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Royals exercise 2014 option on James Shields

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 01: Starting pitcher James Shields #33 of the Kansas City Royals delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox during the Opening Day game at U.S. Cellular Field on April 1, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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In one of the bigger no-brainers of the option-decision season, the Royals have exercised their $13 million option on James Shields for 2014.

Shields lived up to his end of the bargain after the Royals gave up a ton to get him (and Wade Davis) from the Rays last offseason, throwing a league-leading 229 innings with a 3.15 ERA and 196/68 K/BB ratio.

Next season will be Shields’ final under contract before hitting the open market, which is why the Royals were frequently criticized for parting with stud prospect Wil Myers (among others) for him in December. Myers had a fantastic rookie season for Tampa Bay, hitting .293 with an .831 OPS in 88 games at age 22, and may end up winning Rookie of the Year. He’s under the Rays’ control through 2019.

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