James Shields finally signed late last night with the San Diego Padres. A chance to pitch near home was not going to be passed up, an it helped that the Padres offered up enough cash for Shields to make his return to his home town.
Shields signing with the Padres didn’t mean he took the highest monetary offer he had. In fact, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Miami Marlins had the highest offer on the table for James Shields’ services.
If the Marlins did indeed have the highest offer for Shields, you have to tip your cap to the Marlins front office for truly being prepared to go all out for the 2015 season. As we’ve noted in the past, Shields would have likely catapulted the Marlins into a legitimate wild card contender.
Other than the home field advantage, it seems the Padres willingness to do a four-year deal, with an option for a fifth season, could have been a factor in pushing the Padres over the top. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Marlins offer was a 3-year deal, with an option for a vesting option for the fourth year.
With Shields already being 33-years old, a contract that pays him a decent value for his age 37 season and has an option for his age 38-season seems like something that would be extremely hard for him to pass on. Altogether, the value of Shields deal with the Padres could be 5-years $92 million.
For the Marlins front office, I credit them for going all-in for Shields, but at a certain point drawing a line of what kind of deal would be going too far. Shields on a potential 5-year deal could spell a disaster. A lower risk 3-year deal would have been a steal, in my opinion, for the Marlins.
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What the Marlins do next is going to be interesting. Do they decide that Shields was a luxury that they don’t necessary need or do they feel there is still a spot in the rotation that needs to be filled by a higher caliber talent?
I have an idea for the Marlins, one that could be a lot more impactful for the team, as they try to make a playoff push in 2015. I’m just not sure how plausible the idea is. Stay tuned.