The White Sox and Padres have agreed in principle to a deal that will send James Shields to the South Side of Chicago, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman. While details are not yet clear, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Dennis Lin reported that the Padres are interested in Fernando Tatis, Jr., a White Sox signee from the 2015 international FA draft class, and will eat a significant portion of the $58 million Shields is owed over the next three years.
While Shields hasn’t been the star pitcher he was when he was with Tampa Bay and Kansas City since signing with San Diego in the 2014-15 offseason, he is on pace for his 10th straight 200 IP season this year, and represents a very dependable upgrade over whichever of Mat Latos or Miguel Gonzalez he will be replacing. At his reported price, this appears to be a very nice deal for the White Sox despite the obvious drawbacks — Shields has allowed a MLB high 42 home runs in 44 starts since the start of the 2015 season while playing half his games in a massive ballpark.
The White Sox likely will now look to fill other holes, which hypothetically could be part of this deal as well. The NL West bottom feeders have a decent glut of players who may be usable to the White Sox at the right price, including Derek Norris, Melvin Upton, Jon Jay and Matt Kemp. Whether such players would be involved in the Shields trade is unknown at this time.
Shields was slated to start tomorrow for the Padres, so likely now will be ready to slot right into the White Sox rotation and replace Latos or Gonzalez, who are set to pitch Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
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