Chicago White Sox – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-08-12T01:23:16Z WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Outright Drew Anderson]]> 2020-08-11T23:13:32Z 2020-08-11T23:13:32Z The White Sox have outrighted hurler Drew Anderson to their alternate training site, James Fegan of The Athletic was among those to report. The club designated the right-hander for assignment over the weekend.

Formerly a member of the Phillies, with whom he entered pro ball as a 21st-round pick in 2012, Anderson joined the White Sox on a minor league contract last offseason. He made his debut with the White Sox on Aug. 8, but it couldn’t have gone much worse. The 26-year-old yielded six earned runs on four hits (including two homers) and two walks in a loss to the Indians, leading Chicago to drop him from its roster.

Thanks in large part to his one ugly appearance this season, Anderson’s now the owner of a woeful 9.67 ERA (albeit with a far more palatable 4.78 FIP) across 22 1/3 major league innings. He has been much better in Triple-A, though, having logged a 4.34 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 over 159 2/3 frames. Anderson will now stay in the White Sox organization and try to work his way back to the bigs.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Claim Brady Lail, Designate Patrick Wisdom]]> 2020-08-10T19:36:15Z 2020-08-10T19:11:24Z The Mariners announced Monday that they’ve claimed right-hander Brady Lail off waivers from the White Sox and designated infielder Patrick Wisdom for assignment.

Lail, 27, made his big league debut with the Yankees in 2019 but pitched just 2 2/3 innings in his lone appearance with the club. It was a similar tale with the ChiSox, who got Lail into one game for 1 1/3 innings of work prior to designating the right-hander for assignment. He’s struggled in the upper minors as a starter, but he moved to the bullpen full-time a couple years back and has since enjoyed much better results. In 49 1/3 frames between Double-A and Triple-A in 2019, Lail pitched to a 3.83 ERA with 12.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9.

Wisdom, 28, hasn’t appeared in the Majors with Seattle since signing with them over the winter. He’s a career .224/.306/.408 hitter in 86 MLB plate appearances and a .252/.328/.478 hitter in parts of four Triple-A seasons. Wisdom struggled quite a bit in his first run through Triple-A, but he’s slugged 77 homers in three seasons since that time while oscillating between the Majors and Minors. He has experience at all four corner positions.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Giants Acquire Luis Basabe]]> 2020-08-09T17:18:00Z 2020-08-09T16:09:48Z The Giants and White Sox have completed a trade, with outfielder Luis Basabe heading to San Francisco in exchange for cash considerations.  Right-hander Jordan Humphreys was placed on the restricted list to make room for Basabe on the Giants’ roster.  (Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Humphreys is dealing with a family matter.)

The White Sox designated Basabe for assignment earlier this week, ending an injury-plagued three-year run for the outfielder in Chicago’s farm system.  Basabe was acquired from the Red Sox as part of the trade package in the Chris Sale blockbuster, though he sandwiched a very impressive (and healthy) 2018 campaign in between injury-shortened 2017 and 2019 seasons.

It was enough for Chicago to make Basabe expendable, though the Venezuelan prospect was once a well-regarded international prospect and is still a couple of weeks shy of turning 24 years old.  There’s certainly no harm for the Giants in spending a few dollars to acquire Basabe’s services and see if he can unlock some higher potential in a new environment.

MLB Pipeline has already ranked Basabe as the 18th-best prospect in San Francisco’s farm system, with a scouting report noting that he “has the tools to be a worthwhile fourth outfielder,” even if his hitting is still a question mark.  Basabe has batted .248/.345/.392 across 2570 PA in the minors (none above the Double-A level), and he has shown a lot of swing-and-miss in his approach at the plate.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[White Sox Designate Drew Anderson]]> 2020-08-09T16:42:47Z 2020-08-09T16:06:13Z The White Sox designated righty Drew Anderson for assignment, as per a team announcement.  Jose Ruiz, another right-hander, has been called up from the alternate training site to take Anderson’s roster spot.

Anderson signed a minor league deal with Chicago during the offseason and only had his contract selected prior to Saturday’s game.  Unfortunately for Anderson, his 2020 debut was a nightmare — two home runs and six total earned runs allowed over 1 1/3 innings against the Indians.  It will make for a pretty ignominious White Sox tenure if Anderson is claimed or released, though he could also simply be outrighted back to the minor league camp if he passes through the DFA period.  The 26-year-old appeared in parts of the 2017-19 seasons with the Phillies, posting a 7.71 ERA over 21 innings.

