Executives tell Rosenthal that they expect Shields to receive a contract of over $100 million in free agency, while Shields’ agent has refused to comment on the reports.
Shields received a one-year, $15.3 qualifying offer from the Kansas City Royals in November, which he rejected. The Royals will receive a draft pick if Shields signs with another team.
Shields, 33, went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA, 80 strikeouts, 44 walks in 34 starts last year and has pitched 200 or more innings in each of the past eight seasons. He made four starts during the Royals postseason run to the World Series, but he failed to reach the seventh inning in any of those starts, posting a 5.85 ERA over 20 innings.
Shields has a 114-90 record and 3.72 ERA in nine MLB seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City.
- Scooby Axson