By Chris Zolli, Royals Correspondent, Thu, Jan 1st 12:52pm EST
The Yankees have made transactions this offseason to free up salary, trading Francisco Cervelli, Martin Prado, and Shawn Kelley while not aggressively pursuing Brandon McCarthy. They may use that saved money to sign James Shields. (Source: River Ave Blues
Fantasy Impact: Shields pitched effectively in the AL East with the Rays over seven seasons, topping 200 IP each season and leading the Rays to three playoff appearances. He has been even better over the past four seasons, two with the Kansas City Royals, where he has posted a 3.17 ERA and averaged 227 IP. The Yankees need a stable workhorse at the top of the rotation as Hiroki Kuroda led the rotation in 2013 with only 199 IP and he is now pitching in Japan; in fact, the last time the Yankees had a pitcher with greater than 225 IP was CC Sabathia with 237 IP in 2011. Shields would give relief to a bullpen that had four pitchers with greater than 50 IP and would fill the void left by Shane Greene, Brandon McCarthy, David Phelps, and the aforementioned Kuroda. He is a top-20 SP on durability alone and playing for a Yankees team that always contends will only add to his value.