Chicago White Sox – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-08-16T21:40:42Z WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/14/18]]> 2018-08-14T04:10:06Z 2018-08-14T04:10:06Z There are quite a few minor moves to cover, with Baseball America’s Matt Eddy releasing several weeks’ worth of transactions. We’ll use this post to cover the most notable ones that haven’t yet featured on MLBTR:

  • The Angels released outfielder Ben Revere, who could perhaps be an interesting player to target for contending clubs that like the idea of adding a good defender and baserunning threat to their system. Revere, 30, hasn’t seen the majors this year after seven-straight seasons of action at the game’s highest level. He’s slashing .277/.319/.406 with a pair of steals through 166 plate appearances at Triple-A.
  • Ending a relationship that never seemed to work out, the Dodgers have cut loose infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena. Now 28, the former international signee hadn’t played much in the club’s system since he was suspended in May of 2016.
  • The Phillies have released a pair of former big leaguers: infielder Danny Espinosa and outfielder Adron Chambers. Espinosa’s always fickle bat has not yet recovered from a 2017 nosedive. In 240 Triple-A plate appearances with three organizations this year, he owns a .295/.239/.312 slash. Chambers, meanwhile, hasn’t seen the majors since 2013 and last played affiliated ball in 2015, but came back from an indy stint to produce a .278/.328/.437 batting line in 138 Triple-A plate appearances.
  • A host of players received their walking papers from the Diamondbacks. Righty Brian Ellington is among them; the flamethrower struggled badly with his command in limited minor-league action. Southpaw Anthony Vasquez was also released after after 85 2/3 innings of 5.04 ERA ball in the upper minors. The club also dropped several outfielders. Cesar Puello (.317/.426/.454) and Dan Robertson (.263/.361/.407) are both former big leaguers who were getting on base at Reno, but will now seek other opportunities.
  • The Giants released two notable players in righty Chris Heston and backstop Ryan Hanigan. Heston, 30, only made nine appearances in the minors this year owing to injury. Hanigan, who’s closing in on his 38th birthday, is still looking to crack the majors for the 12th-straight season but did not help his cause with a .175/.254/.193 batting line in 63 plate appearances at Triple-A.
  • The Cubs parted with Ryan Webb after he made just 11 appearances at the Rookie ball level. It is not immediately clear why the 32-year-old did not get a shot in the upper minors, or what’s next for him In eight seasons of MLB pitching, from 2009 through 2016, Webb owns a 3.43 ERA through 393 1/3 innings.
  • A variety of other former major-league relief pitchers were also on the move. Among them: The White Sox signed once-promising Braves reliever Mauricio Cabrera. Righty Dallas Beeler was released by the Royals. A trio of former MLB lefties are back in free agency after being cut free: Elvis Araujo (Orioles); Paco Rodriguez (Twins); and Dario Alvarez (Mariners).
  • Meanwhile, the Mariners parted with outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and the Nationals did the same with Alejandro De Aza. One-time Rule 5 pick Taylor Featherston landed with the Reds.
Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Soria, Renfroe, Gordon, Stanton]]> 2018-08-10T01:44:37Z 2018-08-10T01:44:37Z Joakim Soria suffered a mild right groin strain during the Brewers’ ninth-inning meltdown against the Padres today. Soria walked off the mound with an apparent injury after allowing a go-ahead grand slam to Hunter Renfroe. According to Adam McCalvy of, the malady was later described as a mild right groin strain. There’s no official word on the severity of the injury yet, so it’s not known at this time whether Soria will need to miss any games. The right-hander came over from the White Sox just prior to the trade deadline in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers: left-hander Kodi Medeiros and right-hander Wilber Perez.

