According to a report from David Kaplan, the Cubs are one of the teams in on free agent right-handed pitcher James Shields.
And signing with the Cubs and reuniting with Joe Maddon is appealing to Shields. The Cubs are one of the teams he is considering and he’s expected to sign by the end of the week, or the weekend at the latest.
Kaplan cautioned a deal with Shields is not close. The Cubs are just exploring the possibility of signing Shields.
The Cubs were believed to have interest in James Shields as a back-up option if Jon Lester signed elsewhere. If the Cubs were to land James Shields, the team would forfeit its second round pick in this year’s draft and the allotted slot money.
A rotation of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, James Shields, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks would certainly give the Cubs a better shot of reaching the team’s goal for the upcoming season.
The mainstream media spent Wednesday trying to figure out which team or teams could have an offer on the table for James Shields. Jon Paul Morosi reported Tuesday night that Shields has multiple offers and is expected to sign by the end of the week.
According to Nick Cafardo and Jon Heyman, the Red Sox are not in on James Shields. The Oakland A’s are not in on Shields according to Jon Heyman and Dave Stewart reiterated to Nick Piecoro that the Diamondbacks are still not in on Shields.
Scratch the Giants off the list according to Jon Heyman and Buster Olney. The Giants spent its money on Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong after Shields rejected a four-year, $80 million offer earlier in the winter. And Heyman indicated the Angels are “fine with their rotation and there is no evidence they are pursuing Shields, either.”
Derrick Goold reported the Cardinals would prefer giving Carlos Martinez a shot at a spot in the rotation as opposed to signing James Shields.
Buster Olney reported Shields’ agent is telling teams he’s getting close to signing a contract. And four executives Jerry Crasnick spoke with about Shields thinks the Padres, Yankees or Cardinals could be where he ends up.
The Marlins are still in the mix and likely not be the frontrunner, but Miami is still talking to James Shields according to Joe Frisaro.
The Padres are believed to be very interested in James Shields. A.J. Preller “is determined to add a top veteran starter.” Shields would reportedly like to pitch for a team on the West Coast and Preller could be viewing Shields as a fallback option if he’s unable to trade for Cole Hamels.