Even though James Shields pitched pretty well in his first season with the San Diego Padres last year, the team should look to move him this offseason. The franchise has entered a time when they might have to accept not contending at least in 2016. That means they can’t afford to be paying him nearly $20 million a season.
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Several teams including the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox could be interested in his services and might be willing to pick up a lot of the remaining money on his deal. Sending him to a large-market team that can pick up the tab would be ideal for the Padres because it would enable them plant the less expensive seeds of the future.
If the Padres trade James Shields, they’re more likely to be able to afford Ian Desmond Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
If the team does this, it would allow them to keep Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross and hope they develop into what they’ve shown they can be in the past. Meanwhile, they can use the saved money on Shields to sign someone like Ian Desmond to fill the hole they’ve had at shortstop.
If the Padres really want to build for the future starting this offseason, they have to strongly consider dealing Shields, especially if it helps them clear out a lot of salary. They can then spend that money on more than one player, which makes the team deeper in the future.
San Diego shouldn’t be as active this winter as they were last year, but they should at least get rid of Shields to enable them the opportunity to go after some promising free agents as they build for the coming years.