MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports that the White Sox have declined James Shields‘ 2019 club option worth $16 million. They will instead pay Shields $2 million to buy him out of the remainder of his contract. Shields is now a free agent.
Shields, who turns 37 years old in December, is coming off another disappointing season with the White Sox. He led the majors with 16 losses, compiling a 4.53 ERA with a 154/78 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. His White Sox tenture overall saw him go 16-35 with a 5.31 ERA and a 335/186 K/BB ratio in 436 innings.
Shields will likely have to settle for a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training if he wishes to continue his career.