James Shields trade rumors have heated up again. A Shields trade with the Chicago White Sox could soon take place, if rumors of an offer to the San Diego Padres are confirmed. A report from MLB analyst Ken Rosenthal was just posted to Twitter, suggesting that the team has made a “compelling” offer to acquire the veteran starting pitcher.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 4, 2016
The one thing that could be holding up a Shields trade is that he has a lot of money left on his contract. The Padres are on the hook for $21 million this season and in each of the next two. Shields then has a team option for $16 million in the 2019 MLB season that comes with a $2 million buyout. Currently 34-years-old, there are a lot of risks that come with a starting pitcher who is still owed that much money on his deal.
If these James Shields trade rumors do lead to a deal with the Chicago White Sox, or another team, it’s expected that the San Diego Padres are going to have to pay part of that contract. $42 million over the next two seasons is a high price for a struggling starting pitcher, but the argument has been made that a “change of scenery” could get Shields back on track. When the Tampa Bay Rays traded him to the Kansas City Royals, Shields then posted a 3.15 ERA over 34 starts in the 2013 MLB season. Those are numbers White Sox fans could really enjoy.
During the 2016 MLB season, James Shields hasn’t been putting up impressive numbers for the San Diego Padres. Shields has made 11 starts for the Padres so far, yielding a 4.28 ERA, a 1.426 WHIP, and a 2-7 record. He also has a very high walk rate, putting on 3.6 batters every nine innings by way of the free pass. That is one number that a new pitching coach has to work at diminishing. Teams mentioned in trade rumors are certainly looking for him to duplicate his past performance, because the latest numbers don’t put him in a positive light.
Over his entire MLB career, Shields has made 329 starts with the Padres, Kansas City Royals, and Tampa Bay Rays. He has a combined record of 129-104 to go with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.237 WHIP. He has also averaged 8.8 strikeouts for every nine innings of work, all while staying extremely healthy through his 11 years of work. It is that health which has created a lot of James Shields trade rumors, because he has pitched at least 200 innings in each of the past nine MLB seasons.
Pitching in the postseason, Shields has yielded very mixed results over the years. While he looked good in one start during the 2008 ALDS and another one in the 2014 ALDS, his overall numbers have not been that good. Shields has made 11 playoff starts between his time with the Rays and Royals, posting a 5.46 ERA, a 1.534 WHIP, and a 3-6 record. If he were acquired by the White Sox, Shields would become the third starter in the rotation behind Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, possibly alleviating some pressure.
An updated report from MLB analyst Bob Nightengale has the White Sox ready to send two prospects to acquire Shields. While this story has not yet been confirmed, it is being reported on several different sports sites.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 4, 2016
There have been quite a few James Shields trade rumors since he signed a huge free agent contract with the team, but have the San Diego Padres finally reached a point where another franchise is willing to pay a major part of that deal? The Chicago White Sox need depth in the starting rotation, so something could certainly be imminent in this situation.
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