Roundtable: Should The Dodgers Sign James Shields?

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

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Matt Borelli (@DodgersIn2015)

Unless his asking price drastically drops, I don’t believe the Dodgers should sign James Shields. Yes, he prefers pitching on the West Coast and has an obvious connection to Andrew Friedman from their Tampa Bay days, but an older pitcher approaching his mid-30’s who has logged over 900 innings in the last four seasons is an obvious red flag.

Historically, older pitchers that consistently pitch 200+ innings per season tend to break down more often (see: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Johan Santana). While Shields would definitely make the rotation better, the risk is just not worth it, not to mention the Dodgers would have to forfeit a first round draft pick.

The stats are there, but how much longer can he produce at a near-elite level without the inevitable decline or injury? If the Dodgers want another starting pitcher, there is plenty of depth available, with the likes of Alexi Ogando and Brandon Beachy still on the market.

Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015)

It isn’t likely, but if Shields was willing to accept a three-year deal with perhaps somewhat of an inflated annual salary and a vesting option of sorts for a fourth year, then I think that’s something the Dodgers should seriously consider.

The shorter-term contract would help guard against potential injury as Shields advances in age and slightly overpaying annually may be common ground for the two parties. Adding Shields would bolster the Dodgers’ rotation and serve as a nice answer to the Nationals signing of Scherzer.

That being said, whether or not the Nationals keep all six of their starting pitchers isn’t necessarily a given. Another factor to keep in mind are the injuries Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu suffered last season. Having Shields would help offset potentially losing one of them for a period of time.

Shields would also be insurance in the event Greinke opts out after 2015 and signs elsewwere. However, there’s also the issue that the Dodgers would lose their first-round pick in the 2015 draft by signing Shields. Talented as Shields is, losing the pick may not necessarily be worth the signing.

Jeff Spiegel (@JeffSpiegel)

My vote is no. I think the Dodgers have five quality starters right now, plus flex arms in Mike Bolsinger, Zach Lee and Juan Nicasio. The Dodgers could obviously use another top-flight starter (who couldn’t?), but I don’t think overpaying Shields is worth it.

As the Dodgers are dreading massive contracts to Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, the last thing they need is another long-term, big money contract to Shields.

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  1. Unless the Dodgers can sign Greinke to an extension or new contract before the start of this season – they need some backup to his possible departure – and that woudl be Shields – who would make an excellent third starter – move Ryu to 4th – and Anderson to long relief or 6th starter when needed.

  2. During the past two seasons the #Dodgers have entered in to each season with a surplus of starters. In each season they used each starter and then some. Based on this fact, Shields’ prowess on the mound, and the uncertainty of Grienke in regards to health and sign ability, the smart decision for the Dodgers would be to offer the SP a contract of 4 yrs, $95M.
    ***follow me at @amoresports and my new AmoreSports sports blog on WordPress***

    1. The Dodgers should leave their rotation the way it is WITHOUT SHIELDS!
      I would like them to use their farm system or their other less expensive options. Free agency has never been the way to a championship.

  3. Why the lack of interest in Chad Billingsley? Why not a one-year guaranteed contract loaded with incentives?


  5. Move some young arms or a combination of an arm and young, unproven players to Philly for Hamels. That should be the target.

  6. The Dodgers should sign Shields because they don’t just want to play, they want to win, and shields is an insurance starter. 94 wins last year, it is going to take a lot of innings and a long season, better get you back cover!

  7. How many teams need to get burned signing age 30+ pitchers to long term mega-contracts till they figure out how much money they are throwing away, while crippling their rosters for years to come. The Dodgers are starting out with five viable starting pitchers, four who are signed for at least the next 3 years. If Greinke opts out, you deal with that next year, not this year. Shields is a sucker signing, you’ll have to pay him over 20 mil a year for his age 36 and 37 seasons, just as guys like Urias, Holmes, and others are ready to go. Dodger braintrust is way to smart to fall for that.

  8. Save the money. Johnny Cueto and David Price are both free agents after this year. Let Greinke walk and break the bank on a younger ace. I would rather have johnny cueto for age 29-36 seasons or David Price for age 30-37 seasons then Greinkes age 33-38 seasons. We already got our prime years of Greinke for good value. Knock on wood and lets hope Greinke has a career year going into another free agent season. If we are going to break the bank lets get a pitchers age 29-33 seasons to justify the overpaid probably injured 34-37 age seasons that come along with a 6-7 year deal these pitchers will get . And shields we would be paying for his prime years but he would be performing like a declining mid 30,s pitcher.

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