Category Archives: Chicago White Sox

White Sox trade Cabrera to the Royals

The Chicago White Sox traded yet another key veteran player as they sent outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for minor league pitchers A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis.

 

White Sox analysis/grade:

Melky Cabrera was one of the most productive players in the White Sox lineup this season, but Chicago made the right decision to trade him since he is about to turn 33 years old and he is going to be a free agent after the season. The White Sox added a couple of good young pitching prospects in this deal. The most notable prospect that the White Sox received in this deal is right-handed pitcher A.J. Puckett who was a 2nd round pick in 2016 by the Royals. Puckett hasn’t been very dominant in the minor leagues as he only has a 3.83 career ERA in 33 starts. He has struggled with his consistency at times and he walks a lot of batters. However, he he has a good fastball and a good change-up which should make him a successful starting pitcher. The White Sox will need to develop Puckett some more, but in a few years he should be ready to make an impact at the MLB level. The other prospect that the White Sox received in this trade is left-handed starting pitcher Andre Davis who was an 8th round pick by the Royals in 2015. Davis is a hard-thrower as he can throw mid-90’s consistently and that is likely why the White Sox are taking a chance on him. However, Davis is still a very raw pitcher as he struggles with his command at times and his 5.06 career ERA in the minor leagues isn’t very appealing. Davis is a starting pitcher right now, but ultimately the White Sox will probably have him to the bullpen because of his ability to throw hard. Chicago is getting two pitchers with very big potential and it is a good return for a player that they weren’t going to re-sign this offseason anyway.

Grade: B+

 

Royals analysis/grade:

The Royals are officially all in to try and make the playoffs this season before they have many key players that could leave in free agency. Cabrera is scheduled to be a free agent after this season, so he is basically a rental player for the Royals. However, Cabrera fills a big need for Kansas City in right field as they haven’t gotten much production out of that position this season. Cabrera doesn’t hit too many home runs, but he is a very underrated consistent hitter. He always seems to hit for a high average including this season when he hit .295 for the White Sox to go with 13 home runs and 56 RBI’s. Cabrera makes the Royals lineup pretty much complete as he adds just another dangerous hitter in the middle of their lineup. We’ll see how much of an impact Cabrera makes for the Royals as they chase a postseason spot this season, but he is probably an upgrade over Jorge Bonifacio in right field. My only concern with this trade is that the Royals gave up 2 pitching prospects with a high upside for a player who will likely only be with the team for a few months. This trade benefits the Royals immediately, but they might regret giving up Puckett and Davis in the future.

Grade: C+

melky cabrera

 

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White Sox trade Dan Jennings to the Rays

The Chicago White Sox continued trading away their veteran players as they sent relief pitcher Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for 1st baseman prospect Casey Gillaspie.

 

White Sox analysis/grade:

The White Sox have recently traded away most of the quality relief pitchers that they have and they continued that trend by sending left-handed reliever Dan Jennings to the Rays. Chicago didn’t really have to trade Jennings since he is under team control through the 2019 season at a very inexpensive price. However, the White Sox received a very good prospect in return and it was a deal that they just couldn’t pass up. The White Sox acquired 24-year old 1st baseman Casey Gillaspie who was the Rays 10th ranked prospect according to MLB.com. Gillaspie was drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 draft by the Rays mostly because of his offensive abilities especially with the above average power that he possesses. However, Gillaspie has struggled this season in Triple-A for the Rays as he is hitting only .227 with 9 home runs. Gillaspie is still a good hitter, but for whatever reason he is just not having a good season in 2017. If Gillaspie can continue to improve then he could make it to the major leagues very soon probably as a designated hitter for the White Sox since they already have Jose Abreu at 1st base. Gillaspie has the chance to be a very good starter for Chicago if he can overcome the hitting struggles that he has faced in Triple-A this year. Dan Jennings was a good pitcher for Chicago, but Gillaspie is a very good prospect and this could turn out to be a very good trade for the White Sox.

