Red Sox meet with James Shields, but really what they want to do is discuss opt-outs with Max Scherz

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Corsi

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foulkehampshire

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Inevitable consolation prize for losing out on Lester. 
 
If current market trends hold up that contract will be scary. Please let me be pleasantly surprised. 
 

nattysez

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Given how much the Giants like veterans and that they were willing to overpay Lester, I don't think a reasonable deal is going to land Shields.

Edit: Or what P'tucket said.
 

grimshaw

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The Sox would only go 22 mill for Lester.  Tough to believe they'd be at 20 per for Shields unless he agrees to a 4 year deal.
If they could do something like the Cubs and throw down a huge signing bonus, maybe they can front load it and vest the 5th year.
I'd go 4/85 max and then let the Dodgers and Giants fight it out.
 

Plympton91

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I would think 4/$80 is the ante for even getting a second interview, it will easily end up at 5/$100 or higher.
 

derekson

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Shields is going to get something like 5/$110M. The Sox aren't going to make a competitive bid for Shields if they only thought Lester was worth 6/$135M.
 
The FO has shown that they have zero desire to pay free agent market value for a front end starter, so why are they wasting their time and agents' time on meetings about another one?
 

mauf

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Tango used to do some pretty good predictions of contract values by taking the next season's WAR projection, then reducing each subsequent year by 0.5 WAR.
 
By that method, and using Lester's 2015 Steamer projection as a baseline, Lester projects to roughly 14 WAR over the next 6 years (with most of that in the next 3). I don't know what assumption is right to use for salary inflation, but that's a horrifying deal from a $$/WAR perspective.
 
That same method would project about 10 WAR over the next 5 years for Shields. It's hard to get excited about paying $100mm for that, but you can see why the FO might prefer 5/100 for Shields to 6/155 for Lester.
 
The Sox have already made two serious FA signings this winter. If they aren't serious about landing one of the top free-agent SPs, they should be basking in the glow of what they've already done instead of setting up fans for disappointment. That doesn't mean they'll definitely get a deal done, but I can't imagine they're participating just to drive up the price for other teams; for better or worse, they seem pretty darn serious about James Shields.
 

TheoShmeo

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I like the news of this meeting.  Whether they actually sign Shields or not, this being out there can't hurt them leverage wise in trade discussions with other teams for a 1 type.
 

brandonchristensen

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He's a player that everyone has hated for a long time...
 
I will need to grow to like him if he signs with us...
 

brandonchristensen

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Hee Sox Choi said:
John Lackey.
 
We liked him at the start, had high hopes, he just shit all over all good feelings immediately.
 
And he ended on the most positive of notes.
 

BarrettsHiddenBall

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Rasputin said:
Shields Porcello Buchholz Miley Kelly would be a pretty good rotation.
It's been mentioned elsewhere, but I don't think Masterson signs with Boston without an informal guarantee that a rotation spot is his to lose. Yes, they could move him to the pen, or try and get his permission to trade him, but that seems very unlikely. Maybe try Kelly in the pen instead?
 

Rasputin

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BarrettsHiddenBall said:
It's been mentioned elsewhere, but I don't think Masterson signs with Boston without an informal guarantee that a rotation spot is his to lose. Yes, they could move him to the pen, or try and get his permission to trade him, but that seems very unlikely. Maybe try Kelly in the pen instead?
 
I really don't care. Masterson was terrible last year and has always had a big platoon split. I don't see how he's going to be a better starting pitcher than Kelly.
 

Hoplite

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BarrettsHiddenBall said:
It's been mentioned elsewhere, but I don't think Masterson signs with Boston without an informal guarantee that a rotation spot is his to lose. Yes, they could move him to the pen, or try and get his permission to trade him, but that seems very unlikely. Maybe try Kelly in the pen instead?
 
That's my thinking as well. Masterson has the better FIP, xFIP, SIERA the last couple of years and Kelly's peripherals out of the bullpen have been much better than his peripherals as a starting pitcher.
 

NomosRubber

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BarrettsHiddenBall said:
It's been mentioned elsewhere, but I don't think Masterson signs with Boston without an informal guarantee that a rotation spot is his to lose. Yes, they could move him to the pen, or try and get his permission to trade him, but that seems very unlikely. Maybe try Kelly in the pen instead?
Plus Masterson can eat the innings; Kelly's not built up to it yet, as has been noted.
 

