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Adding James Shields would have 'definitely helped' Marlins playoff push

Miami was reportedly in on Shields until the end. Here is what the Fish Stripes crew thought of the situation.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Miami reportedly made a competitive proposal to James Shields, and according to ESPN's Buster Olney may have made him the highest offer. So while Shields ultimately ends up in San Diego, did the Marlins lose out, or did they rightfully back off?

Michael Jong: The Marlins tried their best. They made competitive offers to James Shields in the latter stages of the offseason, but the bidding got too high for them and they rightfully bowed out. Shields was a good pitcher at age 32, which makes him more likely to be a good pitcher at age 33 and 34, but the latter years of that contract are still a scary proposition for a low-budget team like Miami. The addition of two wins to a club looking to win now was worth the price tag of $19 million per season, but if the finances were going to get in the way of eventually working out long-term contracts for players like Christian Yelich or Jose Fernandez, the Fish were within reason to not pursue. In the end, they were outbid, but the fact that they were in the race was a good idea to begin with.

Eric MullenI was all for the Marlins going after James Shields, even if an $18-$20 million price-tag per year over a span of four years was attached to him.  Giancarlo Stanton took a back-loaded deal so that the Marlins could be players in the free agent market to improve the roster, and the addition of a starting pitcher like Shields could have given them one of the more formidable starting rotations in the majors.  So if the Marlins did indeed have the largest offer on the table for Shields, then it is, at the very least. a really positive signal from the front-office.  Not only does it show that the front office is progressing, in that they are willing to go out and spend money, but they also realize that the way the team is currently constructed is still an impact player or two away from being a definite playoff team.  I would have really liked the addition of Shields, but it was nice to see this new-found aggressiveness in the Marlins front-office by getting in a bidding war for a top-tier free-agent.

Daniel Smith: I applaud the Marlins for trying to sign Shields, but I'm fairly happy that it didn't work out. Yes, he would have definitely helped Miami's playoff push, but signing him would not have guaranteed a postseason berth. The terms of the contract Shields wanted were also getting out of hand. Long and expensive contracts are a bad idea for players in their 30s. The Padres will come to regret the 4-year deal they just agreed to. Shields is now, on average, earning close to $20 million dollars a year. I'm not an expert, but I wouldn't pay a pitcher with a career ERA of 3.72 that much money per year.

James Shields' playoff record also concerned me. Imagine if the Marlins signed him and did make the playoffs, and he was a bust like last postseason. There is a lot of pressure on the team to be playing at least .500 ball until Jose Fernandez returns, but Shields was not the answer. The Fish can now use their 12th pick wisely and draft a talented pitcher, to not only replenish the farm system, but also to set themselves up for success in the future as well. Miami can now use the money they saved to try and sign K-Rod and/or Rafael Soriano, as a strong bullpen is always a necessity.

Scott Gelman: Miami certainly would have liked to add James Shields, however the price got too high. The Marlins want to win consistently over the next few seasons, and not signing Shields should enable them to do just that. The fact that the Marlins were aggressive with regard to signing Shields is encouraging, however he likely will not be worth the draft pick, which would be a notable loss for the Marlins. San Diego has built a team through trades and free agency, which as the Marlins learned in 2012, does not always work. Regardless, the Padres owe Shields a notable amount of cash over the next few seasons. The Marlins would have loved to add Shields to balance the rotation until Jose Fernandez returns, but the club was right for acknowledging the costs outweigh the benefits. Miami has a solid rotation and could always upgrade at a more reasonable price.

Jarrett Cowgill- Well, the Marlins tried.  I have been on record saying that, unless he could be had at the right price, Miami should stay away from the James Shields sweepstakes.  Seems like Jennings and Loria felt differently.  San Diego signed Shields for four years in the $75 million range; according to Buster Olney Miami offered more cash.  For fans of the Fish this has to be seen as a positive.  After taking heat over the past few years for embarking on remarkable salary dumps and fire sales, this shows that the Miami front office is sincerely dedicated to improving the team; right now, at all costs.  From a financial standpoint, I think Miami fans should also feel relief.  I still contend it would not have been a smart move money wise to tie up $75 million for a pitcher who will inevitably decline; Miami would never have seen good value for that contract in years three and four.  So, fans of the Fish wake up in a good spot today: secure in the knowledge that the front office is clearly in “win now” mode, but also happy that Miami did not doom their future financial flexibility by chasing an aging pitcher.  Is it April yet?

Tom Hanlon: Boy, have the Marlins dodged a bullet. While it may feel like a slight towards Miami, it makes logistical sense for Shields to choose San Diego, as that is where he resides in the offseason. James Shields has done the Marlins a favor. While it might sting now, committing large sums of money to an aging pitcher would have been devastating to the payroll moving forward. It would have had the potential to limit Miami's ability to sign current and future stars to team friendly contracts (which is the goal). So in the next few years when the Marlins are making consistent pushes in the playoffs, let's all think back to this moment, and be thankful that James Shields chose San Diego.