Opinion

James Shields turns down qualifying offer from Royals, enters free agency

Royals starter James Shields pitched to the Giants batters during game five of the World Series on Oct. 26 in San Francisco.
Royals starter James Shields pitched to the Giants batters during game five of the World Series on Oct. 26 in San Francisco. The Kansas City Star

James Shields has officially rejected the one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Royals. The team will now receive a compensatory draft pick if Shields signs elsewhere.

Shields is expected to ink a deal with another team this winter. The Kansas City front office considers finding his replacement their top priority for the coming weeks. The team is expected to meet with the agent for Ervin Santana here at the GM Meetings, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Shields turns 33 in December. He has thrown at least 200 innings in every season since 2007. He went 27-17 with a 3.18 ERA in two seasons as a Royal.

The Royals will maintain contact with Shields. But rival executives project Shields could earn anywhere from $80 million to $100 million on a five-year contract.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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