San Diego Padres newly acquired right-handed pitcher James Shields. Courtesy of Grantland.com
San Diego Padres newly acquired right-handed pitcher James Shields. Courtesy of Grantland.com

The San Diego Padres finally dealt pitcher James Shields, shipping the ace off to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday afternoon.

Shields had been suspected to be on the trading block since the beginning of the season, and the slow start for the Padres gave them more incentive to deal the pitcher away.

This specific deal with the White Sox appeared to materialize a week ago, with issues over Shields’ contract being the caveat of the negotiations.

In return, the Padres will receive pitcher Erik Johnson and infielder Fernando Tatis Jr., hailing from the Dominican Republic.

Johnson should be able to help immediately, as the 26-year-old has spent parts of the last four seasons with the White Sox.

This season he has gone 0-2 in two starts with a 6.92 ERA while striking out 11 batters and allowing five home runs.

Tatis Jr., who is 17, is the son of former MLB outfielder Fernando Tatis, who played 11 seasons, most recently with the New York Mets in 2010.

As part of the deal, the Padres will pay around $30 million of the remainder of Shields’ contract.

Shields is set to make $21 million in 2016, which is the second of a four-year, $75 million contract with a club option for 2019.

Shields can also opt out after this year, sending him into free agency for the second time in three years.

He has been somewhat of an underachiever with San Diego, going 2-7 with a 4.28 ERA in 11 starts this season, and being generally outperformed by newcomer Drew Pomeranz.

In 2015, Shields won 13 of his league-high 33 starts while posting a 3.98 ERA and 219 strikeouts in 202.1 innings.

This was following a string of four consecutive seasons with an ERA of 3.52 or less and pitching 227 innings or more.

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