San Francisco Giants: How They Can Contend in 2016

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Trade for James Shields

Jul 17, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher James Shields (33) pitches against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

James Shields is a familiar name to San Francisco fans, given the fact that the Giants once defeated him in the 2014 World Series. In response, he defeated them last offseason by choosing the Padres over the Giants in free agency. San Francisco had the higher bid, but the Southern California native decided to pitch in San Diego rather than in the Bay Area. After a tumultuous season overall for the Padres, AJ Preller is trying to scramble, putting some pieces back out there to make up for a roster blow up he thought would be successful.

Shields is one of those he is dangling out in the trade market.

This is not the once young Shields from his days with the Rays. But for an already established contract, he would receive less than a good portion of this year’s free agent pitchers. Since the Giants had interest last season, maybe they would consider plucking him from within division and becoming a number two or three starter in the rotation behind Bumgarner.

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  • Shields started off strong in 2015, but overall the team struggled with chemistry and fired their manager midway through the year. From there on, Shields and his team struggled to ever gain momentum, which might explain the weak finish to 2015.

    Shields does have mileage on his arm, but he was expected to be an ace in that rotation and wasn’t facing number two or three. He was facing Kershaw, Bumgarner, Jake Arrieta, Gerrit Cole, etc.

    While trading within the division may be frowned upon, the Padres and Rockies don’t appear to be contending anytime soon, as the NL West will be a Giants, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers three-way race. In that case, the Giants could send some of their players in exchange for Shields. Shields’ value has decreased after a down year, so the Giants could get a bargain in a trade.

    If they want to avoid a Kenta Maeda free agent contract, or see how much Leake or Wei-Yin Chen end up receiving, they could go for a proven Shields to help make a push to get back into the playoffs in 2016.

    Next: Carlos Carrasco