Ruiz has had a similarly brief three-year tenure in the majors, though 40 of his 45 1/3 career innings from 2017-19 came last season with the White Sox.  Ruiz posted a 5.63 ERA, 1.46 K/BB rate, and 7.9 K/9 over those 40 frames.  Pitching exclusively as a reliever over 135 career minor league innings with the Padres and White Sox, the hard-throwing Ruiz has a 3.67 ERA, 10.1 K/9, and 2.48 K/BB rate.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[White Sox Place Aaron Bummer On 10-Day IL, Promote Zack Burdi]]> 2020-08-08T15:10:07Z 2020-08-08T14:41:24Z The White Sox placed left-hander Aaron Bummer on the 10-day injured list due to a left biceps strain, the team announced.  Right-hander Brady Lail was also designated for assignment, and the two open Major League roster spots will be filled by right-handers Zack Burdi and Drew Anderson.  Burdi is being called up from the club’s minor league training site, while Anderson had his contract purchased.

Bummer suffered the injury in last night’s game, departing during an at-bat against Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez.  The seriousness of the biceps problem isn’t yet known, though any absence for Bummer counts as a problem for the White Sox given the southpaw’s increasing prominence in the bullpen.  After posting a 4.36 ERA over 53 2/3 innings during the 2017-18 seasons, Bummer broke out with a 2.13 ERA, 2.50 K/BB rate, 8.0 K/9, and a whopping 72.1% grounder rate over 67 2/3 innings in 2019.  Only Zack Britton had a higher ground-ball rate among all pitchers who threw at least 60 innings last season.

In a nod to their belief in Bummer’s work, the White Sox signed him to a contract extension in February that will pay Bummer at least $16MM in guaranteed money through the 2024 season.  If two club options are exercised, Bummer will be in Chicago through 2026 for a total of $29.5MM — not a bad payday for a rather unheralded 19th-round pick from the 2014 draft.

Burdi, meanwhile, had a much higher profile as the 26th overall pick over the 2016 draft, though the righty’s progress was stalled by Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for much of the 2017 and 2018 seasons.  If that wasn’t enough, a ligament tear in his patella prematurely ended Burdi’s 2019 campaign after just 22 2/3 innings.  All told, Burdi has only 100 2/3 professional innings under his belt, and only 16 of them at the Triple-A level.

However, those Triple-A innings came back in 2016, indicating that the White Sox were planning on fast-tracking him to their big league bullpen in pretty short order.  Working almost exclusively as a reliever, Burdi has a 4.31 ERA, 2.53 K/BB rate, and a 12.5 K/9 over his minor league career, and is the owner of a blazing fastball that regularly sits in the high 90’s and has often touched the 100mph plateau.  Burdi’s arsenal suggests a possible future as Chicago’s closer, if he can stay healthy and translate his velocity into success against big league hitters.

Lail has four Major League innings to his name over the last two seasons, including a single outing for the Sox this season that saw him toss 1 1/3 frames of work in Thursday’s 8-3 loss to the Brewers.  An 18th-round pick for the Yankees in 2012, Lail has mostly worked as a reliever in the minors over the last two seasons, and has an overall 3.97 ERA, 2.64 K/BB rate, and 7.0 K/9 over 741 career minor league frames.  The DFA is an unfortunate early birthday for Lail, who turns 27 tomorrow.

Anderson will make his White Sox debut after joining the club on a minors deal last winter.  He posted a 7.71 ERA over 21 innings with the Phillies over the 2017-19 seasons, and a 3.52 ERA, 2.48 K/BB, and 7.7 K/9 in 486 innings in Philadelphia’s farm system.  Anderson has started 94 of his 101 career games in the minors but only started once at the big league level, so the White Sox will likely deploy him out of the bullpen barring a rotation emergency.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Aaron Bummer Leaves Game With Biceps Soreness]]> 2020-08-08T14:14:31Z 2020-08-08T14:14:31Z
  • White Sox left-hander Aaron Bummer left during the seventh inning of Chicago’s 2-0 win over Cleveland due to left biceps soreness.  After tossing a pitch to Jose Ramirez, Bummer called the trainer to the mound and then departed the game.  Bummer “just felt what he thought was a cramp in his biceps,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria told the Chicago Tribune’s LaMond Pope and other reporters.  “Hopefully it’s no extended period of time but we are going to be careful with him.”  Bummer’s departure came after 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, which dropped his ERA down to 1.23 through 7 1/3 frames of total work this season.  The southpaw has quietly been a sturdy bullpen force since debuting in the 2017 season, which inspired the White Sox to sign Bummer to a five-year extension last February.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Hahn On White Sox’ Trade Deadline Strategy]]> 2020-08-06T12:01:27Z 2020-08-06T12:01:27Z It may seem strange to say it, but we’re actually just entering the thick of trade deadline season, such as it is in 2020. White Sox GM discussed his approach to an unusual summer trade period yesterday (via 670 The Score).

