James Shields Rumors: An Ideal Candidate for the Marlins?


James Shields Rumors: An Ideal Candidate for the Marlins?

Pitching and defense have been the key ingredients for the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals to reach the 2014 World Series, which begins on Tuesday. For that reason, the Marlins are looking to emphasize those two areas for the upcoming season to better prepare themselves for a playoff run.

With Jose Fernandez out until at least the All-Star break, the team could be scouring the open market this off-season for a starting pitcher. While the team could explore the trade market, like they did acquiring Jarred Cosart at the trade deadline, the Marlins will also keep an eye on the free agent market.

In fact, Marlins.com’s Joe Frisaro feels that James Shields would be an ideal candidate for the Marlins to sign:

"Miami has the makings of a strong rotation, especially when Fernandez returns. Adding a top-of-the-rotation arm will help bridge the gap until Fernandez is back. Free agent James Shields is an ideal candidate. But the free-agent market for Shields, Jon Lester and Max Scherzer will be very costly. Justin Masterson could be worth watching."

Shields is having a monster season for the Royals and still has the world series ahead of him before he worries about free agency. Shields tossed 227 innings in 2014, posting a 3.21 ERA and a 3.59 FIP. He’ll be 33 years old in December.

As Frisaro mentions, the market for Shields and the other top free agent pitchers is likely to be out of the Marlins price range, especially with the needing to extend Giancarlo Stanton. The team’s payroll for the upcoming season is expected to be around $60 million.

Preferably, the Marlins should be aiming for a hitter to put in their lineup over another starting pitcher. A rotation of Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, Jarred Cosart, Tom Koehler, and Andrew Heaney should be sufficient till Jose can return.