Royals Starting Pitcher Target: James Shields

Name: James Shields is a 29 year old right-handed pitcher for the Rays

Contract: 

2012: $7M ($2M buyout)

2013: $9M ($1.5M buyout)

2014: $12M ($1M buyout)

Bonuses exist to the tune of around $3M

Pitches:

4 seam fastball: ~91 MPH

2 seam fastball: 85 to 88 MPH

Usage of the fastballs were around 45%. Last season it dropped to 35% because he used his curve more.

Change up: low 80 in MPH.  Used 25% of the time.

Cutter: 87 MPH. used around 15% of the time

Curve: 77 MPH.  Used normal around 10% in the past.  In 2011 it was around 20%

Results:

Year GS IP K/9 BB/9 BABIP GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA WAR
2006 21 124.2 7.5 2.7 0.328 42.7 % 13.7 % 4.84 4.39 3.99 4.14 1.9
2007 31 215.0 7.7 1.5 0.282 43.4 % 11.1 % 3.85 3.86 3.65 3.60 4.5
2008 33 215.0 6.7 1.7 0.287 46.3 % 9.8 % 3.56 3.82 3.87 3.81 4.1
2009 33 219.2 6.8 2.1 0.308 42.3 % 11.2 % 4.14 4.02 3.85 3.99 3.7
2010 33 203.1 8.3 2.3 0.341 41.3 % 13.8 % 5.18 4.24 3.55 3.57 2.0
2011 33 249.1 8.1 2.4 0.258 46.2 % 11.1 % 2.82 3.42 3.25 3.29 4.9

He has been fairly consistent for a pitcher over the years.  2010 and 2011 were the two years at the extremes.  Even though he had similar xFIP (3.55 and 3.25) and SIERA (3.57  and 3.29), his earned runs were way off (5.18 vs 2.82). The reason was a difference in HR/9 (1.50 vs. 0.94) and BABIP (0.341 vs 0.258).  Generally, I would expect to see him at 7 K/9 and 2 BB/9 or around 4 WAR/season

Injuries: None

Conclusion: James is by far the the best pitcher I have looked at in this series. Healthy, good, consistent. The key is what the Rays want in trade from the Royals. I would not be surprised to see Butler has part of the trade. It may take Butler and either Montgomery or Myers

I would not make a huge trade for him unless the Royals have another good to decent SP in place. By himself, James will probably not be enough to make a difference in 2012. I think trading for him should be the final piece. Otherwise the Royals should look to find other possible pieces to solidify the starting staff.

 

Other Royal Starting Pitching Targets:

Jair Jurrjens

Wandy Rodiguez

Edwin Jackson

Chad Billingsley

Gio Gonzalez

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