KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals exercised their $13.5 million option on right-hander James Shields on Thursday after he anchored one of the league's best starting rotations last season.
Shields, acquired last offseason in a trade from Tampa Bay, went 13-9 with a 3.15 ERA and an AL-leading 228 2-3 innings. Shields was especially strong after the All-Star break, going 9-3 with a 3.06 ERA to help the Royals get into playoff contention.
Kansas City went 43-27 after the break to finish 86-76, its best record since 1989.
"The second half, we pretty much figured it out — figured out how to win and what it takes on a daily basis," Shields said. "I think going into next spring training, we all have that good frame of mind, that good attitude, and hopefully we'll have a good season next year."
The decision Thursday to exercise Shields' option was mostly a formality. The Royals sent top prospect Wil Myers and a package of other minor leagues to the Rays to acquire him, and they weren't about to let him go after just one season in their rotation.
Especially the way he pitched this season, giving the Royals the kind of bona fide ace that they haven't had since Zack Greinke was plying his trade a few years ago.
"I feel good about it. I feel like I pitched well for them last year," Shields said. "I'm just excited to be back and be a Royal and have a good season next year."
Shields, who earlier Thursday won the Joe Burke Special Achievement Awarded presented by the Kansas City chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, said he hasn't discussed a new contract with Royals general manager Dayton Moore.
He did say he was open to remaining in Kansas City beyond next season.
Outpatient ROBOTIC HYSTERECTOMY. Trust an experienced Robotic Surgeon.