Fox Sports mysteriously got their hands on a copy of James Shields' contract. Who knows how this sort of thing happens, but it's all part of the baseball's seedy underworld of clandestine deals and opium dens.
Ken Rosenthal reports on his Twitter that Shields can opt out of his $75 million deal after just two years.
Shields can opt out of his four-year, $75M deal with Padres after two years, according to a copy of his contract obtained by Fox Sports.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 13, 2015
It's not something he'd likely do though because he'd lose out on butt loads of money.
If Shields opted out, he would forfeit his $21M salaries in both 2017 and ’18 as well as a $2M buyout on his $16M option for 2019.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 13, 2015
So $21 million x 2 + $2 million = $44 million
More on Shields: He would be opting out of #Padres deal at age 35 and forfeiting two years, $42M, plus a $2M buyout. Unlikely.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 13, 2015
And as Rothenthal states he'd be crazy to give up that kinda guaranteed money at the age of 35. Still it could happen.
Wonko made an interesting point that I hadn't thought about. He mentioned that it's kind of acts like a de facto no-trade clause because if he gets traded to a team he doesn't like (or if it turns out he doesn't like the Padres), he can opt out.