy with proven success in the AL East and experience when it comes to pitching in October. I believe he would be a perfect fit with the Yankees, provided he comes at the right price. It has taken quite a while, but it could be that Shields’ price is finally reaching that right range.

However, while Morosi believes the Yankees are in on Shields, Joel Sherman of the New York Post and MLB Insider Jon Heyman says they are not:

So which is it? Are the Yankees in or are they out? If Brian Cashman continues down the path he’s taken all off-season, the latter is more accurate than the former, and James Shields will be donning a uniform that doesn’t include pinstripes in the coming days.

What do you think Yankees fans? Does it make sense for the Yankees to bring him in at this stage of the offseason? Let us know in the comments below.

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