Grade: B+

 

Rays analysis/grade:

The Rays bullpen has been the weakness of their team this season and they especially have been searching for a good left-handed relief pitcher. That is why they acquired veteran left-handed pitcher Dan Jennings from the White Sox. Jennings was good for the White Sox this season as he had a 3.45 ERA, but he was particularly effective against left-handed batters as they only have a .169 average against him in 2017. Jennings is under team control through the 2019 season, so he will likely be a key part of the Rays bullpen for a couple of years. However, Tampa Bay gave up a very good prospect in order to acquire Jennings as they traded away their 10th ranked prospect Casey Gillaspie. There is no doubt that this trade should make the Rays bullpen much better, but the Rays probably gave up too much to get him.

Grade: C+

dan jennings

White Sox trade Swarzak to the Brewers

The Chicago White Sox continued selling their veteran players just prior to the trade deadline as they sent relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor league center fielder Ryan Cordell.

 

White Sox analysis/grade:

This is a great trade for the White Sox as they signed Swarzak to a minor league contract in January and now they are trading him away for a quality prospect. Swarzak is going to be a free agent after the season, so the White Sox wouldn’t have re-signed him anyway. Chicago is also getting a good young outfielder in this trade as they acquired 25-year old outfielder Ryan Cordell who was an 11th round pick in 2013 by Texas. Cordell has been very impressive during his 5 minor league seasons as he is hitting .276 with 65 career home runs and 272 RBI’s. Cordell is in Triple-A this season and he has been really good at that level as he is hitting .284 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI’s. Cordell has good power and he is a good offensive player overall as evidenced by his impressive minor league stats. He also has good speed and he has above average arm strength for an outfielder, but the only thing that he could work on is that he strikes out too much. Cordell doesn’t have an elite skill in any area, but he is a good all-around player as he is able to do a variety of things well. Cordell projects very well as a good 4th outfielder for the White Sox and he is very close to making it to the MLB level as he could make his debut next season. The White Sox are getting a quality young outfielder that they can use for several years and that is a really good return considering that Swarzak didn’t have any trade value prior to this season.

Grade: A

 

Brewers analysis/grade:

The Milwaukee Brewers are shockingly in the middle of the playoff race in the national league, but they should still be building for the future instead of trading young prospects away. Swarzak is having a surprisingly good season as he had a 2.23 ERA coming out of the bullpen for the White Sox. However, Swarzak is just basically a rental player for Milwaukee as Swarzak is scheduled to be a free agent after the season. The Brewers are also giving up a prospect that has been dominant in the minor leagues so far. Milwaukee probably won’t make the playoffs this season and this trade isn’t one that will make much of a difference. The Brewers don’t need to sell their veteran players right now, but they certainly shouldn’t hurt their rebuilding process by trading young prospects away. The Brewers will probably look back at this trade in a few years and wonder why they thought it would be a good idea to trade a good young prospect for a relief pitcher that was signed as a minor league free agent not too long ago. It is difficult to see the logic of this trade for the Brewers and the Brewers gave up too much for Swarzak as well.

Grade: D

anthony swarzak

Todd Frazier and David Robertson traded to the Yankees

The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox pulled off a major blockbuster trade on Tuesday as the White Sox sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees in exchange for Tyler Clippard, Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, and Tito Polo.

 

Yankees analysis/grade:

This is a good trade for the Yankees specifically with the acquisition of 3rd baseman Todd Frazier. The Yankees now have one of the deepest lineups in the MLB and this move will allow the Yankees to move Chase Headley from 3rd base to 1st base since that position has had terrible production this season. Frazier is only hitting .206 this season, but he is still a good power hitter as he has 16 home runs. Also, Frazier is still a solid defensive player at 3rd base and he is the type of player that will help the Yankees out in a variety of ways. The Yankees also made major upgrades to their bullpen in this trade by acquiring relief pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. Robertson was the closer for the White Sox this season and he did well in that role as he had a 2.70 ERA and 13 saves. However, he won’t be the closer for the Yankees as New York has Aroldis Chapman as their closer and they also have quality setup man Dellin Betances in their bullpen. Robertson will likely be the 8th inning guy for New York and he will make their bullpen elite as the team now has 3 terrific late-inning options. Tommy Kahnle will add even more to the Yankees bullpen as he had a 2.43 ERA this season for the White Sox. Kahnle is an outstanding middle relief option for the Yankees and he will help add some quality depth to the bullpen. The Yankees did give up 2016 1st round pick Blake Rutherford and quality pitching prospect Ian Clarkin. However, this is a trade that makes the Yankees better immediately and it was a good trade for New York to try and make a push for a playoff spot.