    First and foremost, Hahn highlighted the potentially misleading nature of the short sample every team will have gathered prior to the August 31st trade deadline. “A team may overachieve for a 60-game season,” he observed. “A guy can have a bad month or two bad months.”

    Given that “challenge,” says Hahn, it’s all the more important “to understand the true talent level” of both a team’s players and its potential acquisition targets. That means scouting, yet another task rendered more difficult by the coronavirus situation. And that’s all before considering the difficulty of assessing potential trade chips, many of whom aren’t even playing competitively.

    In spite of those hurdles, there obviously figures to be some trade activity. The White Sox may well be involved. But Hahn cautioned against expecting this particular organization to slam the pedal to the floor, even if its bounty of young talent is still performing well come late August.

    “If we have an opportunity,” Hahn said of the possibility of chasing a title and/or striking a deal to enhance the chances thereof, “we will take that seriously and vet it seriously.” But he threw some rather chilly water on the idea of a real go-for-it move.

    Hahn continued:

    “But this has always has been about multiple championships. It’s always been about putting ourselves in this position every year. Being over-reactionary to a bad 30-game sample or something like that, maybe doing something rash would perhaps decrease our chances of attaining that goal. That is something we intend to avoid.”

    It’s not especially surprising to hear that the White Sox are loath to sway with the breeze too much just now. The club spent on significant new veterans and on its own rising core last winter, all with the idea of putting together a roster that can compete for years to come. Whether it can do so in 2020 will depend primarily upon just how quickly that youthful bunch can produce at the MLB level.

    The broader question is whether other teams will be similarly reserved. On the one hand, they’ll all be considering the same factors noted by Hahn. On the other, there will be enticing opportunities presented in the short-season format. Some non-competitive teams will surely be looking to move salary, especially if a spendy veteran has a nice first half of the truncated campaign. And teams will have a chance to capitalize on unexpectedly advantageous positions in the standings without having to sustain it over a full 162-game season.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Nick Madrigal Headed For IL With Separated Shoulder]]> 2020-08-05T21:30:19Z 2020-08-05T21:05:31Z Just-promoted White Sox infielder Nick Madrigal is headed directly to the injured list. He has been diagnosed with a separated shoulder, GM Rick Hahn told reporters including James Fegan of The Athletic (Twitter link).

    Fortunately, it sounds as if the prognosis is generally good. Madrigal could return to action by the end of the month, Hahn says. It is still possible he’ll also require surgery after the campaign ends.

    The South Siders also reported rather promising news on both Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo Lopez. They’re both dealing with shoulder problems but don’t appear to have structural damage. In each case, a return to the MLB rotation could be several weeks away.

    Hahn further weighed in on veteran slugger Edwin Encarnacion. He’s said to be dealing with some SC joint inflammation. It’s a day to day situation at the moment, so it sounds as if the hope is Encarnacion won’t be out for any notable stretch.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Edwin Encarnacion, Nick Madrigal Exit With Shoulder Issues]]> 2020-08-05T04:04:48Z 2020-08-05T03:55:03Z 10:55pm: Manager Rick Renteria announced that Madrigal’s dealing with a jammed shoulder, Fegan relays.

    9:27pm: The White Sox suffered a pair of potentially alarming injuries in their game against the Brewers on Tuesday, per tweets from James Fegan of The Athletic and Scott Merkin of Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion and second baseman Nick Madrigal departed early with left shoulder problems. The team will reevaluate both players Wednesday.

    Encarnacion was one of several key offseason pickups for the White Sox, who signed him to a one-year, $12MM deal in free agency. At the time, they surely expected the eight-time 30-home run hitter to continue as a powerful force in their uniform. That hasn’t happened in the early going, as the 37-year-old has slashed an unimposing .200/.250/.300 with one homer in his first 33 plate appearances this season. That’s obviously not a large enough sample size to pass judgment, however, and there’s plenty of time for Encarnacion to get on track if he’s healthy enough to do so. Chicago replaced him with Zack Collins on Tuesday.

