Rays to exercise option on starting pitcher James Shields
St. Petersburg, FL, United States (4E Sports) – The Tampa Bay Rays are set to exercise their $10.25 million option on right-hander James Shields, who had a 15-10 record last season.
According to a report by the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays already informed Shields that they will exercise the option.
Teams have until Friday to officially exercise options.
Shields, who turns 31 in December, surpassed 200 strikeouts for a second straight season and surpassed 200 innings pitched for a sixth straight season in 2012. He had a 3.52 ERA in 33 starts, striking out 223 while walking 58.
Despite a powerhouse pitching rotation that includes Shields and David Price, Tampa Bay fell just short of the playoffs.
“We definitely have a good pitching staff,” Shields said. “We have to put everything together. You can’t just pitch and not score runs. You can’t just not play defense. You’ve got to do it all.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve pitched, we’ve had timely hitting, we’ve had really good defense. This year, there were some points in the season where we didn’t have that. And that’s kind of what cost us,” he added.
Despite his option being picked up, there will be no guarantee that Shields will remain with the team as he could be used as trade bait throughout the offseason.
The Rays have yet to decide whether to exercise their $2.5 million option on closer Fernando Rodney, $6 million option on designated hitter Luke Scott and $1.8 million option on catcher Jose Molina.
Tampa Bay also has several players that will turn free agent in the offseason, including outfielder B.J. Upton, Jeff Keppinger, Carlos Pena, Pat Burrell J.P. Howell, Kyle Farnsworth and Joel Peralta.