SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres today announced that they have signed right-handed pitcher James Shields to a four-year Major League contract through the 2018 season with a club option for 2019. In order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster the club will make a corresponding move. Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller made the announcement.
Shields, 33, went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA (81 ER, 227.0 IP) and 180 strikeouts against 44 walks in 34 starts for the American League Champion Kansas City Royals in 2014. Since 2011, the right-hander leads Major League Baseball in innings pitched (932.2) and complete games (17), while posting the second-most shutouts (7) and third-most quality starts (96). He is the only pitcher in baseball to throw 225.0-or-more innings in each of the last four seasons. Over the last eight seasons, since 2007, his 1,785.2 innings pitched lead all Major League players. He is one of only three pitchers to work 200.0-or-more innings in each of the last eight seasons, joining Detroit's Justin Verlander and Toronto's Mark Buerhle. An American League All-Star in 2011, Shields has twice tied for the American League lead in games started (2013-14) and shutouts (2008, 2011), led the Majors in complete games once (2011), led the AL in innings once (2013) and also finished in the top three in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2011.
A native of Newhall, Calif., Shields originally signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a 16th-round selection in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft. Over parts of nine Major League seasons with the Rays (2006-12) and Kansas City Royals (2013-14), he has compiled a 114-90 record with a 3.72 ERA (790 ER, 1910.1 IP) and 1,626 strikeouts against 452 walks in 286 games, 285 starts. He was acquired by the Royals from the Rays as part of a seven-player trade in December 2012 in exchange for a package of players that included current Padres outfielder Wil Myers. Shields and his wife, Ryane, reside in Racho Santa Fe, Calif., with their two daughters.