Hee Sox Choi

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Doctor G said:
Shields lives in SD and also met with the Rangers who have no interest in signing him.
The Rangers met with Shields to tell him they had no interest in him?  There must be some kind of typo in here, eh?
 

arzjake

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Shields is going to be 33 and gives up a Ton of Hits. Just say No!
Far better off trying to pry Zimmerman or Ross out of SD with the young arms the sox have...
 

ivanvamp

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Shields may not be worth the contract he ends up receiving, but he's a VERY good pitcher.  He'd be a terrific addition to any starting rotation in baseball.
 

MakMan44

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arzjake said:
Shields is going to be 33 and gives up a Ton of Hits. Just say No!
Far better off trying to pry Zimmerman or Ross out of SD with the young arms the sox have...
Zimmerman's H/9 last season- 8.2 
Shield's- 8.9
Ross's-7.6 
 
So about 1 hit over 9 innings separates the 3. Don't really see that as a big problem, but different strokes...
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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MakMan44 said:
Zimmerman's H/9 last season- 8.2 
Shield's- 8.9
Ross's-7.6 
 
So about 1 hit over 9 innings separates the 3. Don't really see that as a big problem, but different strokes...
 
Yeah, Shields is a ground ball pitcher. Not to the same extent as Porcello, Masterson or Wiley, but he would fit in with those kinds of acquisitions if the Sox really are looking to stockpile high GB% pitchers. In fact, he'd have the lowest GB% on the staff if the Sox signed him, but he was 43rd in baseball last year. Cole Hamels, by the way? He's also a ground ball pitcher with a 46.4 GB% last year.
 

mloyko54

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Years will be the concern the Red Sox have with Shields. Following their previous blue print I think they might offer him fewer years with a much higher AAV. I'd be comfortable offering him essentially Hanley Ramirez's deal 4 years 88 million. Vesting option based on IP and another indicator.
 

foulkehampshire

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
 
Yeah, Shields is a ground ball pitcher. Not to the same extent as Porcello, Masterson or Wiley, but he would fit in with those kinds of acquisitions if the Sox really are looking to stockpile high GB% pitchers. In fact, he'd have the lowest GB% on the staff if the Sox signed him, but he was 43rd in baseball last year. Cole Hamels, by the way? He's also a ground ball pitcher with a 46.4 GB% last year.
 
Shields and Hamels aren't ground-ball pitchers. League average GB% was about 45% last year....batted ball statistics rate them as more or less neutral.
 

Manramsclan

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ivanvamp said:
Shields may not be worth the contract he ends up receiving, but he's a VERY good pitcher.  He'd be a terrific addition to any starting rotation in baseball.
 
We have Disco! 
 
I would love the signing if the Sox could do 3/$60, but even that is too high and is not going to get it done in this market. 
 

jhogan88

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2013 and 2014 showed us a distinct winning formula: Timely hitting, a few decent starters, and an ace can win you a World Series. Porcello, Masterson, Kelly, Wiley does not give us a dominant pitcher like we had in Lester. On that note, if you would have told me Lester would get that type of offer in free agency any of the past 8 years, I would not have believed you.
 
2004 I think of Curt/Foulke. 2007 I think of Beckett. 2013 is Lester/Koji. 
 
Shields is not an ace. 
 
Basically, I want to pay Max.
 

moondog80

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jhogan88 said:
2013 and 2014 showed us a distinct winning formula: Timely hitting, a few decent starters, and an ace can win you a World Series. Porcello, Masterson, Kelly, Wiley does not give us a dominant pitcher like we had in Lester. On that note, if you would have told me Lester would get that type of offer in free agency any of the past 8 years, I would not have believed you.
 
2004 I think of Curt/Foulke. 2007 I think of Beckett. 2013 is Lester/Koji. 
 
Shields is not an ace. 
 
Basically, I want to pay Max.
If the Royals had won game 7 by a run instead of lost it by a run, Shields would have been the best pitcher on a WS winner.
 

Rasputin

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moondog80 said:
If the Royals had won game 7 by a run instead of lost it by a run, Shields would have been the best pitcher on a WS winner.
 
