White Sox

Joe Maddon on what White Sox are getting with James Shields

Joe Maddon on what White Sox are getting with James Shields

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.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.