James Shields/Miguel Gonzalez
Very similar to Garcia and Sanchez, James Shields and Miguel Gonzalez are entering their final season with the White Sox. Unless they can pitch themselves into a contract extension. Shields is entering the final year of his very generous contract while Gonzalez is playing on a one-year deal signed this offseason.
Both pitchers have shown flashes of brilliance but underwhelmed much of last season. Gonzalez has been more successful with the ChiSox than the former World Series Champion Shields but both are likely to be left out of the rebuild. Shields, 36, and Gonzalez, 33, are the oldest pitchers in the rotation but that doesn’t have much to do with why they’re likely to be on their way out.
First off, they have not been lights out, but more importantly, they’re making way for one of the top pitching farm systems in baseball. The rotation is being headed by three young amazing pitchers in Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito, and Reynaldo Lopez. Waiting to be called up is Kopech (MLB Pipeline third-ranked prospect), Cease (Sox no.10 prospect according to Baseball America), Alec Hansen (Sox no.3 prospect), Dane Dunning (Sox no.5 prospect), Spencer Adams, Jordan Stephens, Ian Clarkin, and Carson Fulmer who finished 2017 very strongly.
In order for either Shields or Gonzalez to remain with the team as a starter, they would need to put up ridiculous numbers in 2018. At least the best or second-best numbers in the rotation. Another option to qualify for an extension would be to stay on as a middle reliever. Other than those two outcomes, it doesn’t seem likely that the two vets will be watching the rebuild’s success from the dugout.