The main suitors for Rays right-hander James Shields include the Rangers, Dodgers and Cardinals, and Marc Topkin of the 'Tampa Bay Times' adds that the Braves and Indians are in the mix, as well, putting Tampa in pretty decent position as it markets Shields.
The quiet Cardinals and interesting Indians are the new teams in the mix.
The Rays say they seek "north of Greinke,'' according to someone with ties to the Rays organization, a new phrase borne out of the Angels' three prospect deal for Zack Greinke. While few would argue Shields is as good as Greinke, the Rays' contention is that he is more valuable due to two teams options tying him to the team that remain, a $9-million option for 2013 and a $12-million option for 2013.
Shields (8-7, 4.52) and Josh Johnson appear to be the top two starting pitchers available, along with Ryan Dempster, who is said to only want to approve a trade to the Dodgers, and potentially Matt Garza, whose start was pushed back with a triceps issue (though his MRI is said to be clean).
The Rays have told teams they'll listen on any of their right-handed pitchers, but Shields, as a 30-year-old with a high salary (for the Rays, anyway) is the logical one to go.