6:40pm: The White Sox announced the trade, adding that they’re also sending a player to be named later or cash to the Red Sox as part of the swap.
6:11pm: The White Sox are trading catcher Reese McGuire to the Red Sox, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN. Robert Murray of FanSided reports that veteran left-handed reliever Jake Diekman is headed to Chicago in the deal.
McGuire, 27, will give Boston an immediate option to take some of the playing time vacated by this evening’s trade of Christian Vazquez to the Astros. While McGuire has never managed to string together much consistency in the big leagues, he’s a former top prospect with an additional three seasons of club control remaining beyond the current year. He’s hitting just .225/.261/.285 on the season but has outstanding defensive marks on the year: +7 Defensive Runs Saved, a 31% caught-stealing rate and positive pitch-framing grades from both FanGraphs and Statcast.
McGuire is out of minor league options, so the acquisition suggests that the Red Sox plan on carrying him on the big league roster for the foreseeable future. With Vazquez now in Houston and Kevin Plawecki set to become a free agent following the season, McGuire will at least give the Sox a defensive-minded option to be a backup next year. Prospects Ronaldo Hernandez and Connor Wong give the Sox some in-house options to step up in 2023 (and perhaps down the stretch this year), but the front office could also look at ways to upgrade behind the dish in the offseason (or, potentially, with further trades in the next 22 hours).
The 35-year-old Diekman, meanwhile, will give Chicago a veteran left-handed option the front office was rumored to be seeking. He’s having a somewhat typical season by his standards, missing plenty of bats but also walking far too many hitters. Command has always been an issue for Diekman, who currently has a 4.23 ERA with a 29.8% strikeout rate but the worst walk rate of any qualified reliever in the Majors (17.5%).
Despite the deluge of free passes, Diekman will add a hard-throwing, swing-and-miss southpaw to the late-inning mix for manager Tony La Russa. He’s playing on a two-year, $8MM contract that spans the 2022-23 seasons and carries a $4MM club option for the 2024 campaign. As such, the ChiSox can count Diekman among their late-inning options at least for one more season and perhaps for two, depending on how he fares over the next 14 months.
The White Sox have been without lefty Aaron Bummer for most of the summer thanks to a strained lat, and touted young lefty Garrett Crochet underwent Tommy John surgery early in the season. That led general manager Rick Hahn and his staff to target some additional lefty help in the bullpen. Tanner Banks, a 30-year-old rookie, had previously been La Russa’s only other southpaw option out of the ’pen. Triple-A lefties Anderson Severino and Bennett Sousa are both on the 40-man roster, but each has been hit quite hard this season in limited MLB work.