James Shields: People in San Diego still thank me for Tatis trade
James Shields played a season-and-a-half with the San Diego Padres, winning 15 games and authoring a 4.00 ERA after signing a four-year, $75-million deal with the team in 2015.
While his performance was less than adequate for the Padres during his brief tenure with the club, the retired pitcher said San Diego still shows him love for a different reason.
"I walk around town sometimes, and people thank me for the trade," Shields said of being dealt to the Chicago White Sox for Fernando Tatis Jr. in 2016, according to The Athletic's Andy McCullough. "And I keep telling them: 'You've got to thank (A.J.) Preller for that one.'"
Shields was the centerpiece of a trade that saw Tatis and pitcher Erik Johnson head to San Diego. At the time, Tatis was a 17-year-old prospect who had never played professional baseball. He's since blossomed into one of MLB's brightest stars and a National League MVP candidate.
On Thursday, the 21-year-old hit two home runs against the St. Louis Cardinals to help the Padres erase a four-run deficit and keep their season alive in the process. Tatis followed his second homer with an emphatic bat flip.
Shields doesn't appear to hold any ill will toward the Padres for trading him, either. In fact, he's rooting for them to do well and feels somewhat responsible for their success.
"I'm stoked for the Padres," he said. "I got traded for two of their big boppers, so I'm pretty fired up about that one. My trade value was pretty decent."
Shields was also traded for Padres outfielder Wil Myers in a deal between the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals in 2012.
Like Tatis, Myers contributed two home runs in San Diego's win against St. Louis on Thursday.