The Diamondbacks have been linked to free agent right-hander James Shields in recent weeks. In fact, Arizona GM Dave Stewart was talking about Shields when he said his “true baseball team” nonsense. However, they aren’t going to sign him.
According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Stewart told reporters today that the D-Backs are no longer pursuing Shields. He said the market for him has changed since Max Scherzer signed his seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals this week. In other words, he’s now out of their price range.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported over the weekend that Shields hopes to land a five-year contract in the range of $125 million. There’s nothing to indicate that he has received an offer close to that, but he’s the best player remaining on the free agent market. We heard earlier today that the Padres have looked into the possibility, but there’s still no frontrunner for his services.
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.