Dave Stewart: Diamondbacks out of Shields pursuit

Right-hander James Shields is the top remaining pitcher in the free-agent market, but the Diamondbacks have dropped out of the bidding.

Christopher Hanewinckel

 PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks’ pursuit of free agent right-hander James Shields has reached an end.

 The seven-year, $210 million contract free agent Max Scherzer signed with Washington earlier in the week had a lot to do with it.

 "The market has changed," general manager Dave Stewart said Thursday.

 "We knew it would once Scherzer came out."

 The D-backs had looked into adding veteran Shields to the top of their rotation, although with a current payroll of $91.5 million it would have been difficult for them to afford him within their financial blueprint. 

 As top free agent available now, Shields’ asking price certainly has gone up, although he is not expected to get close to Scherzer money. Shields is 114-90 in nine major league seasons, with 200 or more innings in each of the last eight seasons.

 Former D-backs right-hander Scherzer was not a financial fit, Stewart said.

 "We were never at that park," Stewart said.

 Right-handers Josh Collmenter, Rubby De La Rosa, Jeremy Hellickson and Allen Webster are pencilled in as the top four in the D-backs’ rotation, with a group competing for the final spot.

Stewart said he does not anticipate any more moves before the start of spring training, or before the start of the regular season, for that matter. Pitchers and catchers are to report Feb. 19.

 "We’re what we are right now," Stewart said. "I don’t have anything we’re talking about right now. I’m keeping my eyes open and my ears open, always evaluating our club to see if there is anything else we need to do.

 "But right now, I think we as a staff have just decided to see what we are going to be once we get going and leave spring training, and if we need to make adjustments at that point, then we are going to make adjustments."

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