4) Chicago Trades For James Shields
KC KIngdom reported that the Royals had been interested in reacquiring their former team leader, but the White Sox offered pitcher Erik Johnson and recent international signing Fernando Tatis, Jr. The Padres reportedly ate between $27 to 31 million of the $58 million remaining on Shields contract (3 2/3 years remaining on the deal).
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The KC Royals might have just missed their best chance to upgrade their rotation, given that the prospect price wasn’t all that high and the Padres willingness to pay most of his salary made Shields contract pretty palatable.
However, with starters Mike Minor and Jason Vargas possibly returning to the rotation this season, the Kansas City Royals front office might have decided that Shields simply wasn’t worth it. Shields is not the pitcher he was in Kansas CIty, suffering both a decline in velocity and a bump in his walk rate to around 3.6 BB/9 the last season and 1/3.
We will see what Shields has left with the White Sox, but you would have to think that he would have been a better fit in Kansas City with the Royals outstanding outfield defense and big home park. U.S. Cellular Field is a bandbox that isn’t at all good for a fly ball pitcher like Shields.
Next: Salvador Perez