Latest on Pitching market: Nats are interested in James Shields

James Shields polaroidThe Nationals are showing interest in Rays RHP James Shields (CBS Sports).

The Royals are motivated to pursue a pitcher who could be a number one, and could pursue RHP Anibal Sanchez in free agency (CBS Sports).

The Angels are considering signing either Kyle Lohse or Anibal Sanchez now that Zack Greinke is getting too expensive (CBS Sports).

Executives at the Winter Meetings believe the Nationals are a good fit for Mike Pelfrey (ESPN).

The Pirates have expressed interest in LHP John Lannan, but it’s not clear how high he is on their wish-list (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).

Michael Baron, Contributor

If the Rays end up dealing a starting pitcher such as Shields or Jeremy Hellickson, it will be interesting to see the return they get. That can set a standard for what kind of talent the Mets could get in return for one of their top starting pitchers, which could go a long way in determining whether or not they will trade one of them this winter. Tampa Bay is reportedly interested in Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa, but the Nationals have balked at dealing Espinosa, and it’s all dependent on their ability to retain Adam LaRoche as well.