Here are a few other small items from around the league this evening…

  • Speaking of Renfroe, the Padres outfielder has been on a tear of late. Including tonight’s grand slam off Soria, Renfroe’s slugged four homers in his past four games. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Tribune suggests that Renfroe’s performance could solidify an everyday spot in the lineup even after Wil Myers returns from the disabled list. That’s good news for the 26-year-old in the wake of today’s news that some of the young Padres outfielders are being intensely evaluated, but it’s also worth noting that Franmil Reyes also homered tonight; his third in his past four games. It will be interesting to see how the Padres address their corner outfield logjam this offseason, or if they choose to at all (Reyes and Renfroe both have minor league options remaining and can be stashed at Triple-A).
  • The Mariners moved Dee Gordon all the way down to ninth in the batting order in tonight’s game. That’s largely due to the speedster’s incredibly pedestrian offensive performance on the season. He’s hitting .280, but with just a .300 on-base and .343 slugging percentage. The biggest culprit to his lackluster showing is a paltry 1.5% walk rate that’s by far the lowest in the majors and approximately half the size of the next player on that list (Salvador Perez of the Royals). Though the plan right now seems to be for Robinson Cano to usurp some playing time from Ryon Healy when he returns from his suspension, it’s fair to wonder whether Gordon could rest in favor of Cano on occasion down the stretch, if he can’t figure out how to show more patience.
  • With his 121.7 MPH homer tonight off Rangers starter Ariel Jurado, Giancarlo Stanton broke a Statcast record. The Yankees’ headline offseason acquisition drilled the ball at a launch angle of 17 degrees, propelling it an estimated 449 feet. It’s officially the hardest-hit homer that Statcast has ever tracked. It’s part of a larger trend for Stanton, who has heated up after a somewhat average start to the season. The right-hander’s .308/.363/.561 batting line since the start of June is much more in line with what the Bombers had imagined when they took on the lion’s share of his contract from the Marlins this offseason.
Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Cubs Notes: Bryant, White Sox, Cease]]> 2018-08-06T02:33:12Z 2018-08-06T02:30:34Z It was on this day in 2014 that Javier Baez made his MLB debut, hitting a solo home run in the 12th inning that held up as the winning run in a Cubs victory over the Rockies.  Baez celebrated his anniversary as a big leaguer with another solo homer today as part of a 2-for-5 performance against the Padres, though Chicago wasn’t as successful, dropping a 10-6 result to San Diego.  Baez is now hitting .300/.333/.585 with 24 homers in 433 PA this season, with this breakout offensive performance combining with his usual excellent defense to make him one of the game’s most overall valuable talents.

Some more from Wrigleyville…

  • Kris Bryant has yet to swing a bat since returning to the DL to deal with his bothersome shoulder, and the Cubs slugger tells reporters (including the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan) that he doesn’t yet know when he might be back on the field.  Bryant was eligible to return on August 3, though he was expected to remain beyond the 10-day minimum DL stint to fully allow his shoulder to heal up.  He reiterated, however, that he doesn’t have long-term concerns about the injury.  The former NL MVP is enjoying another strong season (.276/.380/.474 with 11 homers in 358 PA), though his shoulder troubles could explain why his production has dipped a bit from his 2016-17 levels.
  • Dylan Cease was a top-1oo ranked minor leaguer when he was traded as part of the four-prospect package sent by the Cubs to the White Sox for Jose Quintana in July 17.  As The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney writes in a subscription-only piece, however, the Cubs were ultimately willing to deal Cease due to a significant injury history (Tommy John surgery in 2014) and because he was still pitching in A-ball.  Cease has since made his Double-A debut in the White Sox system and looked outstanding, with a 1.99 ERA, 12.8 K/9, and 4.48 K/BB rate over 40 2/3 IP that has only elevated his status as a future building block for the Sox.  Mooney tracks the Cubs’ initial pursuit of Cease through an interview with scout Keith Lockhart, who originally signed the young righty, and is well aware of the risk involved in moving such blue chip prospects.  “When it first came down, it was easy to say, ’Listen, we got an established big-league starter for some guys that were in A-ball,’ ” Lockhart said. “As the years go on, if Dylan turns out to be a No. 1 starter for the White Sox and leading a rotation, then the story just stays alive.”
  • In other recent Cubs news on MLBTR, Yu Darvish updated the media with his rehab status.
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Eloy Jimenez Closing In On Promotion]]> 2018-08-05T21:36:54Z 2018-08-05T21:36:17Z
  • Standout White Sox outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez is “getting really close” to earning a major league promotion, director of player development Chris Getz said Sunday (via 670 The Score, on Twitter). The 21-year-old Jimenez, whom Baseball America, and FanGraphs all regard as the game’s third-best prospect, has hit an astounding .376/.425/.679 with eight home runs and a .303 ISO in 120 plate appearances since the White Sox moved him to Triple-A Charlotte in late June.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Snell, Dickerson, Fowler, Williams, Skaggs]]> 2018-08-04T21:49:32Z 2018-08-04T21:49:32Z As expected, the Rays have activated left-hander Blake Snell to start tonight’s game against the White Sox. The first-time All-Star will be on a limited pitch count following a two-week DL stint for left shoulder fatigue. Following a trade of Chris Archer to the Pirates, Snell looks like the only reliable starter in a Rays rotation that continues to see relievers open games more often than the starters themselves. Snell’s pre-injury performance, of course, was phenomenal; his 2.27 ERA would be more than a run lower than his career best season.

