MLB Rumors: James Shields’ throwing sessions have been watched by representatives from the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians, according to Jon Paul Morosi. Morosi says that Shields isn’t close to signing, but is throwing and keeping in shape in order to be ready to join a major league team if and when the opportunity arises.
Shields, 37, has been a pitcher the Rangers have seemingly had interest in for as long as Jon Daniels has been the general manager. Since signing a big free agent deal with the Padres after the 2014 season, Shields has struggled, putting up a 4.81 ERA and a 5.27 FIP in 705.2 IP, registering a 2.7 bWAR over that span. He had a 1.4 bWAR and a 4.53 ERA in 204.2 IP for the ChiSox last year.
The Rangers, as we have discussed, are thin on starting pitching depth, and the spot start from Taylor Hearn notwithstanding, appear to be committed to not rushing their young starting pitching prospects to the majors. The rotation is currently Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Drew Smyly, Shelby Miller and Adrian Sampson, but Smyly and Miller have struggled to go deep in games and have health and effectiveness question marks, while Sampson is an unknown quantity.
I haven’t seen anything to indicate what Shields’ asking price is, but if the Rangers want someone who can give them six innings per start, even if it isn’t necessarily a particularly good six innings, Shields would seem to be an option.