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Stoking The Fire – Week 6: The ‘Royals’ MUST Sign James Shields To An Extension Right Away!

Shields was brought into do a job in the 2013 year, and he did just that, leading the American League In Innings Pitched, Game Starts - and Batters Faced - en route to a 13 - 9 year, with a 3.15 ERA.  The Royals have him for an exercised $12.5 MIL Team Option in 2014, but the ALL - Star Pitcher has expressed interest in signing an extension long - term.

Shields was brought into do a job (via trade) in the 2013 year, and he did just that, leading the American League In Innings Pitched, Game Starts – and Batters Faced – en route to a 13 – 9 year, with a 3.15 ERA. The Royals have him for an exercised $12.5 MIL Team Option in 2014, but the ALL – Star Pitcher has expressed interest in signing an extension long – term.  My question is – why are they not backing up the Brinks truck right now?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I have been writing for this fine website for a few weeks now.  I must say that I have been bored with my bleeping mind since the World Series – from lack of excitement.

One of my 1st articles a few weeks back, also addressed the Kansas City Royals need to go for it in 2014.  It is not time to sit back any longer.  At the end of this post, I will provide a link to read that post too.

I was commuting to my business last week, and I heard that James Shields likes it in KC – and would be willing to stay long-term if possible.

Okay, so why aren’t David Glass and Dayton Moore at Shields house right now, hammering away on an extension deal?

James Shields 2013 HIghlights

Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Royals had 7 years to look forward to from the #1 Ranked Offensive Player ranked in the Minor Leagues.  Instead, they rolled the dice on the 2013 - and 2014 seasons.  While the deal has initially worked out for both clubs, if Kansas City can extend Shields for beyond the 2014 - and then compete for that duration with him pitching well, it will look so much better than if Shields would leave following the 2014 season.  Anyone directly involved with KC would likely cringe at the mere mention of the trade.

Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Royals had 7 years to look forward to from the #1 Ranked Offensive Player ranked in the Minor Leagues. Instead, they rolled the dice on the 2013 – and 2014 seasons by trading him to Tampa Bay for James Shields. While the deal has initially worked out for both clubs, if Kansas City can extend Shields for beyond the 2014 – and then compete for that duration with him pitching well, it will look so much better than if Shields would leave following the 2014 season – and the Royals do not at least cash in with a playoff appearance. Anyone directly involved with KC would likely cringe at the mere mention of the trade.

This is an ultimate game changer for you.  This man you thought enough to trade away a perennial ALL – Star for, plus other great pitching – likes your franchise, fans and ballpark.

Not only did Shields author a great season as your #1 Pitcher, the guy has Post Season experience on a World Series Club, and he is only coming up on 32 years of age.  Did I mention he likes it Kansas City?

Shields was 13 – 9, with a 3.15 ERA – and amassed an AL leading 228.1 IP – and an AL leading 34 Game Starts in 2013.  There is no doubt about the effectiveness of your Bullpen as a result of him setting the table.

Having Ervin Santana was also great in 2013, but it was “Big James” who set all of that up with him as the #1.

Kansas City had their best campaign in over 20 seasons, and played meaningful baseball until the last week of the regular season.

After blazing out of the gate, it was the middle stretch of the year which curbed in any chance the Royals had to make the Post Season.

The club actually had one of the better 2nd half’s in the MLB – going 47 – 34 in their last 81 games after starting out 39 – 42.

Shields was solid for the whole year, posting a 3.21 ERA before the ALL – Star Break, and a 3.06 clip after the ASG.  The difference was the offensive support, that helped him go 9 – 3 down the stretch after a 4 – 6 Start.

The man originally from Newhall. CA faced the most Batters in the AL for the 2013 year with 946. What was more impressive is that he was 10 - 3 with a 2.07 ERA on the road, while he struggled at Kauffman in his 1st year there, with a 3 -6 record, and a 4.37 ERA. Shields is smart though, he will learn how to pitch better in KC. Going into the 2014 year with a 100 - 82 Career Record, and  3.79 ERA is not entirely reflective of how good the guy is now.

The man originally from Newhall. CA faced the most Batters in the AL for the 2013 year with 946. What was more impressive is that he was 10 – 3 with a 2.07 ERA on the road, while he struggled at Kauffman in his 1st year there, with a 3 -6 record, and  a 4.37 ERA. Shields is smart though, he will learn how to pitch better in KC. Going into the 2014 year with a 100 – 82 Career Record, and a 3.79 ERA, is not entirely reflective of how good the guy is now.

When a Starting Pitcher like Tim Lincecum is still worth 2 YRs/$35 MIL, you have to start thinking even north of these totals.

Kansas City should offer him a 5 YR Deal/$90 – $100 MIL – with maybe a 6th Year Vesting Option – based on Innings Pitched in the later years of his contract.

This would be so significant for so many reasons.  If KC could make sure that the guy is on their team for the whole duration Wil Myers plays is in Tampa Bay, they could defuse some serious second guessing by the fanbase.

