The trade market has been a busy one thus far this offseason. With the rather sub-par crop of free agent pitchers this offseason, this doesn't come as much of a surprise.
Names already changing uniforms include Derek Lowe, Jonathan Sanchez, Trevor Cahill, Mat Latos, and Gio Gonzalez, but there's at least one more starter out there that most people expect could be on the move.
The Tampa Bay Rays need to trade James Shields.
They are really in a perfect situation right now to execute what would be a blockbuster swap. The Rays have a surplus of quality starting pitchers, and trading away Shields would have little to no effect on the performance of the club.
After Shields, Tampa has David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, and Jeff Niemann from last year's rotation, along with rookies Matt Moore and Alex Cobb ready for the big leagues.
That's seven starting pitchers for five spots, so even if they were to trade Shields, the Rays would still have some wiggle room if one of the five guys they break camp with struggles during the season. And we haven't even discussed the rest of the talent down in the minors.
The Rays need some offense to back up the stellar pitching they have been producing. Trading Shields would definitely net them an impact bat or two to insert into their lineup. After a career year in 2011, he's at peak value this offseason and is even regarded as an "ace-type" starter.
Not trading him would be insane.
So, which teams could Shields put over the top and turn into potential World Series contenders?
I've found ten teams who would benefit from his presence more than the rest, and who should probably give the Rays a call sometime soon...