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.

Report: David Price to pay each Dodgers minor leaguer $1,000 out of his own pocket

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Francys Romero reports that, according to his sources, Dodgers pitcher David Price will pay $1,000 out of his own money to each Dodgers minor leaguer who is not on the 40-man roster during the month of June.

That’s a pretty amazing gesture from Price. It’s also extraordinarily telling that such a gesture is even necessary.

Under a March agreement with Major League Baseball, minor leaguers have been receiving financial assistance that is set to expire at the end of May. Baseball America reported earlier this week that the Dodgers will continue to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week past May 31, but it is unclear how long such payments would go. Even if one were to assume that the payments will continue throughout the month of June, however, it’s worth noting that $400 a week is not a substantial amount of money for players to live on, on which to support families, and on which to train and remain ready to play baseball if and when they are asked to return.

Price’s generosity should be lauded here, but this should not be considered a feel-good story overall. Major League Baseball, which has always woefully underpaid its minor leaguers has left them in a vulnerable position once again.