Reliever Alex Colome is just a few months into his tenure with the White Sox, who acquired him from the Mariners for catcher Omar Narvaez in November. The rebuilding White Sox are not in playoff contention, however, and the 30-year-old Colome looks like a valuable trade chip. As such, the team could flip him in advance of the July 31 deadline. While Colome told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago-Sun Times that he’d like to continue with the White Sox, he realizes a trade is a possibility.
“The [general managers] know their situations, they know what they need to do,” Colome said. “We’ll see what happens in the next month or month and a half.”
The right-handed Colome has been part of two trades in the past 12 months. We just passed the one-year anniversary of a May 25, 2018, deal that sent Colome from the Rays to the Mariners.
Regardless of which uniform he has donned, Colome has been a quality reliever throughout his career. Since he broke in with the Rays in 2013, Colome has totaled 265 appearances (246 out of the bullpen) and notched a 2.82 ERA/3.10 FIP with 9.22 K/9, 2.61 BB/9 and a 44.9 percent groundball rate in 258 2/3 relief innings.
Colome, who’s fresh off three seasons of 56 or more innings, has picked up 22 2/3 frames thus far with Chicago. He’s preventing runs at an excellent clip (1.59 ERA), dishing out fewer walks than ever (1.99 per nine), generating swings and misses at a career-best pace and yielding less contact than in previous seasons. Despite all those positives, regression toward Colome’s still-impressive 3.08 FIP appears inevitable.
Colome’s fly ball rate has increased by almost 22 percent since 2018 (from 29.6 to 50.9) at the expense of his groundball percentage, which has dipped from 46.2 to 35.8. Somehow, though, Colome has only yielded home runs on 7.4 percent of fly balls. That’s likely to change for the worse, while Colome’s batting average on balls in play against (.122) and strand rate (88.2) may also be in for reality checks. Likewise, the 136-point gap between Colome’s weighted on-base average/expected wOBA against (.183 versus .319) portends trouble.
Colome probably isn’t as dominant as his 2019 ERA indicates, but he’s still capable of helping a bullpen in multiple roles. He’s 11 of 11 on save chances this season, 106 for 125 in his career, and is just a year removed from piling up 30 holds. That late-game flexibility will appeal to contenders if Chicago makes Colome available in the next two months. His reasonable salary ($7.325MM) and one remaining year of arbitration control only add to his value.