February 15, 2014 12:07 PM

James Shields enters pivotal year for Royals, and his bankroll

Royals ace James Shields enters a campaign brimming with both historical and financial consequence. If he leads the Royals into the playoffs, a realm of competition they haven’t reached since 1985, he’ll etch his name into franchise lore. He’ll also burnish his profile for free agency, a facet of the baseball economy he has never experienced, where a potential nine-figure payday awaits.

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