    Here are a few other disabled list transactions from around the league…

    • Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson has been activated after a short stint on the disabled list; he’d been sidelined with a left hamstring strain. They’ll surely be glad to have him back after the club traded away notable outfield depth in the form of Austin Meadows at the July 31st deadline. While he’s active, Dickerson won’t be starting today’s game against the Cardinals (though he’ll presumably be available off the bench).
    • As expected after last night’s newsCardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler will hit the DL after suffering a fractured foot. Fowler’s enduring a miserable season that’s by far his career worst; he’s managed to hit an absolutely wretched .180/.278/.298 across 334 plate appearances while playing middling outfield defense. Fangraphs rates him as being 1.2 wins below replacement level on the season after a 2.5 fWAR debut with the Cards last year.
    • Switch-hitting relief pitcher Taylor Williams is headed to the DL with right elbow soreness. It’s certainly bad news for a Brewers bullpen that’s seeing Corey Knebel struggle mightily of late. Williams has tossed 42 2/3 relief innings and managed to strike out 10.43 batters per nine innings, though he’s only managed to keep the ball on the ground 34.8% of the time and has walked a batter nearly every other inning on average. Williams is in the midst of his first full season in the majors after a 4 2/3 inning cup of coffee last year.
    • Angels hurler Tyler Skaggs is headed to the disabled list with a left adductor strain, the club has announced. Skaggs has described the injury as “extremely frustrating”, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. He apparently sustained it during his last start. In his stead, the Angels have called up right-hander Taylor Cole. The Angels, of course, have already seen their rotation annihilated by injuries this year, with Garrett Richards, Shohei Ohtani, J.C. Ramirez and Matt Shoemaker among the affected starters.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rays Acquire International Bonus Money From White Sox]]> 2018-07-31T21:17:34Z 2018-07-31T18:54:20Z The Rays have acquired some international bonus funds from the White Sox in exchange for minor league southpaw Hunter Schryver, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen reports (Twitter link).  The exact dollar amount isn’t known, though the international signing slots can be traded in increments of $250K.  The White Sox made a similar trade just two days ago, dealing $1.5MM in international bonus money to the Yankees for minor league lefty Caleb Frare.

    Chicago is in the proverbial “penalty box” for the 2018-19 international signing class, as since the White Sox and seven other teams exceeded their bonus pool limit (under the old international signing rules) in past years, they aren’t allowed to sign any players from this signing period for more than a $300K bonus.  It has thus become common to see such penalized teams trading some of their 2018-19 bonus pool money in deals for prospects like Schryver or Frare, or even for established Major Leaguers, i.e. the Braves’ acquisition of Brad Brach from the Orioles.

