October 29, 2018 / 10:01 PM / 9 months ago

White Sox decline 2019 option on veteran RHP Shields

FILE PHOTO: Jun 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher James Shields (25) reacts after giving up a three-run home run to Cleveland Indians designated hitter Mike Napoli (not pictured) during the first inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images/File Photo (TAGS: Sport Baseball MLB) *** Local Caption *** 2016-06-18T225905Z_1565218904_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-CHICAGO-WHITE-SOX-AT-CLEVELAND-INDIANS.JPG

The Chicago White Sox on Monday declined to pick up right-hander James Shields’ $16 million option for 2019, instead exercising a $2 million buyout that makes him a free agent.

Shields, who turns 37 in December, was 7-16 with a 4.53 ERA in 34 games in 2018 and tied for third in the American League with 204 2/3 innings pitched.

Acquired in a June 2016 trade with San Diego — a deal that sent elite prospect Fernando Tatis Jr., then 17 years old, to the Padres — Shields started 76 games in three seasons with the White Sox and compiled a 16-35 record with a 5.31 ERA.

Shields was an All-Star and placed third in the Cy Young Award voting in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Rays, when he went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA, 11 complete games, four shutouts and 225 strikeouts.

Also Monday, the White Sox picked up their 2019 option on right-handed reliever Nate Jones for $4.65 million.

Jones, 32, was 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA, five saves and 32 strikeouts in 33 bullpen appearances in 2018, his seventh season with Chicago. He missed more than two months last season with a muscle strain in his right arm.

The White Sox also reinstated right-hander Michael Kopech from the 60-disabled list.

—Field Level Media

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