The Royals plan to retain starting pitcher James Shields after this season when he hits the free-agent market and will reportedly offer him a deal that could be worth approximately $80 million over five years, according to a report Wednesday night from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports citing people familiar with the situation.
At a salary of $13 million this season, he is already the highest paid Royal, and has earned $22 million over his two years with the team.
The news comes as the 32-year-old, who is only three years removed from an All-Star season with the Rays, gets ready to start Game 1 of the Royals' American League Championship Series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. He allowed two earned runs in six innings in Kansas City's ALDS-clinching victory over the Angels on Sunday.
He pitched 227 innings during the regular season, posting a 3.21 ERA to go along with 180 strikeouts and 44 walks. He is the only pitcher in the American League to pitch at least 200 innings in the last eight seasons.
The Red Sox, Dodgers and other major-market clubs also plan to make a run at Shields, according to Heyman.
- Marc Weinreich