    Madrigal, meanwhile, was only in his fifth major league game before he exited. The recently promoted 23-year-old, who’s regarded as one of baseball’s top prospects, got off to a .294/.333//.294 start in 18 PA prior to his injury. Chicago called on Danny Mendick to fill in for Madrigal at the keystone.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Place Carlos Rodon On Injured List, Designate Luis Alexander Basabe]]> 2020-08-04T18:32:10Z 2020-08-04T18:09:53Z The White Sox have placed left-hander Carlos Rodon on the 10-day injured list due to left shoulder soreness, per a team announcement. In his place, they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Brady Lail from their alternate training site. Outfield prospect Luis Alexander Basabe was designated for assignment to open space on the 40-man roster for Lail. In other Sox news, MLBTR has learned that they’ll add right-handed pitching prospect Andrew Dalquist, their 2019 third-round pick, to the 60-man player pool.

    Rodon exited last night’s start early after displaying a worrying drop in velocity. The former No. 3 overall pick came out firing with fastballs in the 91-93 mph range in the first inning but topped out at just under 86 mph in the second inning. For a pitcher who has averaged better than 93 mph in his career with the heater, that type of drop is alarming — particularly given that he’s only just returning from 2019 Tommy John surgery. The Sox haven’t provided a more in-depth diagnosis or timeline for his recovery, though they’ll presumably provide more info the next time GM Rick Hahn or manager Rick Renteria meets with reporters.

    As for Basabe, the 23-year-old was at one point a well-regarded outfield prospect. He joined the White Sox organization in the Chris Sale blockbuster, although he was a clear third piece behind headliners Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech. (Righty Victor Diaz was also sent to Chicago in that swap.) Basabe had a miserable first year with the White Sox before rebounding to hit .258/.354/.445 with 15 homers, 21 doubles, eight triples and 16 steals between Class-A Advanced and Double-A in 2018.

    Unfortunately, things didn’t go well for Basabe in a second stint in the Double-A Southern League this past season. In 291 plate appearances, he slashed just .246/.324/.336 with a glaring 29.2 percent strikeout rate. The Southern League is a pitcher-friendly setting, but Basabe’s overall output was nevertheless below the league average. His strikeout totals and continued middling success rate on stolen bases — 60.4 percent over the past two seasons — surely worked against him as well.

    Basabe can still be optioned for the remainder of the 2020 season, but he’ll be out of minor league options in 2021. Given his pedigree and the bit of flexibility he still carries as an optionable player in 2020, another team could have interest in taking a flier on him. However, he’s looked mostly overmatched at the Double-A level, so there’s a chance the Sox could succeed in passing him through waivers and keep him in the organization without requiring a 40-man spot.

    As for Dalquist, he’s only pitched three innings with the White Sox’ Rookie-level affiliate, so he won’t be viewed as a 2020 option. Still, there’s plenty of value in allowing the 19-year-old to work with the team’s staff and other more experienced players at the satellite site. He ranks seventh among ChiSox farmhands at Baseball America and 12th at both and FanGraphs, so it’s not a surprise that the front office wants to continue to get him some valuable developmental reps in the only setting that’s really available to them this season.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Carlos Rodon Departs With Shoulder Soreness]]> 2020-08-04T04:33:22Z 2020-08-04T01:16:47Z 8:33pm: Rodon experienced shoulder soreness, the team announced. He also reported pain in the neck area, James Fegan of The Athletic tweets.

    8:16pm: White Sox starter Carlos Rodon left his start today after just two innings. The lefty’s fastball velocity dropped precipitously in his second frame, as’s Adam McCalvy observes on Twitter.

    It’s too soon to tell what caused the velo drop, but the South Siders obviously were concerned enough to give a quick hook after just 26 pitches. Rodon allowed three hits and one earned run before departing.

    Rodon, 27, already turned in one rough outing to open the season. He had been hoping for a full campaign after missing significant time due to Tommy John surgery. Rodon can be controlled through arbitration for one more season after the 2020 campaign.

    That TJ procedure and an earlier shoulder surgery provide a worrisome backdrop to the developments this evening. There are obviously quite a few other potential explanations for a sudden loss of arm speed, but that recent history suggests some added cause for concern.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Clayton Richard]]> 2020-08-03T21:27:07Z 2020-08-03T21:27:07Z The White Sox have inked left-hander Clayton Richard to a minor-league deal, per LaMond Pope of the Chicago Tribune  on Twitter. He’ll report to the team’s alternative training site.

    Richard, 36, has eleven years of MLB experience under his belt. He had a nice run earlier in his career before injuries intervened. Richard hasn’t found much success of late.

