In an ongoing series, we'll take a look at possible free-agent and trade targets for the Texas Rangers this winter.
Target: James Shields, RHP
2014 stats: 14-8 record, 3.21 ERA, 227 innings, 180 strikeouts, 40 walks
Big Game James has shown why he got that nickname so far this postseason, helping the Royals to a 4-0 record so far in the playoffs, and he'll take the mound to open up the ALCS against Baltimore on Friday. But his days as a Royal could be numbered as the soon-to-be 33-year-old will hit free agency this winter after completing a seven-year contract split between Tampa Bay and Kansas City.
Of the three big-name starting pitchers on the market this winter, along with Jon Lester and Max Scherzer, Shields is the one who you could actually see the Rangers making a legitimate run at via free agency.
His age means he's less likely to get to the six- or seven-year deal the Rangers basically refuse to give starting pitchers. He could possibly be had on a four- or five-year deal with a possible option year. He's also not quite the same caliber as Lester or Scherzer, but he's right below that level and he's a known innings-eater, eclipsing the 200-inning mark in each of the last eight seasons.