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Old 04-20-2017, 22:53   #1
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. Linval Joseph Jersey . -- Royals ace James Shields is open to staying in Kansas City beyond this season. That news should make the thousands of fans, already flying high over the teams strong finish a year ago, feel even better as they turned out for their annual FanFest on Friday. The Royals exercised their $13.5 million option on Shieldss contract shortly after going 86-76 last season, their best finish since 1989. The durable right-hander was a big reason behind the success, going 13-9 with a 3.15 ERA in an American League-leading 228.2 innings. Shields told a small group of reporters at Bartle Hall that he was willing to discuss an extension, but he said those talks with general manager Dayton Moore have not taken place. "Id definitely be open-minded to it," Shields said. "A player in my position, where I have one more year left before free agency, I mean, Im definitely open to it. I like Kansas City. I like the organization and I like the direction were going." If Shields went to the open market, its unlikely that the Royals would be a player in the chase. There were reports this off-season that he would seek a contract similar to that of former Royals star Zack Greinke, who signed a $147 million, six-year deal with the Dodgers last season. "Thats absolutely not true at all," Shields said. "I have no clue where he got that from, to be honest with you. Ive had no discussions with Dayton at all. "If Dayton wants to talk about it, Im more than willing to sit and talk about it. But during the season, my main focus is trying to win games and get some wins for this team." Pitchers and catchers are due to report to Surprise, Ariz., for the start of spring training on Feb. 14. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 20. Most of the Royals key pieces return from last season, when they contended into September for the first time in a decade. Their two biggest holes were filled by trading reliever Will Smith to Milwaukee for right field Norichika Aoki and signing Omar Infante to solidify second base. "I didnt think our defence could get any better," Shields said, "but theyre definitely filling some holes that we had. And theyre great additions to our lineup." Then theres the starting rotation, where Ervin Santana has become a free agent. While the right-hander has yet to sign elsewhere, the Royals appeared to move on when they signed left-hander Jason Vargas to a contract early in the off-season. Along with Jeremy Guthrie, the first three spots in the rotation are set. That leaves two up for grabs among a handful of candidates, including starters-turned-relievers Wade Davis and Luke Hochevar, veteran Bruce Chen, left-hander Danny Duffy and flame-thrower Yordano Ventura. "Ive just been working hard, resting my arm," said Ventura, who had a 3.52 ERA in three late-season starts in Kansas City. "Ive just been getting ready because I want to get out there and make the team." That doesnt figure to be an easy task given the glut of competition. "Its a competitive game anyway," Davis said. "Why not do it from within a little bit?" Davis said that he spent the off-season in the weight room, and pronounced himself more ready for this season than any previous year. He also said that hes already been throwing some bullpen sessions, giving him a head start on reporting for spring training. "Im definitely going in to start," said Davis, who began last season in the rotation but was demoted to the bullpen when he proved ineffective. "Hopefully I get that opportunity." Fran Tarkenton Womens Jersey . -- The Chicago Bears agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with defensive lineman Israel Idonije and are bringing him back for a second stint. Cris Carter Vikings Jersey . Canada was placed in one of the easiest groups during Saturdays live televised draw in Montreal. Authentic John Randle Vikings Jersey, Big & Tall John Randle Womens Jerseys Sale . Switzerland faces Belgium or Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals in April. Serbia dropped into the World Group playoffs in September. A confident Chiudinelli and Lammer defeated veteran doubles player Zimonjic and young Krajinovic 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2.With Randy Carlyle returning with an extension in hand behind the Leafs bench, the culture change Tim Leiweke promised at Brendan Shanahans introductory press conference may come in the form of a trade of the teams captain. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger addressed the Dion Phaneuf rumours on TSN Radio 1050 Monday, saying although the Leafs may not be “shopping” their No. 1 defenceman, he is not considered untouchable and GM Dave Nonis would be willing to listen to offers. “The Toronto Maple Leafs are not shopping him,” Dreger said. “Theyre not shopping Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri, but teams know that if theres an offer made – or the right offer made – that Toronto would consider that.” Dreger noted he had spoken with Nonis over the weekend, with the GM saying the team isnt engaged in active conversations regarding Phaneuf, and have not done so since this past trade deadline. Fellow TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie also weighed in on the Phaneuf rumours, saying that although there have not been any recent conversations, the Leafs would not be opposed to a trade. “I think under the right circumstances, the Leafs would move him, and I think at various times over the course of the year they flirted with that notion, but I dont think right at this moment, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in a hard-sell on weve got to get rid of Dion Phaneuf and go in a different direction, but theyre all ears if somebodys interested,” McKenzie said. Comparing Phaneufs situation to the Jason Spezza rumours that have surfaced recently, both Dreger and McKenzie agree that of the two captainns, Spezza is the more likely candidate to be dealt as the longtime Senator is reportedly open to a change. Paul Krause Youth Jersey. Despite owning a seven-year, $49-million deal that kicks in next season, the Leafs captain does not have a no-movement clause, giving GM Dave Nonis the flexibility to potentially unload him. In reference to the culture change comments made by Leiweke, The Globe and Mails James Mirtle said whether its a deal involving Phanuef or some other pieces on the Leafs roster, change is likely to happen. “If youre keeping the coach, then something else has to change, and I dont think theyre just going to change the assistant coaches,” Mirtle told TSN Radio 1050. “It makes sense to look at what kind of value he has on the market.” Despite having his detractors, Mirtle said Phaneuf is still a valuable piece that has misused by the Leafs. “Phaneufs got limitations certainly, and the Leafs dont particulary work around those limitations that well,” Mirtle said, referencing how Phaneuf has been successful being a second-pairing defenceman that can contribute in an offensive way. “It seems in Toronto theyve tried to recast him as this defensive stalwart – Shea Weber-type – that can kill penalties and play against other teams top lines, 25-26 minutes a night and Ive never understood why thats the case. “You can have a six or $7-million defenceman that doesnt do it all and still get value out of him.” Mirtle mentioned Edmonton, Dallas and Minnesota as potential landing spots for Phaneuf, saying he would fit in nicely in a No. 2 role behind Ryan Suter with the Wild. 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