The market for James Shields has been slow to develop.
As of Sunday night, however, there’s a new team rumored to be in the mix for his services.
ESPN’s Jim Bowden is reporting that the Miami Marlins are showing significant interest in the right-hander, in addition to holding out hope that Dan Haren will decide to pitch for the club in 2015 – a topic we covered yesterday.
Shields, 34, continued his usual workhorse ways in 2014 pitching at least 227 innings for the fourth consecutive season and at least 200 innings for the eighth.
Despite his penchant for piling up big-time innings he remained effective on the hill last season, winning 14 games with a 3.21 ERA, 1.181 WHIP, and a 180/44 K/BB ratio in 227 total innings.
Over the last four years he has a cumulative 3.17 ERA, 1.155 WHIP, an ERA+ of 124, while averaging 8 K/9 compared to just 2.3 BB/9. Those numbers, combined with his durability, ensure that he’ll be a very valuable asset no matter where he lands this off-season.
For weeks now the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants have been considered the front-runners to land Shields; although San Francisco has reportedly switched gears following the re-signing of Jake Peavy and is looking to trade for Ben Zobrist to bolster their offense.
At various times the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs have also been mentioned a potential landing spots for Shields throughout the off-season.
The addition of the suddenly aggressive Marlins definitely shakes things up in an already wild and chaotic off-season.
It is still expected that Shields will maximize his value by waiting until the top pitcher available, Max Scherzer has signed before he puts pen to paper with a club.
Although, with a new candidate in the mix, it’s entirely possible we see someone step it up to land “Big Game” James sooner rather than later.