According to SB Nations Chris Cotillo and CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes, the Chicago White Sox have acquired pitcher James Shields via a trade with the San Diego Padres.
Thus far, the Chi-Sox pitching staff has been anchored solely by Chris Sale (9-2/2.58 ERA/78 SO) and Jose Quintana (5-5/2.13ERA/67 SO).
Meanwhile, sophomore starter Carlos Rodon (2-5/4.41 ERA/59 SO), and veteran Mat Latos (6-1/4.02 ERA/31 SO) have struggled of late.
So, the trade for Shields (2-7/4.28 ERA/57 SO) is most likely to bring stability to the rotation.
If nothing else, he’ll eat a ton of innings.
Despite his own recent struggles, Shields has pitched 200-plus innings while earning double-digit wins for nine consecutive seasons (from 2007-2015, with an average ERA of 3.70).
Meaning Shields is durable, and capable of winning his share of games for Chicago.
Considering how close the race for first place in the American League Central has become, Chicago will take any win they can get.
Currently, the White Sox (29-27) are two games behind the Kansas City Royals (30-24), with the Cleveland Indians (29-24) wedged in-between.
It’s also important to note that Chicago will be getting Shields at cost.
Per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and Bleacher Report’s Adam Wells, the Padres will pay $29 million of the $56 million left of Shields’ four year deal, which dates back to February of 2015.
As for what San Diego received from the deal, per the San Diego Union Tribune’s Dennis Lin, the Padres got minor leaguers Fernando Tatis Jr. and Erik Johnson.
Before this Saturday swap, the 33-year-old veteran was scheduled to start opposite Colorado Rockies pitcher Jon Gray this Sunday.
The White Sox have next Monday off, and Shields could potentially replace Sox pitcher Miguel Gonzalez (scheduled to start Wednesday June 8th), to make his first appearance with Chicago, during the teams interleague series against the Washington Nationals which begins the following Tuesday (June 7th).
All in all, this deal should pan out for the White Sox.
Chicago isn’t investing too much contract wise with Shields, and merely gave up a pair of unproven prospects.
Best case scenario, Shields bounces back to his old form with a new team. Worst case scenario, he fails to reach nine wins this season, and only pitches 175-plus innings of work.
Either way, Shields could be the difference between the Chi-Sox winning their first division crown since 2008, or making the post-season via one of the two AL Wild Card spots.