James Shields: "I believe I'm going to be back"
RHP James Shields, speaking on 620-WDAE Thursday afternoon, sounded hopeful the Rays will pick up his $7.5 million option for the 2012 season.
Teams are likely to announce picking up options following the World Series. Tampa Bay can buy out Shields for $2 million.
"I believe I'm going to be back next year, and I think (executive VP Andrew) Friedman feels the same way," Shields said. "Obviously there's a lot of offseason to go. As far as my opinion, I believe I'm going to be back. But it's a business and you never know what's going to happen. As far as I'm concerned, I want to be back, I definitely want to be part of the team."
Shields, coming off a career season in which he made his first All-Star team and racked up a major-league leading 11 complete games, could finish in the top-five in the AL Cy Young voting. He racked up career highs in 249 1/3 innings, as well as 16 wins and 225 K's.
Shields' option could go to $8 million based on his Cy Young finish.
- JOE SMITH