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.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.