Chicago White Sox – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-08-22T17:34:19Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[White Sox Activate Yoan Moncada]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171979 2019-08-22T16:20:55Z 2019-08-22T16:20:55Z The White Sox have activated Yoan Moncada from the 10-day injured list, as per a team announcement.  Outfielder Ryan Cordell was optioned to Triple-A yesterday to open up a spot for Moncada on the 25-man roster.

Moncada was in the midst of a breakout season when he was sidelined with a Grade 1 hamstring strain back on August 1.  The infielder has hit .301/.358/.535 with 20 homers over 409 plate appearances, with some outstanding hard-contact metrics (via Statcast).  Moncada ranks in the 98th percentile in exit velocity, and in the 93rd percentile in hard-hit percentage.  While the Sox are long out of any postseason contention, Moncada will get five more weeks to add to what has already been an excellent season.

After posting average numbers in his first two Major League campaigns, Moncada’s emergence in 2019 has shown why he was regarded as one of the sport’s best prospects.  The White Sox acquired Moncada and three other noteworthy prospects from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016, and Moncada now stands as one of the major faces of Chicago’s rebuilding project.

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Abreu: Owner Reinsdorf Said Abreu Will Remain With ChiSox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171872 2019-08-21T18:34:50Z 2019-08-21T18:34:50Z
  • There have been multiple indications that a new contract between the White Sox and impending free agent Jose Abreu seems inevitable, and the first baseman gave another today, telling Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times that Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has all but officially promised a new deal.  “Jerry several times has told me and my family that I am not going to wear a jersey other than a White Sox jersey,” Abreu said via a translator.  “I believe him. I believe in his word. And like I said, I’m very happy with and loyal to this organization. Hopefully everything is going to pan out.”  The veteran slugger is still an above-average bat, though his 109 wRC+ (from a .273/.313/.496 slash line over 536 PA heading into today’s action) represents the lowest mark of Abreu’s six MLB seasons.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jose Abreu Confident He'll Re-Sign With White Sox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171737 2019-08-20T06:13:09Z 2019-08-20T06:13:09Z Although the White Sox and first baseman Jose Abreu have made their affinity for one another known on many occasions, the club reportedly won’t offer the pending free agent a contract extension this season. Nevertheless, Abreu once again made it clear Monday his mission is to re-sign with the White Sox, as Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times relays. Asked if he’s confident a new deal will come together, Abreu declared: “Of course. Like I said before, if the team doesn’t sign me, I’m going to sign myself here.” Chicago’s on its way to its 11th straight season without a playoff berth, and the club has never even finished .500 since Abreu joined the fray entering 2014. But the 32-year-old explained to Van Schouwen the team’s capable of contending as early as 2020, expressing confidence that “the front office is going to make the move that will be the right move for us to move forward and to get to that final phase of this process.”

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Ivan Nova Open To Re-Signing With White Sox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171646 2019-08-19T12:44:08Z 2019-08-19T12:44:08Z Ivan Nova’s tenure with the White Sox began in shaky fashion, as he allowed five or more runs in four of his first six starts to the season. However, the former Yankees and Pirates righty has settled into a run of success and tells Doug Padilla of the Chicago Sun-Times that if the opportunity to return to the White Sox presents itself, he would take it.

    There’s no guarantee that the Sox would make Nova an offer to return, but the 32-year-old’s performance with the club since a miserable start to the season has been rather solid. Nova’s past month has garnered plenty of attention, as the righty owns a pristine 0.49 ERA over his past 37 innings (including an improbable shutout of the Astros in his most recent trip to the hill). The right-hander attributes his hot streak to “controlling my command a little bit better and making a little bit better pitches that what I was making earlier in the year,” though a .186 average on balls in play and a nearly 92 percent strand rate have buoyed his production. To his credit, Nova’s walk rate has dropped over this current stretch, and his hard-hit rate has plummeted, so there’s clearly some truth to the fact that he’s refined his command.

    Beyond that, Nova’s numbers have somewhat quietly been pretty solid over a larger sample dating back to mid-May. He’s only allowed more than four runs on two occasions in his past 16 starts, and one of those featured multiple unearned runs. Nova has averaged nearly 6 1/3 innings per start in that time and posted a 3.14 ERA along the way. His 5.1 K/9 mark is obviously nowhere near the league average in today’s strikeout-charged brand of ball, but he’s averaged just 1.9 BB/9 in that time and managed a reasonable (again, by 2019 standards) 1.26 HR/9. He’s also kept the ball on the ground at a 50.2 percent clip.

