The Chicago White Sox have agreed to acquire right-handed pitcher James Shields from the San Diego Padres.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports first reported the acquisition. In return, the Padres will receive shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and right-hander Erik Johnson, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The 34-year-old Shields is 2-7 with a 4.28 ERA in 67 1/3 innings pitched this season. Over his 11 starts, Shields has struck out 57 hitters, has walked 27, and has allowed nine home runs.
In addition, Shields has a 4.42 FIP and a 4.14 xFIP, according to FanGraphs.com, with the latter suggesting that he has been a better pitcher than his ERA advertises. Shields has been worth 0.4 fWAR.
The Padres signed Shields to a four-year, $73 million deal last offseason, in hopes that they would begin to contend.
Shields, who is owed about another $12 million this season, can opt-out at the end of the year. He still has $44 million guaranteed through 2018, with a $16 million option for 2019.
The Padres will pay more than $30 million of Shields' salary in the trade, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If Shields opts out of his contract after the season, the Padres' commitment to the White Sox will decrease appropriately.
The White Sox, who are 29-26 through their first 55 games this season, have been in the market for a mid-rotation starter during the month of May and into early June.
At the top of their rotation, the White Sox have the likes of Chris Sale (2.29 ERA) and Jose Quintana (2.13 ERA). Carlos Rodon (4.41 ERA), Mat Latos (4.02 ERA), and Miguel Gonzalez (4.09 ERA) follow them.
As a whole, the White Sox' rotation has been very good this season, having been worth 5.7 fWAR, good for seventh in the Major Leagues. Despite this, Shields could still be a worthwhile addition to add some much-needed depth in the middle.
In Tatis Jr. and Johnson, the Padres will help in their retooling efforts.
Johnson, 26, has a career 4.50 ERA in 18 Major League starts over four seasons. Tatis Jr., 17 years old and the son of former Major Leaguer Fernando Tatis, signed with the White Sox during the last international signing period.
The Los Angeles Angels are close to signing free-agent right-handed starter Tim Lincecum to a Major League deal, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Monday afternoon.
Contract details are currently unknown.
Lincecum was reportedly deciding between three serious suitors. In addition to the Angels, these teams included the White Sox and Giants.
Lincecum held a showcase for teams on May 6. This was done to show that Lincecum was healthy after rehabbing from a hip surgery in 2015. Approximately 20 teams went to scout him.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old Lincecum pitched 76 1/3 innings with the Giants in 2015, posting a 4.13 ERA and a 60 to 38 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 15 starts. The Giants were interested in a reunion with him though only as a relief pitcher.
In Los Angeles, however, Lincecum will get an opportunity to start. The team has dealt with a plethora of injuries to their starting rotation, including the loss of Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards to UCL injuries.
The team has been forced to turn to Jhoulys Chacin and Nick Tropeano in spite of these injuries. Lincecum, at the very least, will provide depth to a starting rotation that currently has the the fourth-highest expected FIP (xFIP) in the Majors.
Lincecum, at his best, won back-to-back Cy Young awards with the Giants in 2008 and 2009. He was known as one of the best young pitchers in baseball but since 2012 has not been able to pitch to the same excellence.
The Chicago White Sox have signed free-agent outfielder Austin Jackson to a one-year, $5 million deal, as Jon Heyman of MLB Network first reported. They announced the deal.
Jackson had reportedly received a contract from the Angels worth more money, but turned it down.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Jackson desired to play center field. This was something that the White Sox could offer, but the Angels could not.
Even though it took him awhile to find a contract, Jackson was ineligible for a qualifying offer at the beginning of the offseason.
The lack of interest in Jackson was likely due to the surplus of outfielders on the market. Jason Heyward, Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes, and many other starting caliber outfielders were available throughout the offseason.
The 29-year-old Jackson had a really good season in 2015.
He hit .267/.311/.385 with nine home runs, 56 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases in 527 plate appearances last year, spending time with the Mariners and Cubs.
According to FanGraphs, Jackson was an above-average fielder and was worth a total of 2.3 Wins Above Replacement.
The White Sox have needed outfield help to upgrade over Avisail Garcia, who has not lived up to his prospect potential. In 2016, Jackson projects to be Chicago's center fielder, with Adam Eaton (their center fielder in 2015) sliding over to a corner spot.
The Chicago White Sox announced the signing of right-handed starter Mat Latos to a one-year deal on Tuesday. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com first reported the deal.
Latos will make $3 million in 2016, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports. He can also earn an extra $300,000 each for winning the Cy Young, MVP, and World Series MVP awards, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, though that appears unlikely.
The 28-year-old Latos would have thought to have earned more money in his first career free agency, but an array of issues led him to take a one-year deal.
Latos is notorious for having a rough personality and is not known for being the greatest teammate. He has publicly called out different members of organizations he has pitched with in the staff, like the training staff and front office.
Plus, Latos is coming off of a down season.
In 112 2/3 innings in 2015, Latos went 4-10 with a 4.95 ERA and a 97 to 31 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which was just a tick above his career average. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 1.5 Wins Above Replacement.
He spent last season with three teams, starting the year with the Marlins before being dealt to the Dodgers, where he was released after six outings. Latos was then signed by the Angels and finished out the season there.
The White Sox are taking the upside that Latos offers, as not too long ago he was a very good pitcher, posting a 3.16 ERA in 210 2/3 innings back in 2013. Chicago is teetering on contention, and the addition of Latos, if it works out, could help lean them toward a successful 2016 season.
As it stands, their projected starting rotation includes: Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, John Danks, and Latos. Last season, the group posted a 4.12 ERA, 14th-lowest in the Majors. However, they also posted a much-better 3.87 xFIP, suggesting that their rotation was undervalued due to poor luck.
The Chicago White Sox are exploring a trade for Los Angeles Dodgers' outfielder Andre Ethier, Phil Rogers of MLB.com and Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reported.
It is known that the White Sox have been looking for outfielders this offseason, showing varying degrees of interest in Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, and Alex Gordon. The club could not complete a contract with any of the trio.
Dexter Fowler still remains as a free agent, though Rogers reported that the White Sox would prefer to add a left-handed hitting outfielder. Fowler is a switch hitter.
The team is projected to run out Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera, and Avisail Garcia to the outfield on Opening Day. If the White Sox got any deal done, the player would likely replace Garcia, who hit for a discouraging .675 OPS (89 OPS+) in 601 plate appearances last year. He has not lived up to the top prospect potential he once had.
The Dodgers would be a logical trade partner for the White Sox, even though Ethier had a good season last year. Los Angeles currently employs arguably five starting caliber outfielders, in Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Carl Crawford, Enrique Hernandez, and Ethier. It is hard to know what they would be looking for in return.
Ethier had a bounce-back season in 2015, hitting .294/.366/.486 with 14 home runs, 53 RBIs, and a 136 OPS+ in 445 plate appearances. The 33-year-old was worth 2.9 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement.
Ethier is still under contract through 2017 and is guaranteed $35.5 million over the next two years. His deal comes with a vesting option for 2018, valued at $17.5 million with a $2.5 million buyout.