A day before his scheduled start against the Colorado Rockies, and less than a week since he was singled out by Padres team owner Ron Fowler in a rant about underachieving players on the roster, the San Diego Padres have traded starting pitcher James Shields, along with cash considerations, to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for two minor leaguers.
If Shields does not opt out of his contract after this season and enter free agency, the Padres will be on the hook for $29 million owed to Shields. The White Sox would be on the hook for $27 million.
In two seasons with the Padres, Shields went 15-14 with an ERA of exactly 4.00. Most notably, Shields hung a sign in the team’s locker room that focused on accountability.
In a recent interview with Marty Caswell, Shields touted his past successes in changing losing cultures into winning franchises with the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals, both teams that Shields pitched for in the World Series.
In four major-league stints, Erik Johnson has carved out a record of 13-11 and an ERA of 4.50, all with the White Sox. The right-handed has struggled in two starts this season, with an 0-2 record and a 6.94 ERA.
17-year old Fernando Tatis Jr. is the son of former MLB third baseman Fernando Tatis Sr. He was signed by the White Sox last year out of the Dominican Republic for $700,000. He could eventually end up at 3B, 2B or SS, and there is significant power potential in his swing.
What do you think of this trade by the Padres? Was it just a salary dump? Was it a result of Fowler’s public criticisms of Shields? Let us know what you think in the comments below!