    Last year, Richard took ten starts with the Blue Jays, limping to a 5.96 ERA with 4.4 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 over 45 1/3 innings. Given those most recent results, it seems fair to presume that the South Siders view the veteran southpaw as a depth option.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[MLB To Cancel Field Of Dreams Game]]> 2020-08-03T19:56:15Z 2020-08-03T19:56:15Z Major League Baseball has decided to cancel the “Field of Dreams Game” it had previously scheduled for August 13. The Cardinals and White Sox were supposed to square off in the famed Iowa cornfield.

    The Cardinals are currently waiting to see just how bad an internal COVID-19 outbreak turns out to be. No matter how far it has spread, a significant portion of the team will be sidelined for some time and the organization will be forced to scramble to fill out a club.

    While that would seem at first glance to be a rather important factor in the decision, Rosenthal says that wasn’t the driving force. Rather, it’s “a logistical problem,” per the report. It’s not entirely clear why those considerations are only now counseling in favor of cancellation, but it was undoubtedly a tricky undertaking even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Activate Nomar Mazara]]> 2020-08-03T17:35:09Z 2020-08-03T17:35:09Z The White Sox announced Monday that they’ve activated right fielder Nomar Mazara for his season debut. In a pair of corresponding moves, catcher Yermin Mercedes was optioned to their alternate training site and right-hander Jimmy Lambert was placed on the 45-day injured list.

    Mazara has yet to live up to the top prospect hype that surrounded his MLB debut with the Rangers, but he’s been a steady 20-homer producer with slightly above-average offense against right-handed pitching (career 103 wRC+). And while he’a already a four-year MLB veteran by virtue of his early call to the bigs in Arlington, his youth leaves the hope for some yet untapped upside at the dish.

    As MLBTR’s George Miller explored a few months back, Mazara is quite impactful when hitting to the opposite field, by virtue of the fact that he elevates the ball with much greater regularity than when pulling the ball. Mazara’s number of pulled grounders are alarming and indeed have limited his output to this point in his career. However, he generally ranks above the league average in terms of average exit velocity, barrel rate, expected slugging percentage and a number of other Statcast metrics that portend some remaining upside. Mazara will likely be platooned with righty-hitting Adam Engel early in the season, per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, but there’s obvious potential for Mazara to work his way into a larger role.

    Even if Mazara simply maintains the status quo, though, that’s not an entirely bad thing for the Sox. Granted, plugging in a slightly above-average bat to the lineup doesn’t sound like a huge boost, but in nine games this season, White Sox right fielders have turned in a putrid .167/.211/.333 slash. Mazara’s lifetime .271/.337/.462 line against right-handed opponents looks all the better when juxtaposed with that to-date production (or lack thereof) from Chicago right fielders. Engel’s career .253/.299/.390 slash against lefties isn’t great — though it is better than Mazara’s career levels — but that platoon arrangement should lead to some improvement for what has already been a strong White Sox lineup.

    The White Sox acquired Mazara in December trade that sent minor league outfielder Steele Walker to the Rangers. Mazara is playing out the 2020 season on a one-year, $5.56MM contract (prorated to about $1.97MM) and is controllable through the 2021 season via the arbitration process.

    George Miller <![CDATA[White Sox Release Kelvin Herrera]]> 2020-08-02T21:50:49Z 2020-08-02T19:03:48Z The White Sox have requested waivers on right-hander Kelvin Herrera for his unconditional release, as first reported by James Fegan of The Athletic. Herrera was playing out the final year of a two-year, $18MM contract signed with the Sox prior to last season. Herrera was designated for assignment on Friday.

    Herrera’s White Sox tenure will come to an unceremonious end after one-plus year in Chicago, a period during which he hardly resembled the late-inning menace that helped the Royals to a World Series title. His velocity has been in a steady decline since 2015, with his four-seamer measuring in at 94.5 mph this year, a far cry from the 98.8 mph he averaged five years ago (to be fair, he’s thrown just seven four-seamers this season; perhaps last year’s 96.3 mph velocity is closer to the “truth”).

    In 57 games with the White Sox last year, he notched a disappointing 6.14 ERA while striking out 53 batters in 51 1/3 innings. Walks have been an issue since signing with Chicago, as he’s averaged an even 4.0 BB/9, up considerably from the 2.8 BB/9 he surrendered during his Royals tenure.

    Speculatively, Herrera may have a future in Miami with the Marlins, whose need for depth pitching is undeniable given the state of the roster. They figure to be a potential landing spot for just about any hurler that becomes available. And for what it’s worth, Herrera would seem to fit in with the theme of the Marlins’ offseason: low-cost veterans such as Jesus Aguilar, Jonathan Villar, and Corey Dickerson were prioritized last winter and have helped the Marlins to a 2-1 start to the year (firmly in playoff position!).