The 2016 MLB trade deadline is closing in fast, and there are a lot of teams looking to make moves. While some teams are looking to buy talent to compete for a World Series appearance, others know they are out of the picture and want to sell their talent. Other teams are still trying to figure out whether they want to sell or buy at the deadline.
One of those teams in limbo is the Chicago White Sox, although they seem to be interested in selling. At 50-50, the White Sox are just six games out of the Wild Card. It might be a mistake to trade away talent at this point with the playoffs still very much in sight.
According to a report from Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, the White Sox have made starting pitcher James Shields available in trade talks.
James Shields is available via trade, sources say, and #WhiteSox could capitalize on spike in value: 1.71 ERA over last six starts. @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 27, 2016
Shields has been performing to the best of his ability recently and is coming off of a dominant start against the Chicago Cubs last night. He pitched 7.2 innings of shutout baseball while allowing just four hits and striking out seven batters. There was an issue with the four walks that he issued, but he still kept one of the best teams off the scoreboard.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the White Sox find a trade partner for Shields if they truly want to move him. There are not a lot of quality starters on the trade market at this point, but Shields could be a perfect addition to a team destined for the postseason.
At 34-years-old, Shields still has control on his contract through at least two more seasons. If the White Sox can’t find a reasonable return for Shields, they would likely be happy to keep him throughout the rest of the MLB season and look at dealing him again when the offseason comes around.
There is no telling what the White Sox would want in return for Shields at this point in time. Chicago is also interested in trading superstar starting pitcher Chris Sale. Both of those pitchers are without question capable of taking a World Series contender to the next level.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to see which teams show interest in acquiring Shields.
Since June 23, opposing hitters are 0-for-31 with RISP against James Shields, including 0-3 tonight pic.twitter.com/sBdp7nwaXL
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 27, 2016
Evan Grant of Sports Day Dallas asked if Shields could be a fit for the Texas Rangers. They need some help in their rotation and have been mentioned as one of the teams that could look to acquire Sale. Shields would certainly be a cheaper option for the Rangers, but he wouldn’t make nearly the impact that Sale would.
All of that being said, it’s a sure thing that Shields is on the trade block. Chicago may not end up dealing him when everything is said and done, but they will certainly try to find a good deal. Shields won’t be a long-term piece of their rotation and his value is at a high right now due to his recent pitching.
Expect to hear plenty of rumors surrounding the White Sox as the deadline draws closer. They could choose to buy some talent if their winning streak continues as the deadline approaches. Shields is on the market right now, and teams should pursue him aggressively if they want him.
Don’t be surprised to hear rumors start popping up about teams being interested in acquiring Shields over the next couple days.
Do you think the Chicago White Sox should sell their talent despite still being in playoff contention? What teams do you think would be the best landing spots for Shields if the White Sox do deal him? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Nam Y. Huh/AP Images]