Of course, the fact that they didn't is largely due to the fact that Shields wasn't the best pitcher in the series.
 

snowmanny

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jhogan88 said:
2004 I think of Curt/Foulke. 2007 I think of Beckett. 2013 is Lester/Koji. 
 .
Just curious: why don't you think of Papelbon? His 2007 postseason was spotless.
 

Manramsclan

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hbk72777 said:
Post season ERA of 5.46 with a 1.534 WHIP.
 
If he's "Big Game" James, they haven't invented a word to describe Bumgarner
 
Can we  stop with the comments about "Big Game" James? 
 
A teammate gave him the nickname in the minors because he was a Lakers' fan so he called him "Big Game James" after James Worthy. It had and has nothing to do with his performance in big games. He didn't self gloss either. If you want to blame anyone blame the media, but James Shields has nothing to do with it save for crapping the bed in "Big Games". 
 
What is happening to this place?
 
Jame Shields is a very good pitcher. In a small sample size in the playoffs he's been knocked around. Not to mention he had kidney stones when he pitched in the playoffs this year.    
 
I'm not apologizing for his performance but for God's sake can we focus on his performance and not some dumb nickname that there is no evidence of him perpetuating at all.
 

Manramsclan

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snowmanny said:
Just curious: why don't you think of Papelbon? His 2007 postseason was spotless.
 
Ditto for Pedro. He had a little something to do with the 2004 playoffs. Schilling was pitching on one leg.
 

Doctor G

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Hee Sox Choi said:
The Rangers met with Shields to tell him they had no interest in him?  There must be some kind of typo in here, eh?
They said it was due diligence. i think Shields asked for the meeting.
 

Granite Sox

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jhogan88 said:
2013 and 2014 showed us a distinct winning formula: Timely hitting, a few decent starters, and an ace can win you a World Series. Porcello, Masterson, Kelly, Wiley does not give us a dominant pitcher like we had in Lester. On that note, if you would have told me Lester would get that type of offer in free agency any of the past 8 years, I would not have believed you.
 
2004 I think of Curt/Foulke. 2007 I think of Beckett. 2013 is Lester/Koji. 
 
Shields is not an ace. 
 
Basically, I want to pay Max.
 
There is talk that now the Sox need to get an ace.
 
There are only about a dozen or so true aces in the majors (arguably), and James Shields is certainly not one of them (nor do I think Lester fits in the category, to be honest).
 
What the Red Sox need now is someone who can win in the postseason... I believe there is a difference.
 
For whatever reason, Shields has not got a great postseason record.  
 
If the Red Sox believe one of Miley, Porcello, Kelly, or Masterson can win in the postseason, I don't think it is worth wasting the money to go get Shields.
 
For comparison, I don't think Hamels is an ace, either, but his postseason record is GS 13, W-L 7-4, ERA 3.09, WHIP 1.053, SO9/BB/9: 8.5/2.3.  He has demonstrated he can win in the postseason. I'd take him if we can weasel him away from Amaro without including Bogaerts/Betts/Swihart.
 

MarcSullivaFan

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jhogan88 said:
2013 and 2014 showed us a distinct winning formula: Timely hitting, a few decent starters, and an ace can win you a World Series. Porcello, Masterson, Kelly, Wiley does not give us a dominant pitcher like we had in Lester. On that note, if you would have told me Lester would get that type of offer in free agency any of the past 8 years, I would not have believed you.
 
2004 I think of Curt/Foulke. 2007 I think of Beckett. 2013 is Lester/Koji. 
 
Shields is not an ace. 
 
Basically, I want to pay Max.
When you think of 2004, do you think of the guy who had this line?

19.1 IP 11H 4ER 3BB 10K 1.90 ERA .73 WHIP

Hint: Not Pedro or Curt.
 

EpsteinsGorillaSuit

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Dick Pole Upside said:
 
There is talk that now the Sox need to get an ace.
 
There are only about a dozen or so true aces in the majors (arguably), and James Shields is certainly not one of them (nor do I think Lester fits in the category, to be honest).
 
What the Red Sox need now is someone who can win in the postseason... I believe there is a difference.
 
For whatever reason, Shields has not got a great postseason record.  
 
If the Red Sox believe one of Miley, Porcello, Kelly, or Masterson can win in the postseason, I don't think it is worth wasting the money to go get Shields.
 
