NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees have made a flurry of moves this offseason, but they haven’t made the big splash that they’re so often associated with.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported on Tuesday night that the Bombers are in on James Shields, the top free-agent starting pitcher left on the market.
CBSSports.com/WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman, however, disputed Morosi’s report linking Shields to the Yankees on Wednesday morning.
The 33-year-old right-hander went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA and 180 strikeouts to 44 walks for the American League champion Royals last season.
The 2011 All-Star is a workhorse. He pitched 227 innings last season and has thrown the most innings in the majors over the past eight seasons.
Shields declined a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from Kansas City in November. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported last month that two team executives believed that a club offered Shields $110 million over five years.
He might not end up getting that kind of money, but he’ll certainly be costly.
Max Scherzer, the top free-agent starter on the market, signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nationals on Jan. 21. Coming into the offseason, Shields was widely regarded as the third-best starter available, behind Scherzer and Jon Lester (who signed for $170 million).
Shields is expected to choose a team in the coming days.
The Yankees’ starting rotation currently consists of CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Capuano and Adam Warren. Ivan Nova, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, is hoping to return by June.