Grade: A

 

White Sox analysis/grade:

It probably wasn’t easy for the White Sox to trade away all-star caliber players Todd Frazier and David Robertson. However, it was a deal that they had to make as they look to rebuild their roster and compete in a couple of years. Frazier was a free agent after the season and the team would have lost him for nothing. Also, Robertson is a free agent after the 2018 season and he is already 32 years old, so it wouldn’t make much sense to keep him around. Meanwhile, the White Sox are getting 3 good young prospects in this deal including outfielder Blake Rutherford who was the Yankees 1st round pick in 2016. Rutherford is a good all-around player as he is a solid defender and he also is an above average hitter. He has hit .302 so far in 104 career minor league games, but don’t expect much power from him as he only has 5 career home runs. If he can ever develop more power then he could be a very good MLB starter. Either way, he is still a good hitter and fielder which means he projects well as a decent starting outfielder at the MLB level. The White Sox also acquired another talented young prospect with left-handed starting pitcher Ian Clarkin who was a 1st round pick of the Yankees in 2013. Clarkin was the 19th best prospect in the Yankees minor league system according to MLB.com. He hasn’t made it past Class A yet in his career despite being 22 years old. However, injuries have stalled his career a little bit as he missed the entire 2015 season with elbow inflammation and he missed some of last season after having knee surgery. Clarkin has a good 3.19 ERA so far in his minor league career and he should continue to move up the White Sox minor league system as long as he can stay healthy. Chicago also acquired another interesting prospect with 22-year old outfielder Tito Polo who was signed originally by Pittsburgh in 2012. Polo has since continued to impress since being traded to the Yankees in 2016 as he hit .302 with 12 home runs for the Yankees High-A team. He recently was promoted to Double-A and he has been even better at that level as he is hitting .382 with 17 RBI’s in just 14 games. Polo isn’t a highly ranked prospect, but if he can continue to hit like he has the past couple of years then he might make it to the MLB in a couple of years. Finally, Chicago also received one major league player in this trade as they acquired Tyler Clippard from the Yankees. Clippard has been terrible this season as he has a 4.95 ERA, but he is expected to be the White Sox new closer for the rest of the season after the team traded away David Robertson in this deal. Clippard is just a temporary solution for the White Sox in their bullpen as he is a free agent after the season and the team likely won’t re-sign him since he turns 33 years old prior to next season. This is a good trade for the White Sox as they are continuing their fast rebuild by acquiring 3 quality young prospects.

Grade: A

todd frazier

Season Outlook: Chicago White Sox

Projected 2017 Starting Lineup:

  1. Tim Anderson – Shortstop
  2. Brett Lawrie – 2nd baseman
  3. Melky Cabrera – Left Fielder
  4. Jose Abreu – 1st baseman
  5. Todd Frazier – 3rd baseman
  6. Avisail Garcia – Right Fielder
  7. Cody Asche – Designated Hitter
  8. Geovany Soto – Catcher
  9. Charlie Tilson – Center Fielder

Projected 2017 Starting Rotation:

  1. Jose Quintana
  2. Miguel Gonzalez
  3. Carlos Rodon
  4. James Shields
  5. Derek Holland

Season Outlook:

The rebuilding is finally underway for the Chicago White Sox after they traded star pitcher Chris Sale and starting center fielder Adam Eaton this offseason. Chicago made their team worse for 2017, but they acquired some outstanding young prospects that will help them long-term. Jose Abreu will carry the offense for the most part and he is probably the future of the franchise for the White Sox. However, he isn’t the only good offensive player for the White Sox as they still have Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera in the middle of their lineup. Chicago has big needs at a few spots in their lineup like at shortstop, catcher, designated hitter, and center fielder. However, if Abreu, Frazier, and Cabrera don’t produce consistently then their offense could be terrible. Chicago’s starting rotation obviously isn’t as good after they traded Chris Sale. However, Jose Quintana is still a very good starting pitcher and the starting rotation looks average overall. James Shields, Carlos Rodon, and Derek Holland all could be good starting pitchers, but they just can’t be counted on to be consistent. Chicago’s bullpen doesn’t look great except for closer David Robertson and I bet that he will be traded at some point this season. Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, and James Shields could also be traded in 2017 and that would make this team really terrible. The White Sox starting rotation seems like their best hope to be able to compete in 2017, but it is still highly unlikely as they have a clear direction to rebuild now.

