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Diamondbacks targeting James Shields

Arizona is very interested in signing James Shields, but they will have to make room on the payroll.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

As James Shields hits free agency for the first time in his career, the Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be one of his potential suitors, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. As Rosenthal notes, it remains to be seen whether or not the D-backs can actually afford Shields.

The Diamondbacks already have nearly $69 million in contract obligations for the 2015 season, and arbitration-eligible players will push that total closer to $90 million this offseason. Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa informed the media that he'd like to see the 2015 payroll decline from the $112 million payroll from 2014. To create room for Shields, the Diamondbacks may look to move guys like Miguel Montero, Aaron Hill, and Cody Ross. Between those three, the Diamondbacks will have to pay north of $70 million over the next three years.

The Miami Marlins, fresh off the Giancarlo Stanton mega-deal, are another team that could enter the Shields sweepstakes, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. Even before the $325 million commitment to Stanton, the Marlins showed interest in acquiring a veteran starter to join their young, talented staff.

Shields is expected to land a five-year deal that could cost somewhere close to $100 million. For his career, he has posted a 3.72 ERA over 285 starts. Shields spent seven years with Tampa Bay (2006-2012), before being traded to the Royals in 2013. Shields is represented by PSI Sports Management.