The buzz around baseball indicates the Padres are to blame for holding up the market for James Shields, because San Diego would prefer to trade for Cole Hamels. However, the handful of teams that had also been pursuing Hamels all say the Phillies are asking for too much in trade and he's now more likely to get moved this summer than before the start of the season.
In other words, as Steve Phillips recently said on MLB Network Radio, because they know they're not getting Hamels, expect the Padres to soon sign Shields, who has wanted to sign in San Diego since the start of the off-season.
In that case, with Shields and Hamels no longer available, and with so few viable options left in the free agent market, the 5-7 teams who had been waiting on Shields could again circle back on Gee. However, they say, because it's so late in the winter, Alderson still won't be offered more than a relief pitcher or one or two lower-ceiling prospects.
In their view, Gee is accurately priced at the two years and $12 million he'll likely get between now and being eligible for free agency - and he can always be non-tendered at the end of this season if the team is no longer interested. Gee would have been offered two or three years at around $7-8 million a season had he been a free agent this winter. So, in that sense, he's a bargain, which may also be why Alderson is in no rush to move him, especially since Gee provides insurance for a rotation that is super important to his team's success in 2015.
The point is, I don't think the market for Gee is totally dead. It may not be enticing or worth dabbling in, but it will bubble up again. The question for Alderson will be, does he trade Gee to free up salary and get a player that might incrementally help his big-league roster this season? Or, does he pass, keep Gee, and cover himself in case of injury or setback in his starting rotation?