For the Seattle Mariners to pursue top trade target David Price for the next week, the team is going to need to be committed to giving up top prospects like Taijuan Walker among other key pieces. Seattle might be committed to doing that, and because of that fact, the Mariners should turn its focus to acquiring James Shields from the Kansas City Royals.
Shields is in the last year of his contract making $12 million this year. He also may not re-sign with the Royals once the offseason comes along, which increases his value that will likely never be as high as it is now. The Royals are only seven games out of first place in the American League Central, but are losing the battle to the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.
Kansas City is not going to get a Jeff Samardzija package for Shields, but could get someone nice from the Mariners. Seattle would love to get rid of Nick Franklin because he is roadblocked by Robinson Cano. Going to Kansas City is not ideal because the Royals signed Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar to long-term deals. The Mariners also have ample young pitching the team could offer to the Royals for Shields.
Shields is no Price, but add him to a rotation with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, and the Mariners could get a huge boost in the American League wildcard race.
Shields is 9-5 with a 3.70 ERA and 113 strikeouts, but is leading the majors in hits allowed. Seattle would not have to give up a lot for Shields, so it seems like a good choice at this point.