    Whether those 100 1/3 inning generate enough interest from the White Sox remains to be seen. Nova has a 4.70 FIP even in that 16-start stretch, so there’s some reason to take the bottom-line numbers with a grain of salt. Still, the White Sox have minimal certainty with regard to next year’s rotation. Lucas Giolito will front the group, but Reynaldo Lopez has yet to establish himself as a viable big league starter. Dylan Cease is still looking for his first run of sustained MLB success. Michael Kopech will be returning from Tommy John surgery but has made only four MLB starts. Carlos Rodon isn’t likely to be a factor until the summer, as he also underwent Tommy John surgery back in May.

    It’s easy to dream on that quintet, but it’s also not realistic to expect any group of up-and-coming pitchers to hit their stride in unison. There’s room for Nova to return to the staff if the Sox value him as a veteran leader who can provide some stability as a fifth starter. He’d very likely be looking at a cut from this season’s $8.5MM salary, but as a low-cost option who’s already familiar with the coaching staff and many of the team’s young players, Nova could have some appeal.

    Then again, there’s an equal if not stronger argument that the team should be prepared to move on sooner rather than later. Nova’s recent success has surely been noted throughout the league, and it’s extremely difficult for teams to deepen their rosters at the moment. It’s possible that were Nova to hit outright waivers, another club would claim the remaining $1.95MM on this season’s salary and save the Sox that chunk of cash. Chicago could always try to re-sign Nova in the winter if desired, but with so many high-upside arms ticketed for rotation auditions, perhaps a low-ceiling veteran isn’t the type of winter addition the Sox will seek. The ChiSox have a mere $14MM in guaranteed salary on next year’s payroll, so they can afford to pursue any starting pitcher on the market as aggressively as they wish.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Outright AJ Reed]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171385 2019-08-16T22:37:17Z 2019-08-16T21:32:04Z The White Sox have outrighted first baseman AJ Reed, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin tweets. That leaves the club with two 40-man roster openings.

    A former second-round pick, Reed was once considered a premium prospect with the Astros. But his bat has failed to translate in limited opportunities at the major-league level.

    Reed had already been optioned off of the active roster to Triple-A, where he’ll continue after today’s transaction. Claimed from the Houston organization earlier this summer, the 26-year-old struggled badly in 14 games with the Sox and has continued to rack up strikeouts at Charlotte.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[The Kelvin Herrera Signing Hasn’t Gone The White Sox’s Way]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=171153 2019-08-15T00:57:02Z 2019-08-15T00:57:02Z At times since he debuted in the majors in 2011, right-hander Kelvin Herrera has been one of the majors’ most dominant relievers. Between 2012 and ’16, for instance, Herrera pitched to a sterling 2.57 ERA/2.96 FIP with 9.14 K/9, 2.69 BB/9 and a 48.7 percent groundball rate over 354 1/3 innings. He averaged a whopping 98.0 mph on his four-seam fastball along the way, and was a key reason why the Royals took home a World Series championship in 2015. That fall, Herrera turned in 13 2/3 innings of two-run ball (one earned) and totaled 22 strikeouts against three walks. Herrera hasn’t been the same caliber of pitcher over the past couple years, however, and is now struggling through the worst season of his career.

    Things began going downhill for Herrera in 2017, his last full season as a Royal, and continued to spiral last year in a campaign divided between Kansas City and Washington. Herrera still notched an outstanding 2.44 ERA and barely walked more than two batters per nine over 44 1/3 innings, but his 7.71 K/9, 35.6 percent groundball rate, 3.95 FIP, 4.31 xFIP and 3.81 SIERA ranked among the least impressive figures during his time in the pros. Making matters worse, Herrera suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury in his left foot in late August.

    Although 2018 concluded in unfavorable fashion for Herrera, that didn’t stop the 29-year-old from landing a solid payday in free agency last winter. The rebuilding White Sox, familiar with the hurler from his run with the division-rival Royals, committed two years and $18MM to Herrera.

