Kansas City Royals balk on James Shields, Anibal Sanchez


The Kansas City Royals are in the market for a starting pitcher, and they have been taking close looks at signing Anibal Sanchez or acquiring James Shields from the Tampa Bay Rays. Evidently, it looks like they won’t be getting either player. Jeff Passan has reported that the Rays asking price for Shields was “too much”, because they wanted Wil Myers and more.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Shields has terrific endurance, but he is an overrated pitcher who has more downside than upside at this stage. He’s still a solid pitcher, but he’s more of a No. 2 than a No. 1 starter, and I don’t think he’s being viewed like that by the Rays at this point in time. He would be a good addition to the Royals staff for sure, but not at the price of Myers and a couple of more prospects. That is far too much, especially considering Myers is the best pure hitting prospect in baseball and of high value to the Royals.

The Royals could still acquire Shields if the Rays lower their asking price, and Passan did not rule out a future move by stating “for now”, so things could open up for both sides in the future. Shields was a high target for Kansas City.

Passan also tweeted that the Royals “are not in the Anibal Sanchez market”, which he notes is at around five years and over $70 million. That’s far too expensive for any teams taste, especially the Royals. Signing Sanchez at this stage isn’t a risk worth taking, so credit KC for saying “no” to this one.

This comes as a conflicting source to what Jon Paul Morosi said yesterday about Sanchez being the the Royals top target, so there is the possibility that the Royals get back in the race for both pitchers. But at this point, it looks like no deals will be made due to two high asking prices despite the talent of both pitchers and the upgrade they would give to this team.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.