UPDATE: James Shields has reportedly signed with the San Diego Padres February 9 on a four-year contract worth $75 million. Other teams that were on the brink of signing Shields were the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins. The Twins weren’t in contention, as expected. However, there are a few more starting pitchers left that the Twins could sign, like Joe Saunders or Bruce Chen. Below is an earlier report.
Ever since Max Scherzer signed with Washington on January 21 for seven years, all eyes turned to free agent pitcher James Shields, formerly of the Kansas City Royals. Shields is asking for big money but teams have been reluctant thus far to sign him. Since Shields has been a great pitcher for a few years now, I am surprised that he hasn’t been gobbled up yet. This is the perfect time for the Twins to swoop in and sign him.
During the last two off-seasons, the Twins have made it their priority to bring in top pitchers. During the 2013 off-season, the Twins signed Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to big contracts. About two months ago, our team snagged top pitcher Ervin Santana for $54 million and extended Hughes’ contract. The Pohlads have been trending the right way in regards to spending money. Going after Shields would show Twins fans that they not only want to win a division, but a World Series title soon.
Twins fans would go crazy as we would have a solid rotation for the first time in years. Think about this rotation: Shields, Nolasco, Hughes, Santana, and Alex Meyer. In signing Shields, the Twins would bring in a pitcher with recent World Series experience. The nine-year veteran, who has several offers on the table, has a career record of 114-90 with 1,626 strike outs and 22 complete games. In 2013 and 2014, Shields was first in games started in the AL with 34. It would be a fabulous addition to a seemingly solid rotation that the Twins have created. Shields would provide the Twins the true ace that they have been looking for.
With that said, don’t expect the big probable announcement this weekend to be that Shields has chosen the Twins and pitch at Target Field. It remains unclear if the Twins have given the 33-year-old pitcher an offer. All we can do is hope and dream. Come to Minnesota, Shields!
Written by: Michael L. Sack