James Shields is another player past his prime on this list, but the cream of the crop usually isn’t available in these kinds of trades. In 23 outings this year, Shields has a 4-12 record, 4.53 ERA, 4.62 fielding-independent pitching, and 1.96 strikeout-to-walk ratio. On the brighter side, it’s his best season since 2015.
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Shields isn’t the kind of starter you pay big for in terms of prospects, even though the White Sox will try to get as many as they can in a deal. Add in the fact that this is the last guaranteed year of his contract, and you have a textbook rental player. Shields would be a good option if someone in the rotation gets hurt or their performance completely falls off a cliff in the next month.
If nothing else, Shields would provide innings every fifth day at the point of the season where they are in high demand. He could shift to the bullpen in the playoffs and be serviceable there. Shields could even be in the bullpen during September as the Phillies don’t have a true long man there currently.
There aren’t any top-tier starters on the block this time around, but Shields is one of the better options that could potentially be available.