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Miami Marlins considering James Shields at right price

The 33-year old free agent could end up in Miami if he is willing to accept a deal below $100 million.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Before they made any other moves this offseason, the Miami Marlins were linked to James Shields. The club was seeking a veteran starting pitcher, and Shields fit the description. But even after adding Mat Latos and possibly Dan Haren to the rotation, the Marlins are willing to pursue Shields for the right price, according to's Joe Frisaro.

The Marlins checked in on Shields early in the offseason, and they had considerable interest in November. But if his price tag remains, as reported, at five years and at least $100 million, you can pretty much count Miami out. If the figures drop, however, the Marlins could definitely be in the mix.

Although Shields has established himself as a solid front of the rotation arm, he reportedly has a $110 million offer on the table and is waiting for a higher guarantee. There has not been notable activity with regard to big name free agent pitchers this offseason, with the exception of Jon Lester signing with the Chicago Cubs at the Winter Meetings.

Miami went into the offseason looking to improve the rotation, and did so by adding Latos and Haren. But it is becoming increasingly clear that Haren will likely be dealt to a West Coast team in the coming weeks, and the last rotation spot as it is now would be taken by one of Brad Hand or Aaron Crow. The Marlins have said consistently this offseason they are looking to upgrade however possible, and adding Shields would be a clear upgrade.

Shields is coming off of a 14-8 campaign with the Royals, during which he tossed 227.0 innings to complement a 3.21 ERA and 3.59 FIP. He saw his BB/9 decrease from 2.68 to 1.74, and may be the arm the Marlins are looking for until Jose Fernandez is completely healthy.

The Marlins are evidently seeking a playoff appearance in 2015, and adding Shields may put them that much closer to achieveing that goal. However, the cost could be extreme. If Shields truly wants a $100 million contract, and the Marlins are competitive, they would be locked into a financial committment for at least the next few seasons.

Ultimately, the Marlins are likely considering all starter options in the event that Haren is traded. Shields could be among the possibilities, but he is notably expensive and would cost his new team a draft pick. The Marlins are confident in their minor league system but did lose pitching depth in several winter trades. In order for Shields to become a Marlin, he would have to consider accepting an offer that is worth less than what he is reportedly is seeking. Miami should not pay unnecessarily, and Shields accepting a smaller offer is unlikely.