We mentioned earlier tonight that the Royals have interest in Athletics’ left-hander Gio Gonzalez as they look to upgrade their starting rotation, but Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports that they have also expressed interest in Rays right-hander James Shields. However, the asking price is high. Really high.
According to Chastain, the Rays want closer Joakim Soria, top hitting prospect Wil Myers and infield prospect Christian Colon in return for Shields. Now that would be a haul. Can’t blame Andrew Friedman for aiming high here, but there’s no chance Dayton Moore would even think about accepting that deal.
That being said, the 29-year-old Shields remains a very attractive trade chip, especially as an alternative to an underwhelming field of free agent starting pitchers. The Rays exercised his $7.5 million option in October and hold reasonable options on his services for 2013 ($9 million) and 2014 ($12 million).
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.