Prediction: 4th place in the AL Central

jose-abreu

Biggest need remaining for every AL Central team

Chicago White Sox – Biggest need: Centerfielder

This team has needs all over the place especially after trading away Adam Eaton and Chris Sale this offseason. However, the centerfield position seems to be a complete mystery for the White Sox heading into 2017. Adam Eaton was supposed to be in that role, but now that he was traded away then the team doesn’t have much left. Charles Tilson and Leury Garcia will compete for the starting job, but neither player has much MLB experience. Tilson has only 2 at-bats at the MLB level and Garcia has had a little more experience, but he is a career .188 hitter in 308 at-bats. Tilson figures to be the starter as of right now, although it would be smart for the White Sox to bring in a more experienced centerfielder as a temporary solution.

Cleveland Indians – Biggest need: Centerfielder

Cleveland doesn’t seem to be interested in re-signing last year’s starter in centerfield Rajai Davis, so it likely means the team will have a new starter at that position in 2017. Tyler Naquin is projected to be the team’s starting centerfielder, but he hit only .174 in 23 at-bats for Cleveland last season. The Indians should probably bring in some more depth at the position because who knows how well Naquin will perform as the everyday centerfielder.

Detroit Tigers – Biggest need: Centerfielder

The Tigers traded away Cameron Maybin who was the starter in centerfield for the team last season. However, the issue is that the team hasn’t found a decent replacement for Maybin as they are projected to have the inexperienced JaCoby Jones as the starter in 2017. Jones only has 28 career at-bats and he has only hit .214, so it is a complete unknown as to how well he’ll play at that position. The team also has Tyler Collins and Anthony Gose as options in centerfield, but neither of those guys is exciting.

Kansas City Royals – Biggest need: 2nd base

The Royals have 3 young players that could win the starting 2nd base job for the Royals in 2017, but none of the players are great options. Whit Merrifield will probably be the starter at 2nd base, but he only has one career season of experience as he hit .283 with 2 home runs. Christian Colon and Raul Mondesi both have more experience than Merrifield, but Mondesi is just a .185 career hitter and Colon is a .268 career hitter. Kansas City should at least add a veteran 2nd baseman in order to compete with Merrifield.

Minnesota Twins – Biggest need: Centerfielder

It wasn’t too long ago that centerfielder Byron Buxton was the top prospect in all of the MLB, but he has struggled tremendously to start his career. Buxton had 10 home runs with a .225 average last season for the Twins and the team is hoping that he can develop some more in 2017. Buxton can make remarkable defensive plays at times in centerfield, but it doesn’t matter much if he can’t produce consistently on offense. Danny Santana is a decent backup, but he isn’t nearly as talented as Buxton is. The Twins should sign a veteran centerfielder just in case Buxton struggles again in 2017.

White Sox sign Holland to a 1-year deal

The Chicago White Sox completed their starting rotation as they signed left-handed pitcher Derek Holland to a 1-year/$6 million deal. Holland fills the rotation spot that became available once the White Sox traded Chris Sale to the Red Sox. Holland is not nearly the pitcher that Chris Sale is, but Holland provides at least a temporary solution for the White Sox. The White Sox are clearly not willing to pay a big long-term contract for a pitcher as they will be a rebuilding team in 2017. Holland will at least help provide some depth to the White Sox rotation and he might even give them an opportunity to be a decent team if he performs well. Chicago now has a very respectable rotation at least for next season as they still have Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, and James Shields at the top of their rotation. Holland didn’t have a great year for the Rangers last season as he went 7-9 with a 4.95 ERA, but he won’t be expected to do too much in 2017 for Chicago as the 5th starter in their rotation. Holland just needs to pitch a lot of innings and if he can pitch like he did with the Rangers in 2013 when he had a 3.42 ERA then this could be a really good deal for Chicago. Either way, the White Sox aren’t expecting to contend next season and if Holland can provide at least average pitching then it is a good deal for Chicago.

Grade: B+

derek-holland