CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman listed the Cardinals as a potential landing spot for Shields in January, pointing to the team's early interest in Jon Lester and Max Scherzer. Heyman also indicated in January that there had been rumors of the team's interest in the free-agent pitcher. The Cardinals lost Shelby Miller from the rotation earlier this offseason in the trade that brought Jason Heyward to St. Louis.
Shields has delivered eight straight 200-inning seasons and topped 225 innings in each of his last four years. He went 14-8 with a 180:44 K:BB ratio in 227 innings with the Royals in 2014.