    The Rays will add to their original $6,025,400 bonus pool at the cost of Schryver, a seventh-round pick out of Villanova in the 2017 draft.  The 23-year-old has started just one of his 51 appearances as a pro, and his early returns make him a promising future left-handed weapon out of the bullpen.  Schryver has a 2.70 ERA, 10.5 K/9, and 5.11 K/BB rate over 83 1/3 career innings, and he made his debut at the high-A level earlier this season.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Hahn On Jimenez, Kopech, Trades]]> 2018-07-30T03:36:52Z 2018-07-30T03:36:52Z
  • Though White Sox fans are ravenously anticipating the promotion of prospects Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech (particularly the former), general manager Rick Hahn preached patience  when asked about the pair’s timeline to the Majors (link via Tom Musick of the Chicago Sun-Times). “While you can look at a stat line or you can look at a box score and say, ‘This guy looks like he’s doing well, looks like he’s ready,’ our checklist that we want these guys to answer is a little more lengthy than that,” Hahn said, though he declined to delve into specific elements that need improvement with each player. Hahn added that even a trade of a player on the roster (an outfielder or starter) wouldn’t necessarily prompt a promotion for either. “It’s not going to be a function of any level of eagerness that fans or coaches or myself or the front office has,” said Hahn. The GM also discussed the trade of Joakim Soria and potential for other moves.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Release Jacob May]]> 2018-07-29T21:59:03Z 2018-07-29T21:59:03Z
  • The White Sox released outfielder Jacob May on Saturday, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Now 26, May was once a well-regarded prospect with the Sox, who chose him in the the third round of the 2013 draft. May was unable to produce much with the bat as he climbed through the minor league ranks, though, and he slashed a ghastly .056/.150/.056 during a 42-plate appearance major league debut last season. He opened 2018 with Triple-A Charlotte and hit an underwhelming .255/.303/.341 with two home runs and 15 stolen bases in 342 PAs prior to his release.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Acquire Caleb Frare From Yankees]]> 2018-07-29T15:40:14Z 2018-07-29T15:20:16Z The Yankees have sent left-handed reliever Caleb Frare to the White Sox in exchange for $1.5MM in international bonus pool money, Jack Curry of the YES Network tweets.

    This is the second time this weekend the Yankees have landed international money in a trade, as they acquired $1MM from the Cardinals in a three-player deal on Saturday. Expectations are that the Yankees, who entered this year’s international period with the standard bonus pool of $4,983,500, will spend some of their newfound cash on Cuban pitching prospect Osiel Rodriguez.

    New York will now say goodbye to Frare, whom it selected in the 11th round of the 2012 draft. The 25-year-old did not rank among the Yankees’ top 30 prospects at prior to the trade, though he did dominate at the Double-A level this season. Frare recently earned a promotion to Triple-A Scranton, where he only threw one inning, after opening 2018 with a .62 ERA/2.24 FIP and 11.75 K/9 against 3.09 BB/9 across 43 2/3 Double-A frames. Earlier this season, Frare’s manager at Trenton, Jay Bell, told Randy Miller of that “he’s starting to figure it out,” thanks in part to a fastball that sits in the 93-94 mph range. Frare will report to Triple-A Charlotte with his new organization, the White Sox announced.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Designate Chris Volstad For Assignment]]> 2018-07-27T17:14:29Z 2018-07-27T17:06:29Z The White Sox announced Friday that they’ve designated right-hander Chris Volstad for assignment. His spot on the 25- and 40-man rosters will go to right-hander Tyler Danish, whose contract has been selected from Triple-A Charlotte. The ChiSox also called up right-handed reliever Thyago Vieira from Charlotte to join the big league bullpen.

    Volstad, 31, has soaked up 47 1/3 innings for an ugly Chicago pitching staff so far in 2018, though he’s posted an ungainly 6.27 ERA with 5.5 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 in that time. Those 47 1/3 frames are the most he’s totaled in a big league season since 2012; in fact, it’s a greater total than the combined number of MLB innings Volstad threw from 2013-17. The Sox have a week to trade him or run him through outright waivers, and it stands to reason that there’s a good chance he’ll clear and have the opportunity to remain in the organization at Triple-A.

    Danish, 23, was one of Chicago’s better pitching prospects for a few years but cleared waivers and was removed from the 40-man roster last offseason. He’s had a nice run in Charlotte this season, though, notching a 3.06 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 51.1 percent ground-ball rate in 64 2/3 innings of work. All but two of Danish’s 29 appearances have come in relief, so it seems the organization will see how the former starter fares out of the bullpen moving forward.

    As for Vieira, the 25-year-old flamethrower has had his struggles in Charlotte this year — his first in the organization. Chicago picked him up in a trade that sent international bonus considerations to the Mariners this past offseason, and while he’s averaged a heart 11 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in 2018, he’s also averaged 5.3 walks in that same span. Vieira averaged 98.7 mph on his fastball in last year’s brief MLB debut with the Mariners, and he’ll bring the ability to miss plenty of bats to the table on the South Side, even if control could prove to be an ongoing issue.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Acquire Joakim Soria]]> 2018-07-26T19:48:09Z 2018-07-26T17:23:41Z 2:46pm: Chicago will send just over $1MM, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter).