Provided that Shields keeps pitching well, a move like this could also expand the competing window past 2014, with the amount of young talented players the team still holds in: Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Salvador Perez on offense.

But more importantly, it would also buy time for Danny Duffy to also emerge as a Staff Ace.

Shields also has a knack for jumping out of the gates quickly every year, as his 18 – 6 record – and 3.06 ERA indicates for the month of April.  He also finishes up well in August and September well.

He only seems to struggle in July, so maybe as he inches up more in age, the team could give him a rest more neat the ALL – Star Game.

With the added TV revenue at $26 MIL for every team (as part of the new National Broadcasting Deal), this should give every club a fighting chance to resign one of the players a team can ill afford to lose.

James Shields is exactly a guy like this.

Anchored by the man on the Pitching Staff, the team shaved off almost a run a game in 2013 – as oppose to 2012.

Danny Duffy looked filthy down the stretch, going 2 – 0 – with a 1.85 ERA in 5 Game Starts.

The club has Jeremy Guthrie signed until 2015.

They also have Wade Davis on livable Team Options from 2015 – 2017, after he receives only $4.8 MIL in 2014.nShould he pick it up a little as a Starter, one year options of $7, $8 and $10 MIL respectively is not bad for a #4 or #5 in the rotation.

I am sure the club could resign Bruce Chen for a 1 – 2 year deal at the back end of the Starting Staff guy.

The Royals also have Yordano Ventura that could compete for a Rotation Spot in 2014 (ranked #60 by Baseball America for Prospects in 2013).

In the  near distant future, Kyle Zimmer (Ranked #34 by Baseball America for 2013 Prospects) is also progressing through the system).

These young guys are definitely the prospects of years ahead, but losing a quality arm like Shields after 2014 could set the franchise back 2 – 3 more years.

You don’t have to give up a conditional draft pick that it would take to sign another chucker like #33 in going forward.  This should be a no-brainer.

If Kansas City waits too long to have this extension done, they risk Shields having another lights out year, and the price for him will skyrocket on the Free Agency Market next winter.

There are simply no excuses why this team can’t dole out the kind of money it would take to lock up Shields long – term.

Lets face it, there has not been a flock of Free Agent Starting Pitchers to flee to Kansas City.  The last big Starter the club picked up via that route – was inking Gil Meche to a 5 YR/$55 MIL prior to the 2007 year.

The team even has a Team Option on “Country Breakfast” Billy Butler for 2015.  This club that started the 2013 year with a 17 – 10 record, and a 47 – 34 finish, mixed in with a 22 – 32 record in the middle, would be essentially the same.

In my State Of The Union Address, I also called for them to add a OF bat like Curtis Granderson, and perhaps a INF Utility guy like Omar Infante and/or Jhonny Peralta.

This franchise could still do this, and by virtue of signing those guys to multiple year deals, it would ensure that your team could compete for the next 2 – 3 years in the AL Central.

The Tigers are going to start aging – and losing players to Free Agency like Victor Martinez, either Doug Fister or Max Scherzer will also be dealt before the end of 2014 – and Torii Hunter‘s deal ends at the end of next year too.

By signing Shields, it answers so many questions, opens up the window of years competing, and should help fans come back to Kauffman Stadium.  Maybe even break that 29 year playoff drought very soon.

Link to the 1st article from a few weeks ago.

“Stoking The Fire” Week 3: Kansas City Royals State Of The Union 2014 Part 1

James Shields turned in a workman like effort for the Royals - only to have received little run support earlier in the season.  With the Trade having going down seemingly to correct each other main ailments with the Rays needing offense and the Royals needing defense.  It has worked for both teams.  2014 becomes the most pivotal year in the last 3 decades for the franchise - as it is "Big Game" James' last year under contract.

James Shields turned in a workman like effort for the Royals – only to have received little run support earlier in the season.   The team corrected its output for him, and he ended up finishing 11 in AL Cy Young Voting – with ace numbers. 2014 becomes the most pivotal year in the last 3 decades for the franchise – as it is “Big Game” James’ potentially last year under contract.  Since he wants to come back, and their additional revenue coming in from the MLB National TV Package, there is no financial decision here that should stop them from making sure Shields pitches at Kauffman Stadium for the next 5 – 7 years.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Chief WriterHunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured article.  Hunter is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports.

Hunter grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and played baseball with Sheldon Bream (Sid Bream‘s son) at Liberty University in the NCAA.

His favorite player is Brian Wilson (how could you guess?), and he hates when people can’t think outside the box! 

His favorite expression – is ‘ this At Bat is about ten seconds away from a Toe – Tag!

You can reach Hunter on Twitter  

a hunter stokes

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Posted on November 19, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Stoking The Fire – Week 6: The ‘Royals’ MUST Sign James Shields To An Extension Right Away!.

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