The San Diego Padres have made their splashiest acquisition of a busy off-season, as they have agreed to terms with free agent pitcher James Shields. The news was reported by Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, via Twitter. The deal is pending a physical.
While the monetary terms have not been finalized, the deal is expected to be worth at least $72 million. The deal is also expected to include a fifth-year option.
Shields, 33, is coming off of a very successful 2014 campaign with the American League champion Kansas City Royals. He started 34 games for Kansas City and posted a 14-8 record, with a 3.21 ERA in 227 innings. Shields is one of baseball’s most consistent workhorses, as he has thrown 200 innings or more every season since 2007. Shields has also started at least 33 games in every season since 2008.
The Padres focused on fixing a punchless lineup this off-season, but the Shields signing is the first big splash on the pitching side. The Friars signed Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson to incentive-laden deals, but the Shields addition gives San Diego one of the most consistent starters in the game.
The acquisition of Shields will also push the Padres payroll past $100 million for the first time in franchise history. Shields will headline a talented rotation that already includes All-Star Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy. Suffice to say, San Diego will be a team to watch in 2015.