    Unfortunately for Chicago, the Herrera contract has looked like a mistake to this point. Through 34 1/3 innings with the ChiSox, Herrera has limped to a 7.08 ERA. Only two relievers who have accrued 30-plus innings (David Hernandez, whom the Reds just released, and the Orioles’ Branden Kline) have had more trouble preventing runs than Herrera, whose average fastball velocity (95.8 mph) sits as the least imposing of his career. Unsurprisingly, a drop in swinging-strike rate – 10.8 percent, the worst of Herrera’s majors tenure – has accompanied his dip in velocity. At the same time, with 4.19 walks per nine, Herrera has issued more free passes than ever.

    Herrera’s new status as one of the game’s least effective relievers has come with a change in repertoire. According to Statcast, after throwing his four-seamer anywhere from 40 to 60 percent in previous seasons, he’s down to 32.8 percent this year. Hitters have tattooed the pitch, though, with a .483 weighted on-base average/.421 xwOBA. They’ve also had plenty of success against his sinker (21.9 percent; .432 wOBA/.364 xwOBA) and cutter (10.3 percent; .375/.391). Conversely, Herrera’s non-fastballs – his changeup (21.5 percent; .218/.225) and slider (13.6 percent; .202/.220) – have stymied the opposition. Perhaps he’d be well-served to rely more on those offerings.

    Regardless of pitch choice, it does seem Herrera has encountered a bit of bad luck this season. His fielding-independent pitching marks, including a 4.73 FIP, are all much more respectable than his ERA (although hardly great). Hitters have also victimized Herrera for an unsustainable .378 batting average on balls in play, which sits well above his career .292 mark and has come in spite of a low average exit velocity. Herrera’s mean exit velo against (85.8 mph) ranks as his best in the Statcast era and falls in the top 7 percent of the league. The .339 xwOBA Herrera has yielded is still unimpressive, but it looks far better than the .370 real wOBA hitters have mustered off him. Meanwhile, Herrera has only stranded 63.2 percent of runners – down from a lifetime mark of 77.7.

    Herrera and the White Sox will, of course, hope fortune starts going in his favor over the next year-plus. As of now, though, this doesn’t have the makings of a successful signing for the club, which committed much more money to Herrera than any other free agent last offseason. If Herrera does bounce back in 2020, though, it could go a long way toward helping the White Sox snap a painfully long playoff drought that’s sure to hit 11 seasons this year.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Yoan Moncada Gets Takes Batting Practice]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170787 2019-08-11T16:27:26Z 2019-08-11T16:27:26Z
  • White Sox star infielder Yoán Moncada took a small step in his return from a hamstring strain that knocked him from action a week and a half ago, reports David Just of the Chicago Sun-Times. He took batting practice and infield drills and emerged feeling optimistic about his outlook. While the switch-hitter noted he still has “some discomfort,” particularly when charging ground balls or hitting right-handed, he’s “feeling better, way better” than he did when he first suffered the injury. There’s no timetable for his return, and the 52-63 White Sox will surely play things cautiously with the 24 year-old, who is a central piece of their rebuild. The former top prospect has actualized his tools this season to slash (an admittedly somewhat BABIP-inflated) .301/.358/.535 (134 wRC+).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Purchase Contract Of Hector Santiago]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=170184 2019-08-06T14:48:34Z 2019-08-06T14:48:34Z The White Sox announced today that they have purchased the contract of lefty Hector Santiago. He’ll take the 40-man spot of fellow southpaw swingman Manny Banuelos, who was moved to the 60-day IL to make way.

    In other news, backstop Welington Castillo was reinstated from the family medical emergency leave list. He’ll technically serve as the 26th man in today’s doubleheader, meaning that the team will have to make a further active roster move thereafter.

    Santiago, 31, is in his third stint with the Chicago organization. He opened his career on the South Side and also pitched there last year. Santiago struggled in a brief MLB stint earlier this year with the Mets. In eighty total frames at Triple-A in 2019, he carries a 4.50 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 32 walks.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Purchase Contract Of Matt Skole]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=169673 2019-08-03T01:08:04Z 2019-08-03T01:08:04Z The White Sox announced today that they have purchased the contract of corner infielder Matt Skole. He’ll be joined on the active roster by Seby Zavala, who was called up with fellow catcher Welington Castillo going on the family medical emergency leave list.

