If the season ended today, I think you could make a very valid argument for Shields to be the AL Cy Young. Take a look at Shields by the numbers:
- 2.15 ERA - 4th in AL
- 2.94 FIP - 8th in AL
- 2.70 xFIP - 1st in AL
- 2.0 WAR - 5th in AL
- 8.71 K/9 - 6th in AL
- 3 CG - 1st in AL
- 2 ShO - 1st in AL
- 7.1 IP/start - 1st in AL
- 10 of his 11 starts have been quality starts
With a third of the season in the books, is it possible that Shields could give the Rays their second Cy Young candidate in as many seasons? Do you think that Shields should be the Cy Young if the season ended today? What a turnaround, bounce-back campaign for Shields, considering how last year went. If Shields keeps this up, he goes from being the Rays most expensive player in 2012 (aka, likely to be traded) to being worth the money and then some.
But with the Rays always having one eye on the future as well as the present, if the Rays could get a bounty for Shields, should they move him in the off-season? What would it take for you to be willing to move him?
Either way, Shields has been everything the Rays could have wanted and more. Last year, the Rays had David Price, and then everyone else. Now the Rays have Price, Shields, and Hellickson forming a formidable top three for a playoff series. The Rays were built last season to handle the long season, but not necessarily built for a 5 or 7 game series. Pitching-wise, this year, they are built for that. Even with issues at 4 and 5 right now, the Rays rotation is top-heavy enough to keep the team in contention. If Cobb or a healthy Niemann emerge, and Davis keeps moving in the right direction, this should be fun.