Stoking The Fire – Week 6: The ‘Royals’ MUST Sign James Shields To An Extension Right Away!
Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): Follow @stokes_hunter21
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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
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.
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.
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.
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A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Chief Writer‘ Hunter 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!
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Posted on November 19, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles and tagged @MLBreports on twitter, al central division, alcides escobar, alex gordon, billy butler, bruce chen, curtis granderson, David Glass, dayton moore, detroit tigers, doug fister, ervin santana, gil meche, james shields, Jeremy guthrie, jhonny peralta, kansas city royals, kauffman stadium, kyle zimmer, lorenzo cain, max scherzer, mike moustakas, omaha, salvador perez, tim lincecum, victor martinez, wade davis, wil myers, yorvano ventura. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Stoking The Fire – Week 6: The ‘Royals’ MUST Sign James Shields To An Extension Right Away!.