Everybody knows the situation with the rotation heading into spring camp this year. We know it's got a potentially higher ceiling than people are giving it credit for but that it needs a lot to go right for that to happen. We know the depth behind the projected starting 5 isn't there, and we know that the latest projections are not optimistic about the health concerns surrounding those starting 5. Enter James Shields, who is somewhat surprisingly still out there on the free agent market and reportedly losing his luster rapidly. Buster Olney said on Sunday that Shields' "leverage is gone now" and went even further in saying that "Shields is in the worst possible spot of any free agent" still left. Nick Cafardo described Shields' current situation as "radio silence," which is not something you want to hear when you had visions of getting 5 years and 9 figures this offseason.
There is some belief that a team could come in with a lower-figure 4-year offer and land him, but given the limited confirmed interest and dropping asking price, should the Yankees swoop in and try to get Shields on a shorter, higher-dollar deal? Consider his profile. Right-hander, 33 years old, AL East experience, good stuff, good command, decreasing K rate, can get into occasional HR trouble, work horse (31+ starts in each of the last 8 seasons), and has the heavy workload that comes with it (203.1+ IP in each of the last 8 seasons).
What would that be worth to you? Would you make Shields an offer if you were Cash knowing that his market is collapsing? Do you think the Yankees should consider signing him if he can be had on a 2-year deal? 3-year deal? I think for 2 you have to take the chance simply because Shields helps solve some of the current rotation's biggest problems, and he pushes the team into legitimate playoff contention if the rest of the rotation can stay healthy. More than that and I don't know if it's worth it. I think it's definitely worth looking into for Cash. The Yankees should never be out on anybody who can help them until he signs with another team.