Well, by golly, that sure escalated quickly.
We posted earlier that Miami had joined the market for free agent starter James Shields.
Despite being the number three free agent starter available, the market for Shields had been slow to develop this off-season.
He was, like so many others, waiting for Jon Lester to sign to set the marketplace value for free agent starters. It has been speculated that he’d wait until after Max Scherzer signed as well to maximize his value to the remaining teams in need of a front-of-the-rotation starter.
In our previous post we mentioned that the addition of the suddenly aggressive Marlins might speed up the process and increase the urgency teams felt toward signing Shields.
Now it’s looking as though that might actually be the case, according to the latest report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
…a number of executives tell FOX Sports they expect the free-agent right-hander to land a contract of at least five years, $100 million.
Two execs say it is their understanding that Shields has a five-year, $110 million offer and is looking for an even higher guarantee.
Rosenthal doesn’t indicate which team reportedly made the five-year, $110 million offer, but he does offer some insight about the many teams that have been linked to Shields thus far with nearly all of them downplaying their interest in signing the right-hander.
The lack of interest from the general managers is likely posturing for negotiation purposes and it’s not unheard of for a player’s agent to float news of “mystery team” making a big offer in hopes of drumming up additional suitors, and dollars, for a free agent.
Scherzer is still the biggest fish in the pond, but it’s looking more and more likely that James Shields is going to cash in much bigger than most would have predicted at the beginning of the off-season.