Report: Rangers met recently with James Shields

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Now that Jon Lester has settled on a team, inking a six-year, $155 million contract late Tuesday night with the Cubs, the focus of this wild starting pitching market turns to Max Scherzer and James Shields.

Scherzer is a client of super agent Scott Boras and there’s talk of him waiting until the tail end of the offseason to choose a destination, so it could be Shields who now takes center stage. Indeed, the righty has already begun meeting with teams …

According to sources close to the situation, the Rangers met with Shields and his representatives over the weekend and are expected to be serious contenders to sign the right-hander as they survey the starting pitching market. The team has also reportedly showed interest in free agent Justin Masterson as well as trade candidates Dillon Geeand Wade Miley, but may be looking to make a bigger splash with the signing of someone like Shields.

That comes from Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. Shields registered a 3.18 ERA (128 ERA+) in his two seasons with Kansas City and has topped 215 innings every year since 2007. It figures that the 32-year-old’s asking price will start at well over $100 million. And then maybe it comes down slightly from there.

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UPDATE, 7:54 p.m. ET: Cotillo adds that the Red Sox and Giants have set up meetings with Shields.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.