Miami has remained connected to James Shields, who is expected to choose where he will pitch in 2015 within the next week. But according to Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald, the Marlins are not expected to sign Shields, with one industry source putting the Marlins' chances at zero percent.
While the Marlins have closely monitored the James Shields situation, multiple sources have told me they don't expect to sign the free agent pitcher, with one assessing the team's chances at "zero percent."
Although the Marlins have been connected to Shields over the last few days, the club was thought to have contrasting feelings throughout the course of the offseason. Initially, when Shields was demanding close to $100 million, the Marlins were thought to be out. However, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal noted last week that a four or five year deal worth $70 or $80 million would probably be realistic for Shields. As a result, the Marlins remained involved.
Ultimately, if the Marlins want to sign Shields, they would likely have to get the approval of owner Jeffrey Loria. Miami won its arbitration case with Mat Latos on Thursday, and as a result, will pay him $9.4 million in 2015 instead of the $10.4 million is seeking. But even so, as Spencer notes, the Marlins' payroll would likely exceed $80 million in 2015 if Shields was signed. Loria and Miami's front office may not favor that.
Dan Haren may or may not report to Spring Training, and as a result, the Marlins may have a spot available in their rotation. Shields may be the best available free agent option, but after being connected to him this week, likely will not land him. Even so, Miami's rotation should prove to be consistent even without another top of the rotation arm.