Shields remains focused on continuing his playing career and recently completed throwing sessions in front of representatives from the Tigers, Indians and Rangers, Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Network reports. With 30-plus starts in all but one season since 2007, Shields could have some appeal to clubs as experienced, durable rotation depth, but that's about all he has working in his favor at this stage of his career. The 37-year-old hasn't posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and has seen his strikeout rate fall precipitously along with his velocity over the subsequent three years. Unless it's reported that he's added a few ticks to his heater in his workouts, there's little reason to be bullish about Shields' prospects should he resurface in the big leagues at any point in 2019.
The White Sox declined Shields' $16 million option for 2019, making him a free agent. As expected, the White Sox opted to exercise their $2 million buyout of the veteran right-hander, who posted a 4.53 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 154:78 K:BB across 204.2 innings. Shields' prior major-league experience should help him find work elsewhere, though his days as a reliable fantasy asset appear to be behind him.
Shields allowed four runs on six hits and four walks while striking out six over six innings in a no-decision Tuesday against the Indians. Shields was on the hook for a loss, but his teammates picked him up with a three-run ninth inning to pull out a 5-4 win. The outing pushed Shields to 204.2 innings for the season, the 10th 200-inning season for the 36-year-old. He finishes the season 7-16 with a 4.53 ERA, which is an improvement on the combined 5.60 ERA he posted over the previous two seasons. He enters the offseason as a free agent.
Shields pitched six innings Thursday, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks in the win over Cleveland. He struck out one and gave up two home runs in the no-decision. Despite allowing just two runs, it definitely wasn't a great start for Shields, allowing two homers for the third straight outing. On the bright side, he did avoid what would have been his 17th loss on the season. He'll carry a 4.48 ERA into a rematch with Cleveland on Tuesday.
Shields (7-16) allowed two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out five over six innings Friday, securing the victory against the Orioles. Shields gave up two solo home runs on the day, both to Trey Mancini, but he exited the ballgame with a 7-2 lead. Shields managed to bounce back from a rough start his last time out, in which he surrendered six runs and took the loss Saturday versus the Angels. He'll carry a 4.53 ERA and 1.30 WHIP with 147 strikeouts into his next outing Thursday against Cleveland.
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