    Skole, who recently celebrated his thirtieth birthday, landed with the White Sox organization last year after running out his time with the Nationals club. Though he earned a brief chance at a MLB debut, Skole spent the bulk of the season in the upper minors — just as he had dating way back to 2013 — and lost his 40-man spot late in the season.

    This year, Skole has boosted his output, though part of that reflects a rising International League offensive mean. Still, his .248/.384/.497 batting line reflects some real improvement. Skole has maintained his power (21 home runs) while improving his plate-discipline to levels he hasn’t managed since his time in the low minors (17.9% walk rate vs. 25.3% strikeout rate).

    A left-handed hitter, Skole will likely function mostly as a bench bat and part-time DH. He has spent plenty of time at third base over his career, but has appeared primarily at first in recent seasons. If he appears in the field, it seems likeliest to come in occasional relief of regular first bagger Jose Abreu.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Release Alcides Escobar]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=169682 2019-08-02T21:48:55Z 2019-08-02T21:46:48Z 4:46pm: Escobar made a doozy of a statement on the matter on Twitter, writing: “I asked for my freedom they did not let me free and I did it because they lied to me they are not honest.”

    2:42pm: The White Sox have released infielder Alcides Escobar, per James Fegan of The Athletic (via Twitter). Escobar had been with the org on a minors deal that he signed late in camp.

    Escobar was a workhorse for the Royals during his many years with the organization, but rarely hit much at all. He finished his tenure in Kansas City with four-consecutive sub-70 wRC+ campaigns.

    There has been a bit of a spark in Escobar’s bat this year at Triple-A, where he’s slashing .286/.343/.444 with ten home runs and a 7.9% walk rate. That’s about the league-average rate of production for the offensively inclined international league.

    Clearly, it’s not as if Escobar appears slated for a late-career breakout. But it seems he’s in good enough form to end up with a contending team on a minors deal. With limited avenues to adding to a roster in August, an experienced and versatile infielder of Escobar’s ilk can make for important roster insurance.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jose Abreu Reportedly Won’t Receive In-Season Extension Offer]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=169619 2019-08-02T05:06:13Z 2019-08-02T05:06:13Z The White Sox aren’t planning to offer pending free-agent first baseman/designated hitter Jose Abreu a contract extension this season, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. However, the club and Abreu have long been open about their desire to stay together past this year, so it’s possible an agreement will occur over the winter.

    Abreu is on the verge of wrapping up the six-year, $68MM contract he signed out of Cuba in October 2013. Believe it or not, that still ranks as the richest deal the White Sox have ever distributed. Abreu, now 32 years old, has more than lived up to the pact. He owns a .290/.346/.510 major league batting line with 168 home runs and 19.4 bWAR/16.3 fWAR across 3,660 plate appearances. Not only has Abreu’s aggregate production been tremendous, but he has emerged as a revered clubhouse presence during his five-plus seasons on the South Side of Chicago.

    General manager Rick Hahn acknowledged Abreu’s behind-the-scenes importance last month, saying, “It’s sort of that more touchy-feely, emotional side of things in terms of knowing the value that he has in this clubhouse and the leadership skills, the softer benefits that he brings to the club, that affects your valuation of a guy like that.”

    Of course, the fact that the White Sox hold Abreu the person in high esteem doesn’t guarantee they’ll keep the player. The club has been amid a rebuild for a large portion of Abreu’s tenure, but if it wants to make a legitimate run at contending in 2020, it could try to upgrade over him. His lifetime 130 wRC+ suggests doing so would be difficult, though Abreu’s output has been declining since 2018. His wRC+ through 451 PA this season sits at a career-worst 98, which has only outdone three qualified first basemen (possible Hall of Famers Joey Votto, Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera, mind you).

    Although Abreu has continued to hit for power (22 homers, .209 ISO), his perennially meager walk rate has fallen to a personal-low 4.4 percent. Abreu has struck out in nearly 24 percent of plate appearances at the same time, helping leave him with a less-than-stellar .261/.297/.469 slash.

    On the other side of the coin, Abreu has been a Statcast darling this year. His .351 expected weighted on-base average crushes his real wOBA of .322 and ranks in the majors’ 71st percentile. He also sits in the league’s 70th percentile or better in expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, average exit velocity and hard-hit rate.

    Unless Abreu’s actual production starts trending toward his Statcast figures over the next two months, it seems highly doubtful the three-time All-Star will match or exceed his current $16MM salary in 2020. As things stand, he doesn’t look like a great candidate for a qualifying offer, which was valued at a pricey $17.9MM last offseason.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Danny Farquhar Retires]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=169515 2019-08-01T19:24:01Z 2019-08-01T19:22:25Z Right-hander Danny Farquhar has announced his retirement, via his Instagram page.  Hanging up his glove after playing in parts of seven Major League seasons, Farquhar will now move into coaching, as he’ll start work next week as a minor league pitching instructor for the White Sox, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times writes.

    Farquhar attempted a comeback this season in the form of a minor league contract with the Yankees, though the 32-year-old was released in June after a brief stint at Triple-A.

    When the Yankees released me, we drove across the country from Scranton to California, you have a lot of time to reflect and you realize it’s time to move on and move on to the next stage in my career, which I’ve been talking about. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time now,” Farquhar told Van Schouwen.

    Farquhar was able to at least get back onto a mound and end his career on his own terms, following a terrifying incident on April 20, 2018.  Farquhar had just completed a relief outing for the White Sox when he suffered a brain hemorrhage due to a ruptured aneurysm, causing him to collapse in the team’s dugout.  After being rushed to hospital for emergency surgery, Farquhar’s life was saved, and he was fortunately able to return home less than a month later.  After sitting out the remainder of the 2018 season to fully recuperate, Farquhar received medical clearance to continue playing, which led to his minors deal with New York.

    Originally a tenth-round pick for the Blue Jays in the 2008 draft, Farquhar posted a 3.93 ERA, 10.2 K/9, and 2.92 K/BB over 272 1/3 innings in the big leagues.  The bulk of those innings came with the Mariners from 2013-15, including an outstanding 2014 campaign that saw Farquhar deliver a 2.66 ERA over 71 frames.  Farquhar also pitched for the Blue Jays, Rays and White Sox at the MLB level, as well as stints in the minors with the Yankees and Athletics.

    We at MLB Trade Rumors wish Farquhar congratulations on a nice career, and wish him all the best in his coaching endeavors.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[White Sox Place Yoan Moncada On 10-Day Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=169434 2019-08-01T00:23:43Z 2019-08-01T00:23:43Z The White Sox have placed third baseman Yoan Moncada on the 10-day injured list due to a hamstring strain.  An MRI revealed only a Grade 1 strain, though GM Rick Hahn told reporters (including Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times) that the infielder will miss around two weeks of action.  The injury forced Moncada out of the first inning of Tuesday’s game against the Mets, after Moncada came up sore after fielding a grounder.

    While not a major injury, it’s still unfortunate to see Moncada’s breakout season take a pause.  Heralded as one of the game’s best prospects in recent years, Moncada has started to deliver on that potential in a big way this season, hitting .301/.358/.535 with 20 homers over 409 plate appearances.  After recording a league-high 217 strikeouts in 2018, there’s still quite a bit of swing-and-miss in Moncada’s game, as evidenced by his 27.6% strikeout rate.  When he does make contact, however, he is scorching the ball — Moncada ranks in the 92nd percentile of all players in hard-hit ball percentage, and in the 97% percentile in exit velocity.

    After playing mostly as a second baseman in his first two MLB seasons, Moncada has played exclusively at third base this season, with somewhat improved defensive results depending on the metric.  He posted below-average scores (-5 Defensive Runs Saved, -6.5 UZR/150) as a second baseman last year, but while his DRS has dropped to -6 this season, his glovework at the hot corner has seen his UZR/150 jump up to +5.2.

    Acquired as the centerpiece of the prospect package the White Sox received from Boston in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada’s huge 2019 season (not to mention the big years for Tim Anderson and Lucas Giolito) represents a notable step forward in Chicago’s rebuilding project.  We already saw the White Sox make a big play to jumpstart their process by trying to sign Manny Machado last offseason, and now armed with more evidence that their new core group can deliver at the MLB level, Chicago is a team to watch this coming winter.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Acquire Nate Jones]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=169075 2019-07-31T16:23:48Z 2019-07-31T15:48:01Z The Rangers announced that they’ve acquired right-hander Nate Jones, international bonus allotments and cash from the White Sox in exchange for minor league right-handers Joe Jarneski and Ray Castro.

    Nate Jones | Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

    It’s an unexpected swap, as Jones landed on the 60-day IL earlier this summer after undergoing right forearm surgery. However, Texas will have a $3.75MM option on Jones for the 2020 season and a $4.25MM option on him for the 2021 campaign. Both of those come with a $1.25MM buyout, so the option on Jones this winter is effectively a net $2.5MM decision.

    For Jones, that’s an eminently affordable price. The 33-year-old could very well be regarded as one of the game’s better relievers … if he were ever able to stay on the field. Injuries have decimated the right-hander, though, as evidenced by the fact that he’s topped 30 innings just once dating back to the 2015 season. Lack of durability notwithstanding, Jones has also pitched to a 2.67 ERA with 10.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 over his past 141 2/3 big league frames. If — and it’s a substantial “if” — he can remain healthy, he’d be a boon to the Texas relief corps.

    With Texas eyeing a competitive 2020 campaign, it’s not a shock to see them proactively adding some potential contributors. At the same time, if Jones’ recovery isn’t progressing as hoped, the Rangers can pivot and buy out his option, knowing that they still picked up some value with the international funds included by the South Siders.

    Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets that Texas will pick up $1MM in international allotments, which is a fairly notable sum to change hands on the trade market. International allotments must be traded in blocks of $250K, but it’s more common for clubs to exchange $250-500K than to make seven-figure swaps. That newly acquired pool space will allow the club to finalize its signing of top international prospect Bayron Lora, tweets T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com; Lora ranked as the market’s No. 3 prospect this signing period, per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

    As for the ChiSox, they’ll bid adieu to one of the organization’s longest-tenured players. While they’re including some cash in the deal, Grant implies that the buyout on the option would be the Rangers’ responsibility, so the Sox are still saving a bit of money. They’re also adding a pair of young righties who’ve spent the season pitching in Rookie ball.

    Jarneski, 19, was the Rangers’ 12th-round pick in 2017 and has returned to the field in 2019 after missing the ’18 season due to injury. He’s made 10 appearances and posted a 1.62 ERA with a 16-to-11 K/BB ratio in 16 2/3 innings in the Arizona League. Castro, 22, is in his second season with the Dominican Summer League, having pitched to a 2.02 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 35 1/3 innings. He’s old for the level at which he’s currently pitching, though. Neither is considered to be among the Rangers’ best farmhands.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Reportedly “Planning To Keep” Alex Colome]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=169053 2019-07-31T13:25:26Z 2019-07-31T13:25:26Z The White Sox are “currently planning to keep” closer Alex Colome rather than shipping him out of town today, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). Colome checked in at the #26 spot on MLBTR’s recent ranking of the top 75 trade candidates in baseball.

    Colome has all the outward signs of a top trade target. The 30-year-old carries a 2.21 ERA and has racked up 21 saves in his 40 2/3 frames on the season, and still possesses mid-nineties heat.

    Otherwise, however, he hasn’t been very impressive in 2019. Colome’s combination of 7.1 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 and a 44.8% groundball rate looks more like that of a common middle-reliever. He surely deserves some credit for holding opponents to an anemic .147 batting average on balls in play, but Statcast figures suggest quite the opposite. Colome carries a .324 xwOBA based upon the quality of contact against him, well north of the .223 wOBA that batters have produced.

    As ever, contract rights matter quite a bit as well. Colome is earning $7.325MM this year with one more arbitration season yet to come. That’s an appealing situation for a lock-down closer, but seems quite pricey if that’s not how you value Colome. Indeed, the low ERA and lofty save totals he’s accruing this year also promise to raise his salary quite a bit in 2020.

    In the aggregate, it’s not especially surprising to hear that interest isn’t building to a crescendo on deadline day. True, the White Sox’ postseason hopes are dim. And Nightengale says that the South Siders have fielded interest from “plenty of teams.” But the club wants a reliable ninth-inning arm for 2020 and already paid a fairly heavy price for Colome. (In addition to the salary, the cheap and controllable Omar Narvaez is raking in Seattle.) Rather than swinging a trade and going out to find a replacement this fall, the Chicago organization will seemingly hang tight and keep the known quantity.

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