Gammons Hints at Shields’ Offseason Departure | The Process Report

Gammons Hints at Shields’ Offseason Departure

I wrote this over two months ago, but it makes a fitting lead-in to this post:

If you’re going to talk to someone in the baseball media, then make it [Peter] Gammons. With that in mind, I’m prone to believe this information is coming from the Rays and not rival talent evaluators or whatever reporting cliché is out there.

Back then, it was about Robinson Chirinos, this is about James Shields and his future with the Rays:

What is a major part of this race is the improved bottom of the division, knowing that once Joe Maddon figures out his bullpen, the Rays’ pitching is going to be really good and lay the bridge until they trade James Shields at the end of the season to make room for Matt Moore (three scouts said he was the best young pitcher they saw this spring) and Chris Archer.

No qualifiers or dancing around, Gammons goes for the gusto. Whether he’s got inside info on the RAys’ thought process or just did what I did and inferred based on their patterns is beyond me. Either way, I wouldn’t be too surprised. Here’s what I wrote back then:

It’s too far away to speculate on what may happen with David Price (more on this in a few days) or Wade Davis, but clearly the most difficult decision facing the Rays in the next 12-14 months is whether they should trade Shields or not. He’s good quantitatively, good enough that he’s actually underpaid, even at $7 or $9 million. He’s good qualitatively too. Shields appears to be the closest thing the Rays have to a leader on the pitching staff and a dependable workhorse. Niemann, on the other hand, has the shakier medical history, the less impressive track record, but does carry a lower price tag (it’s hard to see Niemann making the $28 million that Shields is scheduled to make from 2012-2014 through arbitration).

More on this later, but there’s a real chance it’s Shields’ last Opening Day with the Rays.

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