White Sox Should Cut Ties With James Shields

mmanetti
Sep 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher James Shields (25) reacts in the dugout after being pulled during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher James Shields (25) reacts in the dugout after being pulled during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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James Shields was once again ineffective. The right hander lasted only 5.1 innings while allowing six runs on nine hits. The White Sox fell 7-6 to the Phillies.

The Chicago White Sox once again trotted out James Shields. Once again, he failed to produce. Shields barely lasted five innings while allowing six runs on nine hits in a 7-6 loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday. The right hander is 3-11 with a 7.11 ERA for the White Sox and 5-18 with a 5.98 ERA overall.

It’s clear something has to change. And that change needs to be the this team saying goodbye to Shields. It’s really mind boggling that this team continues to allow him to start games for them. A  Shields start basically equals a loss.

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When Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams decided to designate Mat Latos and release John Danks, it was clear they would need to upgrade the starting rotation. They had an in-house option in Miguel Gonzalez, but it was clear they would need to make a move to fill the other spot. The team flirted with Tim Lincecum but he ultimately signed elsewhere. Then it was reported the duo was hot on the trail of Shields.

Suddenly, the two teams agreed to a deal [San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox] to send Shields to the South Side. The White Sox would send pitcher Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr. to San Diego in return for ‘Big Game’ James. A deal all fans now wish they could have a mulligan on.

The White Sox are expected to pay between $27 million and $31 million owed to Shields as part of a four year $75 million contract he signed in 2015. They’re really getting their monies worth. If you have watched this guy pitch you can tell who won this deal.

What was surprising to me was the fact he [Shields] was struggling before he came to this team. The guy was 2-7 with a 4.28 ERA but somehow that was a good deal. He did have a decent season last year [13-7, 3.91 ERA] but he was coming off a game where he had given up 10 runs in two innings prior to the trade.

And that isn’t even the worst part about this trade. Tatis Jr. was the focal point of this trade for San Diego. At 17, he has the bat to be a power threat and could project as a 3B or SS. Scouts believe he could be that good. Funny, the White Sox could probably use a solid young 3B to pair with Tim Anderson.

It’s moves like this that make fans start scratching their heads. Here we traded away, what looks to be a prospect with a ton of upside, for a 34 year old, who is past his prime. Makes perfect sense to me. What’s even worse is they tried to tell us how great this trade was. The only team this trade benefited was the Padres.

Now, there’s another hole to fill this offseason. If the front office is smart, they trade him for a box of rocks. They will have to take a hit and pay most of his salary but it’s better than having him start every fifth day. Fixing this team is going to be no easy task but it’s perfectly clear, if this team is going to be great again, they have no place for a guy like James Shields.

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