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