Big Winners, Losers

Grading Every Deadline Trade

5 Reasons the Tampa Bay Rays Should Try Trading James Shields This Offseason

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5 Reasons the Tampa Bay Rays Should Try Trading James Shields This Offseason
J. Meric/Getty Images

Trade talk and free agency will soon be the big stories of the MLB offseason and the Tampa Bay Rays have a huge decision to make that could impact the direction of the franchise.

The Rays have been a very competitive team for about four years now, but they missed out on the playoffs last season and have a conundrum on their hands concerning their star pitcher James Shields. Pitching was the unquestionable strength of a team that won 90 games in 2012, so the question of Shields' value will be asked. 

The Yankees seem to have a stranglehold on the A.L. East and the Orioles are rising quickly, so the Rays must make an important decision. Should Shields be part of the future or should he be jettisoned for more important skill players?

In Tampa Bay, the Rays must seriously consider trading the star right-hander or risk falling even further behind in one of baseball's most competitive divisions.

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