Padres News: James Shields Has Opt-Out Clause In Contract


According to a Tweet from Fox Sports’ and MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal, newly-signed San Diego Padres‘ pitcher James Shields has an opt-out clause in his new deal with the team. Fox Sports acquired a copy of Shields’ new deal with the Friars, and it states that Shields can opt-out after the second year of the deal.

But as Rosenthal later tweets, Shields at that stage in his career, would be 35-years old, and if he opted out, would be walking away from $42 million guaranteed dollars, plus the option year as well as the $2 million dollar buy-out for his option year in 2019. It would be very unlikely that Shields would walk away from that kind of money however, as the market for 35-year old pitchers not named Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens isn’t nearly as fruitful as the market was this year for Shields, Jon Lester and Max Scherzer

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The only way I could see Shields walking away, perhaps, is if he continues to perform as the consistent level he has for the past eight years, stays healthy, and the Padres’ win-now mentality is tossed aside if things go horribly wrong. He might be able to snag a similar deal, perhaps for a little less money, to pitch for a team that needs one final arm to add to a World Series-caliber rotation. Shields stated during his press conference to make his deal official with the Padres, that the most important thing to him is to be a part of an organization that is prepared to win now, not years down the road.

The guaranteed four-year deal is ideal for Shields at age 33, because it guarantees a high return of salary entering what will most likely be the final years of his career. While Shields has been the model of consistency for the better part of the last decade, there is no guarantee that the wear and tear on his arm doesn’t begin to rear it’s ugly head at some point during this current deal that was just signed.

Shields joins the likes of Andrew Cashner (for now anyway), Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy to pose one of the most intimidating front-four rotations in all of baseball. The winner of the fifth and final spot, between Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow, could be one of the big power rotations in recent baseball history, 1-5. Health and consistency always is a factor, along with young talent on the verge of making their mark as well, with the likes of Casey Kelly, Matt Wisler, and Odrisamer Despaigne, not to mention Robbie Erlin.

Next: Shields Makes Padres Instant Contenders In NL West

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