Royals exercise $13.5 million option on Shields

The Kansas City Royals exercised their $13.5 million option on ace right-hander James Shields on Thursday.

"His record doesn't begin to reflect what he's meant to our team," manager Ned Yost told the Kansas City Star. "He's a true No. 1 starter. Someone like that has an impact on the rest of your rotation, your bullpen and your entire club.

"That's what James Shields has meant to us."

The 31-year-old Shields went 13-9 with a 3.15 ERA this past season.

"I feel I pitched well for them last year and, obviously, over my career, I've proven I can eat a lot of innings," Shields told the Star. "I'm just excited to be back and to be a Royal."

Shields led the American League by pitching 228 2/3 innings and 27 quality starts, including going 9-3 with a 3.06 ERA in the second half.