The White Sox are reportedly closing in on a deal to acquire pitcher James Shields from the San Diego Padres.
The teams have discussed a trade for Shields, who is roughly owed $58 million on his current contract, since at least last weekend when the White Sox were in Kansas City.
One name that has surfaced in industry chatter throughout the week — and is reportedly a Padres target, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune — is White Sox farmhand Fernando Tatis Jr. The club signed Tatis, whose father played for five teams and hit 34 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999, last July to an international deal for $700,000.
It is believed the Padres would have to assume a healthy portion of the salary owed to Shields, who is 2-7 with a 4.28 ERA in 11 starts this season. Shields’ ERA sat at 3.06 before his last outing in Seattle earlier this week when he allowed a career-high 10 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.
One National League scout believes Shields would thrive playing for a contending team. Shields won 97 out of 124 career decisions in nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals, including 14 games en route to an American League pennant in 2014.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has made no secret he wants to try and add on to a team that has slumped of late after a very hot start. The White Sox are 6-16 since they won 23 of their first 33 games and sit in third place in the AL Central.
The White Sox have at least $11.5 million of wiggle room this season after the abrupt retirement of Adam LaRoche in March. LaRoche was set to earn $13 million this season but forfeited all of it to retire. The White Sox signed Miguel Gonzalez to a deal in April that would max out at $1.5 million.