The Perfect Trade

James Shields could be moved this offseason due to the $7 million 2012 price tag and the Tampa Rays financial restraints.  Andrew Friedman, GM and VP of Baseball Operations for the Rays, could get another affordable piece for a team that could continue to win in a tough situation for years to come.  He could deal Shields to the Florida Marlins for Logan Morrison.

The trade would do three things:

1) Open up a rotation spot for Matt Moore, who combined to go 13-3 with a 1.97 ERA in 164 1/3 IP and a 225/49 K/BB between the Minors and Majors this season.

2) Get a cornerstone first baseman who is just 24 and won’t be a Free Agent until 2017.  He also has 25 HR, 45 2B, a .351 OBP and an .811 OPS in just 185 games, showing solid on-base skills and power.  He has fallen out of favor in the Marlins organization, even getting demoted for unannounced reasons earlier this season.

3) It will give the Marlins a staff ace heading into a new stadium.  At 30, Shields will be a nice fit with Josh Johnson (if he can stay healthy), Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco in the Marlins rotation for the next few seasons.  His contract is reasonable, escalating to $7 million in 2012, $9 million in 2013, and $12 million in 2014.  After posting a 2.82 ERA, a league leading 11 complete games and career highs in innings pitched (249 1/3) and strikeouts (225), Shields will be coveted by many teams as the Rays look for new ways to pinch pennies.

The Hot Stove League will start after the World Series and provide numerous rumors and exciting deals for the next few months.  As the Packers roll to another Super Bowl Championship, why not focus on a league with more equality in their teams, MLB.

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4 Comments

If the Rays can get some good offense from trading Shields, it could be another great move by the Rays. The Marlins are definitely a possibility but there are many more teams that have some good hitters to trade for great pitching like Shields.
The Rays Rant- http://yossif.mlblogs.com/

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Who would you like to see them get, especially as a Rays fan and writer? Do you think they would add payroll and try to get Votto from the Reds in a deal or continue taking on young players? Would Morrison be more valuable than a package of prospects, like if the Rangers offered Profar and Kirkman for him?

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To start, I think Shields is a terrific pitcher and a great guy to have on the Rays and always was. I was always a huge fan of his and would like to see him in a Rays uniform forever. But considering all the circumstances, it may not be the best option for the team’s sake. The Rays don’t have any starting pitching problems, and even without Shields they won’t (with Archer, Moore, Torres, and Cobb emerging). What they do lack, is quality hitting. If they can find a good hitter that can consistently knock in runs, the Rays could really become a serious championship contender. The Rays have stacked arms in their farm system, and can easily replace Shields while paying much less (for now). Hitting is what they really need to take the next step, and trading great pitching may be the only way to get that with their tiny payroll. As for who they should get, I didn’t really think that over yet. They’re are many options including some of the ones you mentioned.
The Rays Rant- http://yossif.mlblogs.com/

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historically speaking though, the marlins seem to have nearly as big an aversion to spending money as the rays do…or close to it.

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