Shields stays, and so do the rest of Rays

Shields stays, and so do the rest of Rays

Shields stays, and so do the rest of Rays
OAKLAND -- James Shields stood next to his locker in the visiting clubhouse at Oakland Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon. Major League Baseball's Trade Deadline had passed and Shields remained a member of the Rays. So he smiled.

"I'm glad to still be a Ray," Shields said. "Me, B.J., and Price had a group hug."

Shields had been the Rays' player most mentioned in trade rumors this year. According to the rumor mill, Shields drew interest from the Angels, Rangers, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Indians, and Reds.

But in the end, Shields, nor any other Rays players, were traded elsewhere.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said the front office did a lot of research about potential players to acquire to improve the club. And the interest in Rays players was obvious.

"There were a lot of inquiries about our guys," Maddon said. "So there's a lot of back and forth, so our people back home spent a lot of time sifting through our stuff. However, nothing did happen, and I'm fine with that. Actually, I'm very happy about that.

"I felt from Day 1 that this group of players is good enough to win our division and go back and win the World Series. I'm not going to depart from that feeling."

While the Rays did not make any deals, Maddon said the team still has a chance for "some great acquisitions" when Evan Longoria, Luke Scott, and Jeff Niemann return to the team.

Longoria could be back as early as this weekend, but more than likely next week, while Scott and Niemann will need to go on rehab assignments. All were doing well on Tuesday -- although Longoria sat out Tuesday night's game with some soreness in his partially torn left hamstring.

"So at the end of the day, it doesn't surprise me that nothing happened," Maddon said. "I've been saying that all along. And I'm very pleased that nothing happened, because I really believe in the guys that we have."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.