james shields

NL East Update: The one where the Marlins need James Shields

Could the Florida Marlins lure starter James Shields to Miami? Sources say that the team is preparing for a serious run for the current Tampa Bay Ray.

I actually think Shields would be a good fit with the Marlins if he came at the right price. Him and Josh Johnson would make a nice one-two punch of the top. With CJ Wilson the prize of the pitching market this off-season, there clearly isn’t much from teams to choose from so I’d like to see the Marlins at least make an effort to improve their spotty rotation.

Congratulations to Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel who has been named the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year.

As the article clearly states, this is NOT the Rookie of the Year award everyone knows about, but it is an honor nonetheless. Kimbrel was lights out until September and but still deserves the award. The young right-hander will continue to improve his command and have a large impact on the division for year to come. It will be interesting to see how the young closer bounces back after a historic September collapse.

In not so shocking news, the Philadelphia Phillies have declined the options of Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge.

It’s hard to believe the Oswalt experiment is over in Philadelphia where he compiled a record of 16-11 with a 2.96 ERA during his year and a half tenure with the team. Is it fair to call his time with the Phillies a failure? He was supposed to come in and play a key role in a dominant Phillies pitching staff but injuries that led to inconsistent action on the mound doomed the veteran. Expect to hear a lot of Oswalt to the Nationals rumors this winter.

The Phillies look to be busy this off-season, but how serious are they at a run for rival third baseman David Wright?

There is no deal imaginable that would get this done, although it makes for an entertaining read. If the two teams did agree on something it would rock the face of the division and create a whole new element to the already intense rivalry. However, this is almost as unlikely as Mariano Rivera signing with the Boston Red Sox or Brett Favre signing with the Vikings…

The Washington Nationals are one of several teams expressing interest in the prized Japanese free agent Yu Darvish.

I have never been an advocate of signing players from Asia simply because the risk is too great. “Between the bid and the contract, the team that acquires Darvish will pay at least $100 million by most estimates.” That is not a financial commitment the Nationals should be making at this time. Off the top of my head, Ichiro and Hideki Matsui are the only two players who have made a successful transition from Japan to the major leagues. Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Kaz Matsui, and even Daisuke Matsuzaka depending on how you look at it are now classic examples of signings gone wrong for a select group of teams.