If the Tampa Bay Rays trade one of their starting pitchers this offseason, it'll likely be Lake Wales High School product Wade Davis, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Citing a source, Cafardo reported Sunday Davis, and not James Shields, "is the pitcher they will likely end up dealing for an outfielder or a catcher."
Davis went 11-10 for the Rays in the 2011 campaign, posting a 4.45 earned run average in his 29 starts. Though he struggled with his command, averaging 3.1 walks per nine innings, Davis nonetheless proved an effective starter in the American League East, arguably baseball's toughest division. There ought to be demand for him around the Majors.
Davis, 26, is signed through at least the 2014 season, with team options for 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Shields is inarguably the better pitcher of the two, and would fetch far more in a trade than Davis would. But it makes sense that Tampa Bay would prefer to hang onto its ace and try turning its No. 4 starter into an everyday position player. Shields won 16 games for the Rays in 2011 and led the major leagues with 11 complete games and four shutouts. His 2.82 earned run average ranked him No. 3 in the American League.
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