Thursday, December 11, 2014

Go Get James Shields, And Call It A Rotation

(Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
It's difficult to understand why there's so much resistance in Red Sox Nation to the possible signing of James Shields. Maybe it's because he was such a bitter AL East foe for so long. And yet, it seems like Shields is the most realistic option left for a top-of-the-rotation starter. In the first place, he won't cost the team any prospects—just John Henry's cash. Second, he has a rich history in the division. Third, he has hurled 200-plus innings for eight straight years. His career ERA is 3.72—and he's given up fewer hits than innings pitched over his nine years in the league. And, his winning percentage improved over the last two years in Kansas City. He's just 32, and should have at least four more solid years at the top of his game. He would be the perfect ace to accompany Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley, Joe Kelley and Justin Masterson. Now, some "full disclosure". Many years ago—just before the Rays won the 2008 pennant—I had the privilege of talking with a young Shields as we shared space at the head table of a BoSox Club luncheon. He was open, honest, engaging—the kind of guy you'd like to have on your team. So, I'm a bit biased. I think he'd be the perfect choice to complete the 2015 Red Sox rotation.