While the Cubs were taking care of business on the field on Saturday afternoon, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was doing the same off of it.
The White Sox acquired pitcher James Shields and cash from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr.
On paper, Shields' 2-7 record and 4.28 ERA in 11 starts this season doesn't exactly stand out — in large part due to his previous outing last weekend, in which he allowed a career-high 10 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Seattle Mariners.
But if there's anyone qualified to give a thorough scouting report on the 34-year-old pitcher, it's Cubs skipper Joe Maddon, who managed Shields for seven years (from 2006 to 2012) while the two were in Tampa Bay.
Maddon credited Shields with setting the tone in the Tampa Bay locker room during the 2008 season, when the Rays won the American League pennant.
"He’s the guy that really set up the pitching mentality in Tampa Bay. (He has a) tremendous work ethic," Maddon said. "He set the work ethic among the starters. He was the guy that would be on the top step of the dugout when somebody else was pitching.
"As the group walked in, he really brought them together in that way."
That sounds exactly what Hahn & Co. were looking for when they pulled the trigger on this trade. A guy who wants to win.
"Competitively, (Shields is) off the charts," Maddon said. "My god, he just never wants to come out of a game. He thinks he can beat anybody. He’s got really good stuff.
"Good fastball, really good changeup. One of the better changeups I’ve had the pleasure of managing. He’s got a really good curveball, too. People don’t even know how good his curveball is."
Well, Robin Ventura and the White Sox are about to find out.