Chicago Cubs: Exit Tyler Chatwood, enter … James Shields?

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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Chicago Cubs: Circling back to ‘Big Game James’?

Before you overreact more than I am, take a second to hear me out. Shields, a White Sox starting pitcher, will be dealt before the trade deadline. His best days might be behind him, but he would be an upgrade for the back of the Cubs’ rotation.

Shields, 36, is 3-9 with a 4.12 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) this season. He has 76 strikeouts and 45 walks in 113 2/3 innings, holding a 1.240 WHIP.

Chatwood is 3-5 with a 5.01 ERA in 16 games (all starts). He has 74 strikeouts and a whopping 70 walks in 79 innings to go along with a 1.780 WHIP.

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Recent results show the obvious

Shields has pitched quite well as of late, allowing three earned runs or less in nine of his last 10 starts. Even more impressive is the fact that he has pitched into the seventh inning or later in seven of those games.

Meanwhile, before Saturday, Chatwood had not pitched into the sixth inning since April 29, when he allowed no runs and two hits in seven innings. The Cubs are 8-8 in games Chatwood starts, but that has been more due to the team picking Chatwood up rather than vice versa.

Shields is making $21 million this season and has a $16 million team option for 2019. However, the White Sox are only paying him $10 million this season. The San Diego Padres, who traded Shields to the White Sox, are paying the remaining $11 million on his contract.