Twins considering trade for Rays righty James Shields?

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The Twins had one of the worst pitching staffs in the majors this season, finishing with a combined 4.77 ERA that ranked 28th out of baseball’s 30 teams.

It was a given that they’d try to do some patchwork this winter, but could a big splash be on the way?

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Twins have already made “inquiries” about a possible trade for Rays right-hander James Shields. Nothing is close, but it stands to reason that Tampa Bay will be open to making a deal involving Shields this offseason given their solid organizational rotation depth and cost-conscious methods.

Shields is owed $9 million in 2013 and carries a $12 million club option for the 2014 season. And unless something changes drastically, the Rays won’t have the money to lock him up long term.

Minnesota’s Chris Parmelee could be attractive, packaged with either Denard Span or Ben Revere.

Shields, 30, registered a sparkling 3.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 223/58 K/BB ratio across 227 2/3 innings (33 starts) this summer for the Rays. Cafardo suspects that the Dodgers will also make a run at him.