• Got into an interesting debate recently with an American League executive who was extolling the impact James Shields has made on the Royals. He took a position I didn't see coming: If he had a choice of which starter he'd give a nine-figure contract to -- Shields or Zack Greinke -- he'd take … (wait for it) … Shields.
"Greinke's stuff is a little better," he said. "And on a given day, he can rise to the occasion and just dominate. But there are other days where he almost seems a little disinterested. You never have to worry about that with Shields. He's out there for one reason -- to beat you. And then there's the impact he has on a club on a daily basis. That's one thing about Greinke. He has great stuff. But he gives you none of that."
• Shields has said he's open to sticking around in Kansas City long-term. But if he's a $100 million deal waiting to happen, it's hard to find anyone who thinks the Royals could afford that contract.