James Shields Rumors: Decision Rests in Jeffrey Loria’s Hands


After Friday, I think we now have the best knowledge of where the Miami Marlins stand with their interest in free agent James Shields.

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Early in the day, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted that the Marlins are still discussing the possibility of adding James Shields to their pitching staff.

Late on Thursday night, Rosenthal had this to say about the Marlins chances of signing Shields in his article.

"Shields would be an ideal fit for the Fish, whose only starting pitcher older than 28, righty Dan Haren, might be traded before Opening Day. Marlins GM Dan Jennings drafted Shields for the Rays in 2000, and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez was with the Rays when Shields was in the minors.The possible departure of righty Mat Latos as a free agent after this season should only increase Shields’ appeal, but Marlins ownership doesn’t seem especially interested. One Marlins exec, asked repeatedly about the chances of the team signing Shields in recent weeks, consistently said, “Zero percent.” Asked again Thursday night, he said, “Zero!!!!”"

With his tweet Friday morning updating the Marlins still held interest in Shields, Rosenthal added the following line into the story:

"If the front office does want Shields, it will need to convince owner Jeffrey Loria to make the necessary investment — a discussion that is ongoing, sources said."

What I come away with the Rosenthal article and tweet is that some in the Marlins front office wants the Marlins to go out and sign James Shields, but there is hesitation on the part of owner Jeffrey Loria to make such a move, as he’s not exactly the type that likes to spend money.

My theory is further drove home by what Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald mentions in his daily buzz column:

"Though some national reports continue to link the Marlins to free agent James Shields, the feeling internally is that he would be way too costly (unless Jeffrey Loria has a surprising change of heart)."

The Marlins constant connection to James Shields all off-season tells me that there is legitimate interest in the right hander from the team. The fact that both Rosenthal and Jackson specifically point out Loria needing to make a decision about Shields tells me that the Marlins front office has already made their decision of wanting Shields, they are just waiting for Loria to come to the same conclusion and green light the decision.

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  • As a playoff contender, I believe the Marlins fall just short. The signing of Shields could put the team over the top as a legitimate wild card contender

    If the team doesn’t sign James Shields, we know who to point the finger at, especially if the team falls short.

    UPDATE: Rosenthal confirms my belief that the Marlins front office is trying to sell Loria on Shields, but Loria is unlikely to budge.

    "In writing about the James Shields market on Thursday, I said that the Marlins’€™ front office was trying to persuade owner Jeffrey Loria to sign the free-agent right-hander, according to major-league sources.Well, Shields to the Marlins is still highly unlikely."

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