Blog Entry

Tigers like Shields, but will Rays move him?

Posted on: July 21, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:49 pm
The Tigers plan to have two scouts at Tropicana Field on Thursday night, to watch Rays right-hander James Shields.

They'll no doubt want to see him pitch well -- but perhaps not too well.

If Shields beats the Yankees Thursday, the Rays would be just 5 1/2 games behind New York in the American League wild-card standings, with their next 20 games against teams that began Thursday with records no better than .500. If the Rays lose, they'd be 7 1/2 games back, making their chances of catching either the Yankees or Red Sox look slim.

And while the Rays have sent out mixed signals on their trade plans, a 7 1/2-game wild-card deficit would likely leave them much more open to moving Shields or Jeff Niemann.

Besides the Tigers, Shields has interested the Reds, the Cardinals and probably a few other teams.

"You'd have to give them a lot, but you should have to," said one official from an interested team.

The Rays value the 29-year-old Shields for what he has done on the mound (he's 8-8 with a 2.60 ERA and three shutouts this season), but also for his influence in the clubhouse. And Shields isn't terribly expensive, even for the cost-conscious Rays, with club options that run through 2014.

The Rays don't need to move him, and an official of one rival team was told that Tampa Bay's top priority was to "protect its pitching."

"They're not moving Shields," that official said, adding that the Rays may even be looking to add bullpen help and a right-handed bat.

Other teams aren't so sure, with officials contending that while the Rays won't talk about Jeremy Hellickson, they may at least discuss Shields and Niemann. The scouts section at Tropicana Field will likely be full to watch Shields pitch against the Yankees.

They'll want to see him do well. But perhaps not too well.

As for B.J. Upton, people who have spoken to the Rays say it's become much less likely that he will be traded this month. Many scouts still love Upton's skills (he can run, and hit with power), but others are very down on his seeming lack of effort, his sub-par numbers and a salary that will rise next year. The feeling now seems to be that the Rays wouldn't get value by moving him now.

For more trade deadline news, click here.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Tigers like Shields, but will Rays move him?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:21 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 8:47 am

Tigers like Shields, but will Rays move him?

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
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Tigers like Shields, but will Rays move him?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 1:22 am

Tigers like Shields, but will Rays move him?

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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 1:25 pm

Tigers like Shields, but will Rays move him?

Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 21, 2011 6:58 pm
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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 5:24 am

Tigers like Shields, but will Rays move him?

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Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: July 22, 2011 1:04 pm

Tigers like Shields, but will Rays move him?

Please Tampa; trade that bum Upton. Though the dude has mad game, his lackluster effort and attitude cancels all that out. I've seen many times when B.J. jogs after a ball in the gap while his teammates are just asking for a liitle hustle. The Rays are cooked for this season so it's time to send this clown to San Francisco or maybe the Diamondbacks where he could play with his bro.

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