Dombrowski: Tigers never in talks with Shields

Club expected to focus on long-term deal for Price

Dombrowski: Tigers never in talks with Shields

DETROIT -- The last of the major free-agent starting pitchers dropped off the market Monday, when James Shields reached an agreement with the Padres. The last of the Tigers' pitching speculation, in turn, ended without fanfare.

If there were any doubt that Detroit will head into the season with its current rotation, Shields' deal pretty much finishes it.

Though the Tigers were rumored to have had contact with Shields' agent around the time Max Scherzer was on his way to the Nationals, president/general manager Dave Dombrowski had said for a few weeks that they were not in pursuit of Shields and were set with their starting rotation (Justin Verlander, David Price, Anibal Sanchez, Shane Greene and Alfredo Simon).

With Shields no longer a free agent, Dombrowski told MLB.com in an email Monday morning, "We never had any negotiations with him."

MLB Now on Price's future

The Tigers are expected to turn their focus internally toward Price, who's eligible for free agency at season's end. Though Price appears likely to test the open market, Detroit is expected to at least explore the possibility of a long-term deal.

If a deal doesn't happen, the Tigers will likely end up among a bevy of teams exploring what should be a deep market for free-agent starting pitching next winter. Pitchers on track for free agency also include Jordan Zimmermann, Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto, Mark Buehrle, Mat Latos, Yovani Gallardo, Clay Buchholz and former Tigers Doug Fister and Rick Porcello.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.