CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler recently posted on Twitter that the Rays are dead against trading James Shields. In that same tweet, he posted that the Rays would be more likely to trade Jeremy Hellickson before they trade Shields. He did mention that it is unlikely that they trade either, but this is still way out there.
Everyone else on the baseball insider scene is posting that the Rays are heavily marketing Shields to other teams. He has been included in many rumors, whether it be to the Marlins, the Yankees, the Reds, or any other team in baseball. He is the only one saying that the Rays will not trade Shields. I like James Shields, but I think the package the Rays could get for him would be too good to pass up. The Rays could easily get a top of the line, Major League ready prospect like Logan Morrison in a trade for Shields. The Rays have enough starters to part with their ace. The rotation will not take a step back without Shields, and the offense could definitely take a step forward in the package that the Rays receive.
Then, there is the Jeremy Hellickson issue. Why on earth would the Rays rather trade Hellickson than Shields? Are they scared of Scott Boras? Hellickson is the younger pitcher with a ton more potential. You know what you will get out of Shields, but Hellickson has certainly not reached his peak yet. Sure, some team would be willing to trade the farm for him, but I don’t think the return would warrant the trade. In my mind the Rays would need to get Joey Votto in order to trade Hellickson. The return needs to turn this team into a championship team in order for it to make sense.
Knobler’s tweet is very out there compared to what everyone else is saying, so we will have to see if anything comes of this in the offseason. I would be very surprised if we begin hearing Hellickson’s name in rumors considering he still has so much potential. I also think we will continue to hear Shields’ name in the news and there is a very real possibility he could be traded.