KANSAS CITY -- Yes, James Shields is headed for free agency after next season. And, yes, he'd be willing to discuss extending his Kansas City stay.
But, no, Shields is not really heading for the open market looking for a Zack Greinke-type contract -- six years at $147 million -- as one columnist speculated. In fact, the whole idea made Shields smile, as he attended the annual Royals FanFest at Bartle Hall downtown.
"That's absolutely not true at all. I have no clue where [the columnist] got that at all," Shields said.
"As a player, you always just want a fair deal -- but I'm not really thinking about that, right now. I've got one more year before I can be a free agent, and I'll probably be thinking more along those lines when the season is over."
Even so, the idea of discussing a contract extension with the Royals this winter is not beyond his scope.
"Yeah, I'd definitely be open-minded to it, for sure," he said. "A player in my position, when I have one more year left before free agency, I'm definitely open to it. I mean, I like Kansas City, I like the organization and I like the direction we're going."
But Shields hasn't discussed the matter so far with general manager Dayton Moore and, if they don't get around to it before Opening Day, it's not likely to happen in season.
"During the season, my main focus is trying to win games and really get some wins for this team," Shields said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less