Updated 6:28pm CST – According to multiple reports, the Padres have given James Shields their last and final offer. The Padres want to sign Shields and are still considered the favorites. San Diego has been told they are not the only team Shields is talking to. Other teams are “heavily involved in the bidding.” One of those teams could be the Cubs, but it’s unclear which teams outside of the Padres are still in the mix. Shields could make a decision soon and the final numbers are not expected to be as high as four years and $80 million.
Updated 6:33pm CST – According to Dennis Lin, it’s up to James Shields on whether or not to accept the Padres offer. A resolution is expected within 24 hours.
The Padres are considered the frontrunner for James Shields and talks with San Diego reportedly heated up on Saturday morning, but don’t count out the Cubs just yet. The Cubs have discussed James Shields, an addition to the pitching staff Joe Maddon and Chris Bosio would welcome.
The front office has been quiet on the Shields front, which is expected. According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs are kicking the tires and “kicking the tires hard” but they are thinking a three-year contract not four years that Shields is believed to be hoping and holding out for at this point of the off-season.
Levine also reported Saturday morning that a three-year deal for Shields for around $55 million is closer to what the Cubs have in mind while Shields is still looking for around $20 million per season.
In an interview Friday afternoon on MLB Network Radio, Joe Maddon was asked if he’s talked with Theo Epstein about James Shields.
“Yeah, we’ve talked. Of course we’ve talked about, from day one I’ve been talking about James [Shields],” Maddon said on MLB Network Radio. “Wouldn’t that be a nice prize or present? Shields is a tremendous competitor. You’ve heard me talk about him in the past. But, yeah, even back when we first, when Jon Lester came on board, we were talking even prior to that.”
“James Shields would be a nice upgrade if it happens,” Chris Bosio said during an interview on 670 The Score. “I don’t know if it’s gonna. I don’t mind having a 33rd guy [in camp], actually I think that’s his number, so who knows. It might be a blessing here for a 33rd pitcher we get into camp.”
According to a report Friday night from Dennis Lin, the Padres might be the frontrunner but nothing is imminent and his sources “indicate sides are not close to an agreement, though things could change quickly.”
Scott Miller reported Saturday morning that talks between the Padres and Shields “have heated up and are gaining momentum.”
Bruce Levine thinks the Padres may be willing to go four years and $80 million for Shields, which is a higher value the Cubs have placed on him. Lin reported the Padres and Shields have discussed numbers. San Diego has room in its budget for Shields, around $18 million, or what he could be looking at in terms of an AAV on a multi-year contract.
Lin explained the Padres and Shields’ agent, Page Odle, had not talked in “more than 24 hours” and he shot down the rumor Padres’ employees “had been notified to prepare for a Shields announcement.”
Joe Maddon is surprised James Shields hasn’t signed with a team and thinks his durability has worked against him.
“Here’s a guy that’s actually put in a ton of innings and has pitched deeply into seasons and games and now he’s almost getting penalized for it for the fact that he’s done everything right,” Maddon said.
“Just speaks to his work ethic, how much he cares. All of those different items speak to the fact that James has pitched that much and has not missed starts. So in a way he’s almost being penalized for being as good as he’s been. It’s almost like the mindset has shifted a bit regarding how you handle starting pitching and it’s got to be the kid’s glove kind of a situation. James is a little bit of the old school kind of a dude and in some ways the fact that he’s been so productive and so consistent is working against him.”
While a decision is expected soon, it could be down to the Padres, Cubs and Marlins for James Shields. Unless of course, the Mystery Team jumps in at the last minute and signs Shields to a contract closer to what he is believed to be holding out for with 12 days before pitchers and catchers report.
- Full Report from the San Diego Union-Tribune
- Joe Maddon Talks Cubs, James Shields and Defensive Shifts on MLB Network Radio