Marlins must sign James Shields


Max Scherzer was going to get paid by somebody, it just took a while. Unfortunately for Marlins’ fans, he’s likely making a new home in the National League East, on the team that was already heavily favored to win the division.

Already a long shot to win the division, the Marlins now have their work cut out for them. It appears the only hope these up-and-coming Fish have at the playoffs in 2015 is through a Wild Card birth. Of course, the season isn’t played in January, but barring an injury-plagued Nationals campaign, the Marlins will be staring up at them in the standings all year.


James Shields is still on the free agent market, and as covered earlier, his price tag is reportedly dropping fast. If Jeffrey Loria is truly serious about contending now, and building a winner around his poster boy Giancarlo Stanton, this is a move that must be made. A $65-million dollar payroll, on pace for second lowest in the majors, doesn’t exactly scream “WE WANT TO WIN NOW!!!” Even with Shields under contract for four years and $70-80 million, the Marlins would still have a bottom five payroll.

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An Opening Day rotation featuring Shields, Mat Latos, Henderson Alvarez, Jarred Cosart and Tom Koehler would be dangerous. Doubly so once Jose Fernandez makes his highly anticipated return this summer. As of now, the Marlins are a decent team hoping to get lucky. With the Nationals close to signing Max Scherzer, that road just got more difficult.

Shields, although 33 years-old with a declining K rate, could solidify the starting rotation, and finally end the Dan Haren soap opera. Not only that, Marlins fans could rest easy knowing that neither Brad Hand or David Phelps would get a crack at the starting rotation (trust me you don’t want either of those guys starting on this team.)

Aside from the obvious baseball implications of such a move, the message sent to the fans would be a powerful one. Yes, lots of “Well he’s going to get traded in July anyways” jokes would happen, but as we know, that’s just part of the deal as a Marlins fan. The facts are, this team will not win the division if the season started today. A guy like James Shields could change all of that, with one signature.

Please Jeff, make it happen.

Next: Marlins Rumors: Two-year contract for Ichiro Suzuki?