Houston Astros Rumors: Padres make James Shields available


Yesterday I wrote about the Houston Astros possibly going after San Diego Padres starting pitcher Tyson Ross. You can find it here Houston Astros Rumors: Tyson Ross a Possibility? I wrote that the young Padre player was young, under control until after 2018, and could be had for cheaper than Cole Hamels. As I was trying to go to sleep on Sunday night, I was browsing through my Twitter feed, and something caught my eye. Below is a Tweet from Peter Gammons.

According to the great Peter Gammons, the Padres are calling other teams asking if they would be interested in their freshly offseason signed starting pitcher James Shields. Wow, we are talking about the same James Shields who pitched so well in the World Series last year. While Gammons did not specifically mention the Astros, it is no secret that the Astros are in need of a starting pitcher. Especially one with the experience of Shields. I can almost guarantee that Jeff Luhnow was one of the calls that A.J. Preller made.

Here is how I think that conversation went.

Luhnow: Hello

Preller: Hey Jeff, Preller here, how’s the weather down in Houston?

Luhnow: Fine I guess, we are in Tampa right now though. Heading back after the game for a BBQ with J.J. Watt, Craig Biggio, and Scott from H.E.B..

Preller: Sounds interesting man, I wanted to call and tell you that we are putting James Sheilds on the trading block.

Luhnow: What…I mean ok, we can definitely discuss this later, so what about Tyson Ross?…Hello…AJ, you there?

I could have gone on and I still think that Ross would be the better option, but Shields would be under team control until after the 2018 season as well. The article in the Tweet above list the top five teams who could acquire Shields, they list the Astros as the second most likely team to make that trade.

The only thing that seems weird with this situation is that the Padres just signed him, would this send a bad message to the fans? Preller made some bold moves in the offseason, so he is not afraid to create some waves. The Padres tried to reload the team, but up until this point the effort has been unsuccessful. Maybe Preller saw the success that the Astros were having this year and decided to have his own “process?” You can’t blame Preller from wanting to get some of the Astros young players.

Let’s assume that we are comparing Shields to Ross, how do they compare? (Via FanGraphs)

As you can see here, the winner clearly is James Shields with exception of age, ground-ball percentage, and ERA. The thing that almost puts him over the top is that people say that the Astros won’t succeed in a possible playoffs, because their players lacked playoff experience. Adding a pitcher like Shields would great help the rotation, but he will also be able to address the lack of playoff experience of the Astros. He could be a leader for the rotation and the team as a whole.

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What would it cost to get a player like James Shields? I would say it would be less than it would take to get Tyson Ross because of the age, but the Padres will have to get a good haul to justify the trade to Padres’ fans. The Padres seem to be interested in a middle infielder, and they will probably have their eyes on Tony Kemp. They will probably also want a replacement pitcher, so we would have to include one in the trade. Yesterday I offered Domingo Santana, Nolan Fontana, and Vincent Velasquez for Tyson Ross.

According to Baseball-Reference, Fields signed a back loaded contract where he makes 10 million in 2015 and 21 million for the next three years. He has a team option for the year 2019 for 16 million. The salary is something the Astros could use in the negotiation, if you want our prospects, you have to pay some of Shields’ contract.

We will discuss James Shields more later, as rumors pop up.

Houston Astros Rumors: Tyson Ross a Possibility?

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