The Royals are interested in James Shields, but it would cost them

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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).