James Shields was this close to jumping ahead of Comcast customer service on the “longest wait” rankings. He avoided the number one spot last night, when Chris Cotillo of SB Nation announced that RHP Shields and the San Diego Padres had agreed to a four-year deal worth between $72m-78m.

Shields will take over the role of the ace in San Diego and provide a veteran presence in a young clubhouse. He’ll also add reliability; the workhorse has pitched above 200 innings every season since 2007.

Last season, the Royals flourished while James Shields kept up with his usual performance – this past season, the righty went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA.

While the Giants, Blue Jays, Yankees, Diamondbacks and even the Cubs were thrown around as possible destinations, Shields apparently liked the idea of pitching in Petco Park according to reports.

And who wouldn’t? The pitcher-friendly ballpark is also home to Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross – plus a new, talented young core.

Shields started his career with the Tampa Bay Rays and was dealt to the Royals for Wil Myers (who he is now teammates with). Over his career, he is 114-90 with a 3.72 ERA.

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