- First baseman Jose Abreu is “likely” to be the next player the White Sox trade, Cafardo writes. Even though the White Sox are rebuilding, they’ve continued to hold on to the 31-year-old Abreu, in part because he has emerged as a key mentor to their young players. Abreu would figure to garner interest from contenders, though, considering he’s having another big offensive season (.294/.366/.518 with eight HRs in 183 plate appearances) and under wraps through 2019.
White Sox Rumors
White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia likely won’t return to game action until the end of June, the team announced. Garcia, who has been out since April 24 with a strained right hamstring, underwent an MRI “that revealed improvement but the continued presence of a grade 2 strain,” per the club. On the heels of a terrific 2017, Garcia looked like a potential trade chip entering this season. However, between Garcia’s lengthy absence and the fact that he opened 2018 with a .233/.250/.315 line and no walks in 76 pre-injury plate appearances, his trade value has likely taken a sizable hit this year.
White Sox outfielder Nicky Delmonico has been diagnosed with a fracture to the third metacarpal on his right hand, the club announced. Additionally, the team has elected to option righty Carson Fulmer after another rough outing tonight, as James Fegan of The Athletic was among those to tweet.
Delmonico is expected to miss approximately four to six weeks of action. The 25-year-old had turned in quite a promising debut effort in 2017. But he was struggling along with most of the rest of his team in the current campaign. Through 133 plate appearances, he carries only a .226/.331/.304 slash with 133 plate appearances.
That’ll put the organization’s outfield depth to the test, with Avisail Garcia already sidelined. Daniel Palka and Trayce Thompson could function in a platoon. The other options on the 40-man roster are Charlie Tilson and Ryan Cordell, though neither has hit well at all this year at Triple-A.
As for Fulmer, his outing today — which included eight earned runs and five walks in two innings — was just the latest sign of trouble. The former first-round pick has now allowed 29 earned runs with an unsightly 29:24 K/BB ratio in 32 1/3 innings on the year. He’s allowing home runs in bunches and generating a mediocre 6.7% swinging-strike rate, so there’s really not much in the way of positives at this point. Of course, he’s still just 24 years of age, so the Sox will hope he can still tap into his promise after some time at Triple-A.
- The White Sox are going through some predictable growing pains, but as Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune writes, righty Reynaldo Lopez has certainly been effective to this point. Lopez carries a 2.44 ERA through 44 1/3 innings, which is a nice development for a 24-year-old hurler who has long shown promise — but who has also faced questions as to whether he’d ultimately end up in a bullpen role. Of course, it’s worth withholding judgment on his long-term outlook. While Lopez may well end up being the South Siders’ All-Star representative, his good results have not been supported by the underlying numbers. Lopez has been exceedingly fortunate on batted balls (.372 xwOBA vs. .280 wOBA; .202 BABIP) and has not excelled in terms of strikeouts (6.3 K/9), walks (3.9 BB/9), home runs (1.22 HR/9) or groundballs (30.0%). Perhaps he’ll find a way to continue capitalizing on his talent, but it seems Lopez will need to make adjustments to maintain anything approaching his current output.
Even though the White Sox own the majors’ worst record (9-26), first baseman Jose Abreu tells Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he supports Chicago’s rebuilding effort and would like to remain with the team for the rest of his career. “Of course, there is not any doubt about it,” the 31-year-old said through an interpreter. “My mom and dad, they taught me to always be grateful, and I’m really grateful for this organization because of all the things they have done for me and the opportunities they gave me.” The White Sox are the only major league franchise Abreu has known since emigrating from Cuba in 2013 for a six-year, $68MM guarantee. Since then, not only has Abreu delivered positive on-field results for the Sox, but he has emerged as a key leader for the young team, according to vice president Ken Williams. “He’s like having an extra coach on hand,” said Williams. “I cannot overstate the quality person that he is. I hope he really hears and understands how we feel about him.” If the White Sox continue to elect against trading Abreu, they’ll soon have a decision to make on whether to extend him. Although Abreu only has one more year of arbitration eligibility left after the current season, Merkin suggests there haven’t been contract talks between him and the club.
The White Sox have signed free-agent second baseman Johnny Giavotella, according to an announcement from Birmingham, their Double-A affiliate. Giavotella will begin his White Sox tenure in Birmingham.
The 30-year-old Giavotella had been available since the Marlins released him May 3, which came after he batted .214/.389/.250 in 36 plate appearances with their Triple-A team. He also spent nearly all of last season at Triple-A (with the Orioles’ affiliate), where he hit a solid .306/.368/.441 in 379 PAs.
While Giavotella hasn’t been a factor in the majors lately, he did see extensive action at times with the Royals and Angels from 2011-16. In all, the righty-swinger has taken 1,344 trips to the plate at the game’s highest level and hit .255/.294/.359.
