Longtime baseball writer and our tenth President, Peter Gammons, had a brief snippet about upcoming free agent pitchers in the wake of the Clayton Kershaw extension. Among those free agents is our own ace in the hole, James Shields. About Big Game James, Gammons writes:

James Shields has made it clear to the Royals that he’s thinking about a Zack Greinke deal.
Well then. Greinke signed a 6 year $147 million deal with the Dodgers back in December of 2012.

Greinke was entering his age 29 season with the new contract, James Shields will be 33 on Opening Day 2015. Greinke put up 24.2 WAR in his five seasons leading up to his new deal, James would have to have a 14 WAR season this year to match that. Greinke had a much higher peak and higher upside, Shields is perhaps a bit more consistent.

If we look at future payroll obligations, adding a player with an AAV of $24.5 million (6/$147 mill) would push our existing contractual obligations to about $80 million, and that's if we decline Wade Davis' option (fat chance!) and before we've paid the arbitration-eligible Eric Hosmer, Greg Holland, Mike Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain (pricey!).