Report: Rays “dead-set” on keeping James Shields

7 Comments

James Shields posted a fantastic 2.82 ERA in 33 starts this season, striking out 225 batters and issuing only 65 walks across 249 1/3 innings.

There’s been some thought that the Rays might try to capitalize on that breakout 2011 campaign by shopping the 29-year-old right-hander this winter. He’s owed a $7.5 million salary in 2012 and Tampa Bay has talented young arms on the way.

But it doesn’t sound like a trade will happen.

According to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, the Rays’ front office is “dead-set against” moving Shields this offseason. And the same goes for youngster Jeremy Hellickson, who had a 2.64 ERA in the second half.

The market for available starting pitchers remains bleak beyond lefty C.J. Wilson. And maybe Yu Darvish.