Yes, the Padres traded James Shields for Fernando Tatis Jr in 2016. This was a midseason trade and James Shields ended 2016 with his career worst ERA (5.85), he had a 4-12 record with a 6.77 ERA with the White Sox in 2016.
Yesterday, Fernando Tatis Jr signed the 3rd biggest contract in the MLB today (only behind Mike Trout and Mookie Betts) with a value of $340 million over 14 years. Tatis is worth every penny of that contract but seeing this contract raises a question for me. Why did the White Sox trade the number 2 prospect at the time for a washed up James Shields who hasn’t played in the MLB since 2018? We may never know the answer to that question but it definitely will go down as one of the most lopsided trades in MLB history!
On the topic of lopsided trades, I would like to mention 3 trades in the past 20 years that will leave you questioning how certain general managers think when they are proposed a trade in the MLB.
- In 2012 the Mets traded RA Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas for Travis d’arnaud, Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Yes, RA Dickey was coming off of the 2012 CY Young season but they gave up Travis D’Arnaud who is arguably one of the top catchers today and Noah Syndergaard who is one of the top pitchers in the MLB today. RA Dickey’s ERA was never under 3.70 for the remainder of his career.
2. In 2008 the Blue Jays got Jose Bautista in a trade for a player to be named later (Robinzon Diaz).
Bautista hit 286 homeruns since the 2008 trade and Robinzon Diaz played in only 43 games and hit 1 homer for the Pirates after the 2008 trade.
3. Luis Castillo to the Reds for Dan Straily in 2016.
Luis Castillo is only 28 years old and has emerged as the ace (best starter) for the Reds, whereas Dan Straily’s last time pitching in the MLB was in 2019 where he went 2-4 with a 9.82 ERA.
To summarize; Fernando Tatis Jr will be a Padre for the next 14 years but the White Sox really missed out on something when trying to win now. MLB programs should trust their scouts and prospects and not “sell the farm” because that strategy RARELY works out!