Chicago White Sox pitcher James Shields is emerging as a viable trade option, according to 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine. The White Sox would almost assuredly deal Shields prior to the non-waiver trade deadline if teams came calling with the right proposal.
What a far cry from seasons prior for James Shields.
It has become somewhat of a bounce-back season for the veteran right-hander, whose struggles over the last couple of years are well-documented. James Shields has dealt with a loss of velocity and command of his pitches within the past three seasons.
As a result, Shields’ earned run average skyrocketed. His first year and a half with the Chicago White Sox were miserable. Determined to right the ship, Shields made some offseason changes.
Last February, USA Today was reporting that James Shields changed his delivery. In what will likely be his last season with the Chicago White Sox, Shields is now a pitcher who throws sidearm.
The switch has allowed Shields to pitch deeper into games for the White Sox. In 13 starts, Shields has only had one outing when he did not pitch in the sixth inning. Most importantly, his ERA is down to 4.48, which is the lowest it has been during his White Sox tenure. Now James Shields is catching the attention of several playoff contenders.
Winning has been on James Shields’ mind since he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Shields has no interest in rebuilding.
“Frankly, I don’t really care about the rebuild right now. I care about winning. They keep talking about rebuild, and I’m trying to win ballgames right now, period.”
It is that mentally which has made James Shields a valued member of the Chicago White Sox clubhouse. His “never give up” demeanor can become contagious for a young team looking for a shot in the arm.
There could be a fair share of teams looking for what James Shields has brought to the White Sox. A pitcher who allows a bullpen to rest is invaluable in baseball. Something to also consider is that Shields win-loss record of 1-6 is deceiving.
The White Sox have struggled on offense for much of the season. Their fielding also leaves a lot to be desired. Just a couple of subtle improvements and James Shields has more of a margin for error in the games that he pitched.
The White Sox have only scored more than three runs in six of Shields’ starts. Having a better offense around him would allow fans to appreciate his improvements.
The Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets could be two of the teams in the running for the White Sox James Shields. He will be a feasible option in what is expected to be a bloated MLB trade market.