With his new organization, Giavotella will begin as minors depth for a club missing its star second baseman, Yoan Moncada, who landed on the disabled list last weekend on account of hamstring tightness. The White Sox have since turned to Jose Rondon, Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez at the keystone.
- Right-hander Jorge Rondon was released from the White Sox’ Double-A affiliate in Birmingham, per the Southern League transactions log. The 30-year-old Rondon tossed 19 innings in the Majors between the Pirates, Cardinals, Rockies and Orioles from 2014-16, though he struggled at each stop and allowed 28 runs with a 13-to-11 K/BB ratio in just 19 innings at the game’s top level. Rondon has a career 2.81 ERA in 263 innings at the Triple-A level, but he’s never missed all that many bats (6.8 K/9 in AAA) and was off to a fairly pedestrian start to his 2018 campaign (14-to-8 K/BB ratio, 13 hits allowed, 4.85 ERA in 13 innings).
White Sox prospect Jake Burger has re-torn his Achilles tendon, GM Rick Hahn tells reporters including Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter links). The recent first-round pick was rehabbing a prior tear that occurred in late February.
Burger was already down for the year, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a significant new development in its own right. He will now have to start over in his rehab after undergoing a second surgical replacement. With a full-year absence required, that means there’s little hope that Burger will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.
Clearly, the 22-year-old was not going to be a part of the immediate plans for the Chicago organization even before the initial injury. But the successive procedures don’t exactly help his long-term outlook, though at this point there’s no reason to believe he can’t get back to full health.
The White Sox will ultimately have to wait quite a bit longer than originally anticipated to see a contribution from Burger, the 11th overall pick last summer out of Missouri State. He hit at a .263/.336/.412 rate in his 217 innings in the low minors last year, so clearly was still in need of significant seasoning. Now, he’ll need to work through quite a lengthy rehab process before re-starting his march toward the majors.
- MLB.com’s Scott Merkin tackles several White Sox questions in his latest reader inbox, kicking off by discussing Adam Engel’s spot with the club moving forward. Per Merkin, the organization believes that Engel’s blistering speed gives him the potential for elite range in center field, but GM Rick Hahn has also been “forthright” in stating that the 26-year-old will need to produce more at the plate if he is to have any sort of long-term role with the team. The ChiSox have given Engel 423 plate appearances dating back to Opening Day 2017, but he’s posted a miserable .167/.237/.271 slash with a 33 percent strikeout rate in that time.
May 8: The Mets have been trying to add a catcher in return for Harvey, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link). Puma adds that the Padres are also in the mix for Harvey.
May 7: The Mets are “confident” they will strike a deal involving righty Matt Harvey, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). At this point, says Rosenthal, there are “four to five teams interested” in taking a chance on the former ace.
Harvey was formally designated for assignment on May 5th, meaning his situation will be resolved one way or another by Saturday the 12th. If he’s not traded, Harvey would need to go onto waivers; if he were then to pass through unclaimed, he’d hit the open market (whether by release or by rejecting an outright assignment).
We checked in earlier today on some teams with varying degrees of interest in Harvey. The Giants seem clearly to be involved, though their interest level isn’t clear. (Andy Martino of SNY.tv tweets there’s “very strong” interest, while MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (via Twitter) that it’s much more tepid, with some significant roadblocks to a swap.) Martino adds the Reds as a possibility, joining the previously reported Mariners in that regard. And Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets that the White Sox are also in the mix. There’s some uncertainty about the status of the Orioles, but they are among the organizations that would make some degree of sense on paper.
Of course, we’ve also seen plenty of reports of other teams that will not be in on the 29-year-old. It appears the Rangers have decided against pursuing Harvey in a trade scenario despite giving it serious consideration. Otherwise, the Rays, Tigers, Red Sox, and Yankees are said not to be involved.
If a deal does, in fact, get done, Rosenthal says not to expect the Mets to shave away much salary. With something on the order of $4.5MM still owed to Harvey for the rest of the season, the New York organization anticipates paying the “vast majority” in hopes of securing “something in return” in a deal.
Reading the tea leaves, then, the Mets aren’t really looking for a MLB asset back that might offset some of the Harvey commitment. It’s possible the team will be able to find another organization willing to give a bit of young talent, but it’ll take deft work for GM Sandy Alderson to achieve significant value.
Harvey, after all, has managed only a 5.93 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in his 212 1/3 innings since the start of the 2016 season. His velocity has continued to trail off as the arm injuries have mounted. As outstanding as he was before a procedure to address thoracic outlet syndrome, Harvey has struggled badly ever since.
Clearly, some front offices around the game still think that Harvey can at least deliver some useful innings from the back of a rotation. Just what they’ll give up to find out remains to be seen.