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Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has built a perennial contender in the AL Central, but that doesn’t mean every trade he’s made has worked out.
Back in June of 2016, the White Sox had hopes of making the postseason perhaps before some pundits expected. Yet, they needed pitching, so Chicago made a trade with the San Diego Padres to reshape their rotation — or so they thought.
The White Sox acquired James Shields in a trade that sent star prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. back the other way. Tatis Jr. was well known, if anything due to his name more than his actual play, but he still had plenty of potential.
White Sox: James Shields was awful in the South Side
Shields went 16-35 with a 5.31 ERA in his two-plus seasons in Chicago. To say things didn’t work out would be putting it lightly.
So, how did the White Sox fix their pitching staff?
Well, thankfully Chicago didn’t deal many pitching prospects to San Diego in return for Shields. Lucas Giolito and Co. remained, or weren’t in the organization at the time.
Meanwhile, Tatis Jr. is now one of the faces of baseball, and surely would’ve done so in Chicago as well. With the White Sox, he would’ve played shortstop with Tim Anderson perhaps sliding over to second base. What an infield!
Trading Shields to the White Sox is the move that made A.J. Preller…A. J. Preller. The Padres general manager outsmarted Hahn and agreed to pay over half of Shields’ remaining salary to land a player like Tatis Jr.