According to Tim Kurkjian via MLB Trade Rumors, the Rays and Angels have discussed a deal that would ship James Shields to the Angels for Peter Bourjos, Hank Conger and Ervin Santana.
First off, it is rare that a rumored deal is so completely spelled out on both sides like this one is as it seems fairly clear what both sides would be getting in this deal.
On the surface, it looks like a deal that would greatly benefit both sides. The Angels would get another top tier starter to put alongside Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Dan Haren while unloading the roughly $5 million left on Santana's contract as well as the $1 million buyout that accompanies his $13 million option for next season.
The Rays get a replacement for free-agent-to-be B.J. Upton in Bourjos, a rotation replacement for the remainder of the season in Santana and a catching prospect in Conger who could step in and immediately be the best offensive catcher on the roster.
Fact or Fiction?
Fiction. The trade makes sense for both sides, but with Shields potentially controllable with options for the next two years, the Angels would be winning, hands down.
Bourjos would be a nice addition, but the team would no doubt buy out Santana's option and let him walk and while Conger would be an upgrade he has not been able to secure the starting job in LA over Bobby Wilson (.209 BA), so that has to at least raise a few questions.
At the end of the day I think the Rays keep Shields, but if they do move him I think they can do better than this proposed deal.