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Rockies may look to trade for Rays starter James Shields

Tampa Bay's Shields delivers a pitch against Kansas City during their MLB baseball game in Kansas City

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields delivers a first inning pitch against the Kansas City Royals during their MLB American League baseball game in Kansas City, Missouri, October 1, 2010. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)


Colorado is hoping to re-sign free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, but if his demands prove out of their price range Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies will look to trade for Rays right-hander James Shields.

Many teams would be smart to target Shields, because he pitched much better than his ERA suggests this season with secondary numbers (strikeouts, walks, ground-ball rate) that show an overall performance closer to a 4.00 ERA than his actual 5.18 mark.

However, the Rockies may be one of the few teams that shouldn’t be in the mix for the 28-year-old starter. Shields’ biggest weakness is that he’s an extreme fly-ball pitcher, posting one of the 10 highest fly-ball rates in the league during the past three seasons and leading the league in homers allowed this year. Moving from the AL to the NL might help cut down on the homers, but calling Coors Field home for half his starts would just be a bad idea.