Diamondbacks No Longer Interested in James Shields
By John Tenney
This offseason has been a very interesting time for the Arizona Diamondbacks. GM Dave Stewart and Chief Baseball Officer Tony LaRussa have put the baseball world on notice by stating the Arizona Diamondbacks are going to make moves to dramatically improve, then following up on those ideas by going out and executing trades that will benefit the club.
We’ve seen several moves to secure pitching, deals that have netted Allen Webster, Jeremy Hellickson and Rubby De La Rosa. As of this morning the Arizona Diamondbacks have eight starting pitchers and ten relievers in the bullpen to account for pitching depth.
In a tweet offered up by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, GM Dave Steward has allegedly told reporters that the Arizona Diamondbacks are not going to pursue signing RHP James Shields. Shields is a six year veteran and free-agent, last having signed a very lucrative contract with the Kansas City Royals well over the 20 Million dollar mark.
Some think that bidding outright to sign James Shields would be a very aggressive move by the Arizona Diamondbacks to land an ace that the starting rotation could benefit from. The Dbacks don’t really have a no.1 or a no.2 starter, and in a league that is dominated by pitching and defense, that is not a good thing.
Others, however, believe that the Diamondbacks need to stay on track with keeping their payroll at or below the $100 Million dollar mark, citing references and a philosophy that pitching that lands big contracts rarely works out the way anyone would like them to.
This seems to be the case as the Arizona Diamondbacks are shying away after seeing the market change when the Washington Nationals signed veteran RHP Max Scherzer to a seven year $210 million deal with half of the contract value being deferred.
It’s clear that Stewart believes the price is to high for Shields. However, with a new tv deal coming soon, and big contracts coming off the books, the 2016 offseason might be the time the Dbacks finally sign a high end free agent starter.