“Big Game” James Shields may have a career postseason ERA of 5.19, but he’s still a really good starter and the Royals wouldn’t be where they are now without him. But if they’re going to get back to where they are next season, they’re gonna probably have to do it without him. Andy Martino in the Daily News:
Shields might remain with the Royals beyond this month, but it is not likely. According to major league sources, although the team will make a genuine effort to resign him, it is not hopeful, expecting a rival like the Red Sox to offer four or five years. It is difficult to imagine the Royals matching such an offer. Bye, bye James.
Jon Heyman reported earlier this month that Shields could get a deal similar to Anibal Sanchez’s five-year, $80 million contract. One wouldn’t think that was out of the question for the Royals — they’re small market, but should expect a major uptick in ticket sales next year — but it is unlikely. And, frankly, how much of that deal would be paying for what Shields has done as opposed to what he’ll do in the future?