{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Hoping to bolster rotation, Nats might pursue Shields

Hoping to bolster rotation, Nats might pursue Shields

|
Hoping to bolster rotation, Nats might pursue Shields
NASHVILLE -- The Nationals are trying to acquire a starting pitcher, and free agent right-hander Zack Greinke has been mentioned as a hurler they could be interested in signing.

Why? The Nationals once tried to acquire Greinke's services three offseasons ago in a trade with the Royals, but the righty declined to go to the Nats, who were not playoff contenders at the time.

However, as one source put it, don't count out the Nationals trying to trade for a pitcher like Rays right-hander James Shields, who has a contract worth $10.2 million for 2013, but could be a free agent if his option is not picked up for '14.

Shields has pitched 200 innings or more for six consecutive seasons. His best season was in 2011, when he went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA and 225 strikeouts. Furthermore, Shields has 448 strikeouts over the past two years.

The source believes the Nationals and Rays would make good trade partners. If Washington is able to re-sign Adam LaRoche, the club could trade a player like Michael Morse to Tampa Bay, which is looking for a first baseman.

Morse, 30, will make $6.7 million this coming season and then become a free agent. He is coming off a 2012 campaign in which he played in 102 games and hit .291 with 18 home runs and 62 RBIs. It will probably take more than just Morse to acquire a pitcher of Shields' caliber.

The Nationals are looking for a starting pitcher to replace Edwin Jackson. Manager Davey Johnson has often said he wouldn't mind having Christian Garcia in that role after Garcia was impressive as a reliever this past season. In 13 games, Garcia allowed three runs in 12 2/3 innings and struck out 15 batters.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español