MLB: Top Remaining Free Agent Pitchers

RHP James Shields – The Royals willingly gave up outfield prospect Wil Myers two years ago knowing this day would be coming for Shields. Assuming they don’t re-sign him, the Royals can live with the success that they had in two years with Shields. After winning 86 games in 2013, the Royals made a surprising run to the World Series. Even though he didn’t pitch well in the postseason, the Royals do not even get there without his numbers of 14-8, a 3.21 ERA, 180 strikeouts and a 1.18 WHIP. Shields is outstanding with his control, averaging 1.7 walks per nine. He also has one of the game’s top changeups and his velocity on fastballs were a career-high 92.4. Shields will turn 33 in two weeks. The Royals will make an attempt to retain him but will face strong competition from suitors such as the Red Sox, especially if they don’t get Scherzer or Lester. A four-year offer is likely and a five-year deal also is a possibility. A five-year deal might have been more of a certainty if not for Lester or Scherzer also being free agents.

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