For comparison, I don't think Hamels is an ace, either, but his postseason record is GS 13, W-L 7-4, ERA 3.09, WHIP 1.053, SO9/BB/9: 8.5/2.3.  He has demonstrated he can win in the postseason. I'd take him if we can weasel him away from Amaro without including Bogaerts/Betts/Swihart.
 
I'm having trouble picking twelve "true aces" in MLB that don't include Hamels or Lester.
 

Granite Sox

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EpsteinsGorillaSuit said:
 
I'm having trouble picking twelve "true aces" in MLB that don't include Hamels or Lester.
 
Agree (hence my "arguably" qualifier).  Point is, there aren't many true aces... postseason chops more important (to me) at this point than declaring that the Sox have an "ace".
 

GilaMonster

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I actually like Shields. Since 2012, he has pitched more innings than any other pitcher in baseball. He has a decent fastball,a very nice sinker, and 3 quality secondary pitches in a cutter,curveball, and changeup....If I dare say it....He is a bit of a right handed Jon Lester-lite. I think with mechanical changes he can get the changeup back to form.
 
The encouraging thing about Shields is get this....he has been a unicorn and gained velocity with age. http://tinyurl.com/mj8e8al
 

LahoudOrBillyC

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Dick Pole Upside said:
 
Agree (hence my "arguably" qualifier).  Point is, there aren't many true aces... postseason chops more important (to me) at this point than declaring that the Sox have an "ace".
The post season qualifier eliminates Kershaw. So we are down to Bumgarner and maybe Scherzer.
 

Granite Sox

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LOBC... I agree with eliminating Kershaw based on the qualifier.  My point was more that the Red Sox may not need an "ace" as much as they need a good pitcher who can succeed in the postseason.  Kershaw helps to prove the point that being an "ace" means nothing in particular when the postseason rolls around...
 
(To play the game: Kershaw, Bumgarner, maybe Scherzer, King Felix, pre-'14 Verlander, pre-TJ Fernandez, Cobb, Price, Wainwright... Arguable, YMMV, etc.)
 

GilaMonster

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Dick Pole Upside said:
LOBC... I agree with eliminating Kershaw based on the qualifier.  My point was more that the Red Sox may not need an "ace" as much as they need a good pitcher who can succeed in the postseason.  Kershaw helps to prove the point that being an "ace" means nothing in particular when the postseason rolls around...
 
(To play the game: Kershaw, Bumgarner, maybe Scherzer, King Felix, pre-'14 Verlander, pre-TJ Fernandez, Cobb, Price, Wainwright... Arguable, YMMV, etc.)
 
I think that is silly. Post season numbers are a limited sample. Maybe there is something there, but I'd bet on it being noise.
 
In 51 IP, Kershaw has a 3.46 FIP and struck out over 10 per 9. He has gotten unlucky with guys on base. That is it. 
 

arzjake

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MakMan44 said:
Zimmerman's H/9 last season- 8.2 
Shield's- 8.9
Ross's-7.6 
 
So about 1 hit over 9 innings separates the 3. Don't really see that as a big problem, but different strokes...
 
 
 
Your right.
Again, When you look over his career you have several years of more hits than IP. Factor in the age of 33, is he worth 4 or 5 years at 18 million? 
 

DJnVa

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arzjake said:
 
Your right.
Again, When you look over his career you have several years of more hits than IP. Factor in the age of 33, is he worth 4 or 5 years at 18 million? 
 
Sure, but there's not really a lot of starters that aren't right there, a shade under or a shade over. In his career he's 8.8 H/9 and that's 38th among all active starters. Couple that with a relatively low walk rate, a nice amount of strikeouts and there's not really a problem.
 
Nov 30, 2006
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Shields is 33. He's definitely a #1. Ace? I dunno. Adding him would make the Sox a semi juggernaut for '15, but a 5 year deal with the guy has "winner's curse" written all over it, IMHO. Still, I would be ok with 5/100, and even more so if there was some way to get it done with 4 years and a vesting 5th.

Probably all moot, since the tea leaves seem to be indicating he ends up out West.
 

mwonow

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I don't think he's as good a pitcher as the contract will indicate - in the 2015 class, he'd be a lot further down the list than he is in a year where he's topped only by Max and Jon. Besides, it isn't just about numbers - I'd rather continue to root against Shields than to have to learn to like him. Just say no.
 
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