Monday, February 9, 2015

James Shields Signs With Padres

Until last night, with pitchers and catchers reporting to camp next week, one of the top free agent starting pitchers was still on the board.

Shields and the San Diego Padres finally agreed to a deal, after nearly a week of going back and forth. The contract will be worth $75 million over four years, and will include a club option for a fifth year (no word on the value of the option).

James is from the San Diego area, and wanted to return to the west coast. The Miami Marlins had actually offered a three year deal, with a vesting option for a fourth, for around $20 million a year. However, the allure of the west coast and more overall money, snagged Shields' services.

While some Yankees fans may be sad that their team didn't add another starter, as there are questions all over the rotation (Pineda's shoulder, Tanaka's elbow, Sabathia's elbow, Capuano and Eovaldi's effectiveness), I'm not one of them. For starters, James just turned 33 years old, and most players at that age are about to decline. And seeing his strikeout rate fall in each of the last two seasons is a concern too.

That's not to say Shields isn't good. The average velocity of his fastball has actually gone up in each of the last three years. And his FIP has been below 3.60 for the past four seasons. I just don't think it would have been wise for the Yankees to spend nearly $20 million a season, for the next 4+ years, to get him.

Sure, there are all those health questions surrounding the current rotation. And depth is always important, as injuries are bound to come up. But I really don't think a team should shell out big money for depth. That big money should go to players that a team needs, instead of players that a team might need. Adam Warren (pre-arbitration), Esmil Rogers ($1.48 million), Chase Whitley (pre-arbitration)... those guys are "depth". And don't forget that Ivan Nova is doing well in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, and should be available around the mid-way point of the season.

Besides, it's not like Shields is in Boston, or even the American League.


  1. I forgot to mention that the Yankees kept both of their 1st round draft pick, along with their supplemental pick for losing D-Rob. And both of those picks moved up a spot due to Shields signing elsewhere.

    Those two picks, and passing on James, could turn out to be much more valuable.

    1. Agreed. The farm system is going to be absolutely stocked this time next year barring any major trades. All the current talent mixed in with one more year under the belts of the big 2013 class and the slew of IFA's the team signed this signing period with three picks in the first 50 or so (52 I think) picks this year.

      As a prospect humper I am pretty excited.

    2. For once, in a very long time, I am excited for the draft this year!


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