James Shields Rumors: Marlins Not Likely Destination


The odds of James Shields landing with the Miami Marlins grow longer and longer each day. A couple of days after it was reported the Marlins have a zero percent chance to sign Shields, ESPN’s Jayson Stark echoes the same sentiment, gaining inside information from executives around baseball.

"• Marlins: They’ve been connected with Shields in a barrage of reports. But I was told the chances they’ll sign him are currently “zero.”"

With two people very connected to the people inside the game saying there is a zero chance for the Marlins to sign Shields, you have to bet against the Marlins defying any odds and signing Shields.

More from Marlins Rumors

However, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, two things would have to happen for the Marlins to get in on Shields.

"The Marlins also are keeping tabs on free agent James Shields (14-8, 3.21 for Kansas City last season), but it’s highly unlikely they will sign him. They could get involved only if Haren is dealt and if the market drops significantly below the five years and $100 million-plus that Shields is seeking. Don’t count on the latter."

Trading Dan Haren would be the hardest part of this scenario. The Marlins have tried to move the right hander since he told the team he still prefers to pitch on the west coast. While Haren has said he’ll report to Spring Training, Jackson points out that Haren’s $10 million might not even be allocated into the Marlins budget:

"Because the Marlins are keeping the $10 million given to them by the Dodgers whether they trade Haren or not, there has been considerable internal discussion about what to do if a viable trade option emerges. The Marlins planned to allocate that $10 million to pay Mat Latos if Haren had retired. So Haren’s $10 million isn’t necessarily in the budget."

According to Jackson, the trade with the Dodgers was more about acquiring Dee Gordon and cash to cover a top of the rotation guy, like Mat Latos. This train of thought to justify the trade actually makes the Marlins front office look cheap and makes the trade an even more lopsided one in the Dodgers favor.

Plus, the Marlins are face a significant gap in arbitration numbers with Latos and aren’t planning on extending him, meaning he could be one and done in Miami. It just raises more questions about what the team has done this off-season.

While staff writer Miller Lepree made the argument that the Marlins must to sign James Shields to help the team reach the post-season, with the recent rumors, it’s clear the Marlins front office doesn’t feel the same way, or they just don’t want to spend more than they have to.

ESPN’s Dan Szymborski agrees with Miller’s sentiment that Shields would help make the Marlins a legitimate contender for the 2015 season, adding that they’d become an upper tier wild card team contender with Shields in the mix.

"Miami MarlinsWhile the Marlins need a lot to go right for them and a lot to go wrong for the Nationals to win the division — ZiPS has the Marlins at 83-84 wins right now, about 10 games behind Washington — they’ve been adding key players this offseason, including Mat Latos, Dee Gordon and Michael Morse. They also have another big addition to look forward to in the form of Jose Fernandez, who is expected back midseason following Tommy John surgery. The rest of the rotation right now is rather unexciting, and that includes Latos, whom ZiPS project to have a WAR near 3 but comes with injury concerns that a computer model might not pick up on.Win differential: Adding Shields, whom the Marlins have expressed interest in, would kick the Marlins up to first-tier wild-card contender status, and maybe even give them a chance to make a run at the Nationals."

I’m in 100% agreement with Dan on this. Like him, I peg the Marlins as a 83-84 win team, if everything breaks right. That should still be 4-6 wins short of what a potential wild card winning team will need. Adding Shields to the mix should shorten the gap for the Marlins and make them a more serious contender.

The division for the team with or without Shields and Scherzer in the formula was going to be a long shot.

For those Marlins fans still holding out hope for James Shields landing in Miami, I’m sorry, it does not look like the chances are too good for the ball club. Two well-connected people at ESPN pegged the Marlins at a zero percent chance and the team’s beat writers don’t see it happening either.

Next: An Update on Jose Fernandez