    12:23pm: The Brewers have officially agreed to a deal to acquire righty Joakim Soria from the White Sox, as first reportedy by’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Former first-round pick Kodi Medeiros is one piece in the deal, per Chris Cotillo of (Twitter link), with Feinsand tweeting that righty Wilber Perez is the other.

    Per the announcement, the White Sox will pay down an unstated portion of Soria’s contract. He’s earning $9MM this year — some of it still paid for by the Dodgers, as part of the three-team deal that sent him to Chicago — with a $1MM buyout still to come on a $10MM 2019 mutual option.

    While his name hasn’t been circulated much around the rumor mill, Soria ranked 12th on MLBTR’s recent list of the top 75 trade deadline candidates on the basis of his strong showing thus far. He becomes the sixth of the first 13 names on that ranking to be dealt in the past week or so.

    Soria, 34, has worked as the White Sox’ closer and carries a 2.56 ERA through 38 2/3 innings on the season. He’s sporting an impressive combination of 11.4 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9, buttressed by a career-best 14.6% swinging-strike rate.

    There’s a lot to like about the way the veteran hurler is throwing right now. Soria is getting whiffs both by drawing quite a few more chases out of the zone (35.6%) than ever before and by holding opposing hitters to a 77.3% contact rate on pitches in the zone, which is also a career-best rate.

    Soria carried sparkling peripherals last year, too, though he only ended the season with a 3.70 ERA, so he seems to be on something of a late-career run of excellence. The long-time late-inning hurler has tamped down on the home runs quite a bit over the past two seasons, allowing only three balls in total to leave the yard in that span.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Asher Wojciechowski To Minors Deal]]> 2018-07-26T04:11:18Z 2018-07-26T04:11:18Z
  • The White Sox have signed right-hander Asher Wojciechowski to a minor league deal, as announced by the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte (Twitter link).  The 29-year-old opted out of his minors contract with the Orioles last week in order to test free agency, and he has quickly caught on with another organization.  Wojciechowski received his first significant amount of MLB experience last season, tossing 62 1/3 innings over 25 appearances (eight of them starts) with the Reds, posting a 6.50 ERA, 9.2 K/9, and 3.37 K/BB rate.  The inflated ERA was due in large part to 14 homers allowed, as the righty has continually been plagued by the long ball from the Triple-A level and upwards.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Release Mason Robbins]]> 2018-07-22T21:58:59Z 2018-07-22T21:58:59Z
  • The White Sox have released outfielder Mason Robbins, James Fegan of The Athletic tweets. Robbins, 25, had been with the organization since it selected him in the 25th round of the 2014 draft. He only recorded a .688 OPS during his time in Chicago’s system and was even poorer this year as a member of its Triple-A team, with which he batted .265/.289/.367 in 226 plate appearances.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox "Strongly Inclined" To Retain Jose Abreu]]> 2018-07-22T15:18:26Z 2018-07-22T15:15:54Z As an established veteran on a cellar-dwelling team, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has come up often as a speculative trade candidate, but the club’s “strongly inclined” to retain him, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. The 31-year-old hasn’t exactly boosted his trade value this season, having hit a career-worst .250/.312/.435 (101 wRC+, compared to 139 from 2014-17) and accounted for a replacement-level WAR across 407 plate appearances. Regardless of whether the White Sox keep Abreu, he’s slated to go through arbitration once more over the winter. In the meantime, he’s on a $13MM salary this season.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Nate Jones Suffers Setback]]> 2018-07-23T03:07:57Z 2018-07-22T03:50:56Z
  • White Sox reliever Nate Jones suffered a setback in his recovery from a pronator muscle strain and will be shut down for two weeks, Scott Merkin of tweets. The team still expects Jones to come back this year, Merkin adds, though it seems too late for him to emerge as an in-season trade chip. The 32-year-old Jones has already been out for more than a month, making this his second straight injury-shortened campaign. Jones, whom elbow problems limited to 11 2/3 innings last year, has thrown 24 2/3 frames this season and registered a 2.55 ERA/4.61 FIP with 9.85 K/9 and 5.11 BB/9.
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