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Do White Sox Fans Hate James Shields? You Probably Should

James Shields
Do White Sox fans hate James Shields? You probably should. It just might go as the worst trade in the history of the franchise. Or point your anger at Rick Hahn. That works too. (Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

James Shields had a long major league career. Shields pitched in the show for 13 years for the Rays, Royals, Padres, and most recently the Chicago White Sox. Shields made one All-Star appearance but was always regarded as a solid big league starter. His last stop may go down as his most relevant for all of the wrong reasons. Do White Sox fans hate James Shields? What I’m about to tell you suggests they probably should.

June 5th, 2016. It will go down as one of the darkest days in White Sox history. Shields was acquired from the Padres for Erik Johnson and…. Fernando Tatis Jr. Yes, that Fernando Tatis… YIKES! Shields signed an ugly 4-year, $75 million contract with San Diego the year before in what were obvious decline years. Chicago ate $30 million of the $55 million left on the contract. Double YIKES.

The White Sox weren’t real contenders in 2016 anyway. The year after, they traded Chris Sale to Boston. This wasn’t a team ready for prime time. The move for James Shields never made sense. He was also 2-7 with a 4.28 ERA prior to the trade. Making matters worse, his final start with San Diego, Shields allowed 10 earned runs. At this point in his career, Shields wasn’t going to help a team. He should have been a salary dump San Diego had to attach prospects to in order to shed the contract. Luckily, they found a taker dumb enough and stole Fernando Tatis Jr. in the process.

James Shields
Imagine this guy in a White Sox uniform right now? An infield with Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, and Tatis Jr. WOW! (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Tatis Jr. was 17 at the time of the trade. He was a lottery ticket. However, his dad played in the big leagues for a long time. Tatis Jr. had star potential. We just never knew if the lottery ticket was a for sure hit. Turns out, he’s just might be the best young infielder in baseball. Tatis, 20, is hitting .331/.390/.601 in his rookie campaign. That also includes 18 bombs, an OPS+ of 160, and 14 steals. Tatis Jr. has proven that he is a 5 tool player. Chicago gave that up for a washed up James Shields on a team that never had a chance to truly compete.

These are the types of decisions that should get people fired. Rick Hahn should resign just for this egregious trade. He doesn’t deserve a chance to see this rebuild through. If you had to start a franchise tomorrow, I’m not sure Tatis isn’t the first pick base on age and current production. He’s that good. Tatis Jr. might just be the most important building block for the Padres in the history of their franchise. He could have been a White Sox. Pure stupidity didn’t allow that to happen.

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