SAN DIEGO (AP) - Right-hander James Shields finalized his $75 million, four-year contract with the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, the biggest free-agent deal in club history. Shields was to be introduced Wednesday at a news conference at Petco Park.
Shields helped Kansas City reach the World Series last season but declined a $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Royals.
He's the latest addition by first-year general manager A.J. Preller, who in December acquired sluggers Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers, as well as Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks.
The $75 million for Shields matches the $75 million the Padres owe Kemp during the next five years as the biggest outlay to one player in team history. The Dodgers will pay $32 million of the remaining $107 million on Kemp's contract.
Before the Kemp trade and Shields signing, the previous-biggest deal in Padres history was the $52 million, three-year extension they gave Jake Peavy after he won the 2007 NL Cy Young Award. The Padres never paid a penny of that deal, however, because Peavy was traded to the Chicago White Sox in July 2009, a season before the extension kicked in.
Shields projects to lead a rotation that also includes Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy. Several players will compete for the No. 5 spot during spring training.
The deal includes an option for 2019.
Shields was traded from Tampa Bay to Kansas City two years ago in a deal in which Myers, then the Royals' top prospect, was acquired by the
An All-Star in 2011, Shields is 114-90 with a 3.72 ERA in nine seasons.
Shields was 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA last season. He lost both of his World Series starts against San Francisco, outdueled each time by Madison Bumgarner.
By signing Shields, the Padres lose their first-round pick, 13th overall, in June's amateur draft. The Royals get an extra pick after the first round.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Padres designated right-hander Aaron Northcraft for assignment.