San Francisco Giants Eyeing James Shields


The San Francisco Giants have had a bit of a rough offseason. They lost postseason superhero Pablo Sandoval to the Boston Red Sox, then missed out on left-handed pitching superstar Jon Lester to the Chicago Cubs.

But lets not focus on the negatives! Do you remember the 2014 World Series? Of course you do! The Giants and Kansas City Royals competed in one of the best October showdowns in recent memory, battling into game seven, going down to the very last batter before the Giants won their third World Championship in five seasons.

So if you recall that epic battle, you probably know about James Shields. The pitcher known as “Big Game” James didn’t quite live up to his nickname, as he lost both of his starts, with a 7.00 ERA and 1.889 WHIP. Those numbers just scream “stay away,” right?

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Wrong. Forget about the postseason. Shields is actually a tremendous pitcher, a bonafide ace. Over his nine year career, he boasts a 114-90 record, with a very solid 3.72 ERA and 1.220 WHIP. He hasn’t missed a start since his first big league call-up in 2006 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s gone over 200 innings pitched in every season since 2007.

Shields evolution into a true ace pitcher really began in 2011. In that season, he went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA. His 11 complete games (11 COMPLETE GAMES!) and four shutouts both led the major leagues. He was named an American League All-Star, and finished third in the Cy Young Award voting.

In the past four seasons, starting with the career-year in 2011, Shields has gone 58-34 with a 3.17 ERA and 1.155 WHIP, including 17 complete games and seven shutouts. He has truly become a star in this league, and he wants to be paid like one.

Andy McCullough from the Kansas City Star reported that Shields is seeking a five-year deal, somewhere in the range of $85 to $100 million. Shields will be 33 years old when the 2015 season starts, and a five-season contract will take him into his age 37 season. That might be a little worrisome, combined with all the innings his right arm has racked up over the years.

What’s not to like about a gamer who is going to go out there every five days, rack up the innings, and give his team a legitimate chance to win every time? Even though he has thrown a ton of innings (literally, almost 2000 for his career,) he has never dealt with arm issues, or any kind of injury, for that matter. He’s definitely a guy who would be worth a risk.

With Lester off the market, and Max Scherzer asking for north of $200 million, the Giants have begun to weigh their other options. They have also shown interest in pitcher Ervin Santana, but their main interest right now is Shields, as the team met with him on Wednesday.

You know what they say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.