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Freeway Series Insignificant; Shields Inks Extension

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AP Photo by Chris Carlson

I'm not going to write anything about the pre-season freeway series with the Dodgers. Why you ask? Well, it's because exhibition baseball games tend to be about as meaningful as promises by Pacman Jones to stay on the right side of the law. Teams are working on specific things; giving guys looks who won't even be on the team, so essentially, the scores are meaningless. This blog is over Spring Training, get the season started.

What this blog is not over, though, is the fact that the Angels signed Scot Shields to a three-year, $14.6 million contract extension. This deal is meaningful for two reasons. First of all, the obvious reason, which is that it keeps the best set up man in baseball in an Angel uniform for the next few years. That alone makes it a good signing. However, there's more to it...

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Had Scot Shields hit the open market, you can bet your bottom dollar that he would've received more lucrative offers than the one he received from the Halos. One thing you've got to realize is that he took this contract to remain a set-up man. Realistically, on the open market, teams wouldn't go after Shields as an 8th inning guy, they'd be going after him as a closer, which would likely yield him bigger bucks. Shields taking this deal essentially says he'd rather take less to stay with the Angels than he would to go to another team and play a more prominent role. This absolutely is a statement to potential free agents who will consider the Angels next off-season. Just like players will negatively take notice if the Halos try to get out of Gary Matthews' contract if HGH-Gate blows up, they will take notice of a respected veteran like Shields taking less money to stick with a team that's treated him well. Good move Bill Stoneman, good move.