The D-backs nearly acquired Shields before the former Tampa Bay Rays right-hander was dealt to the Kansas City Royals prior to the 2013 season, per Rosenthal, in a trade that would have also netted Arizona Wade Davis and sent Justin Upton to Texas and minor leaguers to Tampa Bay. For Tony LaRussa and company to land Shields this time around, they'll have to make room in their budget; the D-backs' payroll is projected to be around $90 million, which would necessitate dealing current players -- including catcher Miguel Montero, who is owed $14 million per year through 2017 -- to free up space.
The Marlins should still have plenty of room to work with even after signing Giancarlo Stanton to a record-breaking $320 million deal. Stanton is owed just $30 million over the first three seasons of the contract. Before Miami agreed to the deal, it had only $8 million in payroll obligations beyond 2015.
Shields, 32, posted a 3.21 ERA in 227 innings and posted the second-lowest walk rate of his career while with Kansas City in 2014. In nine big league seasons, the right-hander has a 3.72 ERA with 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings.