It’s the end of an era. A big game era. Well, kinda. The White Sox declined the option on Starting Pitcher, James Shields contract this afternoon as it was anticipated to happen. The White Sox decided to decline the $16 million dollar option and opted to pay the $2 million dollar buyout of the right-handed pitcher.

This move allows James Shields to enter free agency and possibly sign with a contender. If he gets signed at all. Shields posted a 4.53ERA in about 205IP. Shields numbers have been steadily on the decline since 2014, though the Sox took a chance on him in 2016.

On June 4, 2016, Shields was traded to the Chicago White Sox from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatís Jr. The latter of those two traded for Shields is now the number two prospect in baseball.

Through is 2 and a half years in Chicago, Shields appeared in 77 games posting 16 wins and 35 losses. His ERA was a 5.31 in 436IP.

Standard Pitching
Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W Awards
2016 34 CHW AL 4 12 .250 6.77 22 22 0 1 0 0 114.1 139 89 86 31 55 1 78 7 0 7 538 60 6.93 1.697 10.9 2.4 4.3 6.1 1.42
2017 35 CHW AL 5 7 .417 5.23 21 21 0 0 0 0 117.0 116 72 68 27 53 3 103 3 0 5 516 82 5.83 1.444 8.9 2.1 4.1 7.9 1.94
2018 36 CHW AL 7 16 .304 4.53 34 33 1 0 0 0 204.2 190 115 103 34 78 0 154 9 1 11 871 93 5.09 1.309 8.4 1.5 3.4 6.8 1.97
CHW (3 yrs) 16 35 .314 5.31 77 76 1 1 0 0 436.0 445 276 257 92 186 4 335 19 1 23 1925 79 5.77 1.447 9.2 1.9 3.8 6.9 1.80
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/29/2018.

 

This move makes complete sense in where the White Sox are heading. Depending on free agent signings, the first three pitchers in the Sox projected starting rotation are solid next year. Carlos Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez, and Lucas Giolito. Dallas Keuchel and Trevor Cahill could be two strong options to help round out this rotation going into next year.

Also, right-handed pitchers such as Dylan Cease, Dane Dunning, Alec Hansen, and Jordan Stephens are in waiting in the wings in the minor leagues. Not to mention number two prospect in the organization, Michael Kopech, who unfortunately went under the knife for Tommy John surgery, though he will not return until 2020.

This saves the White Sox a good chunk of change and who knows? Maybe they go out into free agency and make some serious moves.

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