Tampa Bay Rays Trade Speculation: Who Could Team Get for James Shields?

Eddie WaltersAnalyst IIJuly 25, 2011

Tampa Bay Rays Trade Speculation: Who Could Team Get for James Shields?

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    James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays has become one of the more talked about names as the MLB trade-dealine approaches—and for good reason. 

    Shields has seven complete games for the Rays on the year, with a 2.53 ERA. The Rays could be reluctant to trade away their best pitcher next to David Price, but for the right price Tampa Bay would be silly not to listen to offers, and maybe pull the trigger on Shields.

    These three teams could all offer the Tampa Bay Rays a nice package deal centering around young prospects, something that Tampa Bay thrives to build around.

    Shields is under contract until 2014, so the Rays will be reluctant to trade their man—but for the right guys, it could be a smart move for Tampa Bay to trade him while his stock is at an all-time high. 

3. Detroit Tigers

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    The Tigers could be a possible suitor of James Shields, with a package of players centering around Jacob Turner. 

    Turner is a 20-year-old pitching prospect who looks like he will be a great one in time, so the Rays could continue to develop Turner—something they're great at. 

    Ryan Rayburn and and Brandon Inge could be the icing on the cake it takes for the Tigers to pry away Shields from Tampa Bay.  

2. St. Louis Cardinals

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    The St. Louis Cardinals could offer the Tampa Bay Rays Colby Rasmus, who has been a bit of a disappointment at this point of his career—but he is still only 24 years old and he's showed some promise this year. 

    The Tampa Bay Rays might like the idea of getting a new center fielder so they can part ways with B.J. Upton who has never lived up to his potential either. 

    Tampa Bay would most likely demand another young prospect, which St. Louis should have no problem offering. The Cardinals are in a close divisional race and an ace like James Shields could go a long way for the organization. 

1. Cincinnati Reds

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    The Reds could offer Tampa Bay the best overall package, with first baseman Yonder Alonso, catcher Yasmani Grandal and reliever Brad Boxberger. 

    Yonder Alonso is ready to become a full-time starter in the majors, as he is now 24 years old with over 185 Triple-A games to his name.

    Yonder Alonso is a promising young catcher, a position that the Rays are desperate for an upgrade at. Current Rays catchers are currently hitting around .211 while combining for only eight home runs.

    Brad Boxberger is only 22 years old and he has potential to be a franchise closer in the future, and with the Rays' shaky bullpen, this is a good fit.

    This trade makes since for Tampa Bay in nearly every way (assuming they don't mind parting ways with Shields). James Shields is not going to be with the Rays in for the long term, so this trade is ideal for Tampa Bay moving forward.