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Shields is a solid pitcher, but the Rays have arguably the best pitching staff in the league.
There are several teams that would love Shields' services, but that doesn't mean that he's an absolute stud. He has name value, but he's not even one of the best pitchers on his own team.
The Rays had the No. 1 earned run average in all of baseball last year, clocking in at a superb 3.19 runs per nine innings. Shields came in at a respectable 3.52, but that wasn't even second best on the club.
The Rays have a truckload of young arms that are itching to make a big impact at the major league level, starting with Matt Moore (23 years old) and Jeremy Hellickson (25), both of whom had huge roles in helping Tampa Bay make a playoff push at the end of the year.
There are also prospects in the minor leagues, such as Taylor Guerrieri and Chris Archer, who should make some noise as they improve.
Shields is a solid pitcher, but that's about it. He's probably not worth all the money the Rays will pay him ($9 million in 2013) and his past success will almost certainly cause a team to jump and trade a good player or two for him. At the very least, the Rays could grab some promising prospects.
Shields is 30 years old and doesn't seem to be getting any better. It would behoove the Rays to trade him, if anything because his name value will make some team want him. There's no question they have the ability to trade him. It's more a question of whether they can execute the trade before he possibly hits free agency in 2014.