With the San Diego Padres struggling after an offseason spending spree, the team looks to be a major seller at the non-waiver trade deadline, which could open a lot of doors for contending teams.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required), "a rival evaluator" believes that the Padres will trade right-hander James Shields at the deadline. The evaluator believed the odds of Shields being traded between 75 and 90 percent.
It could be hard for the Padres to deal Shields. He's still owed $63 million over the next three years (via Baseball Reference) and the team would probably have to include cash in order to make a deal work.
With those circumstances, a trade for Shields may be more likely during the offseason, when teams are more flexible in terms of payroll obligations.
Regardless of his contract, he is a name to watch now, as many teams are interested in starting pitching and he could be in hot pursuit as the names start falling fast.
On the season, Shields is 8-3 with a 3.92 ERA (4.20 FIP) in 20 starts. He has a 137 to 44 strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.11 K/BB) in 121 2/3 innings pitched. He has a 2.63 ERA this month in 24 innings.