MLB Trade Rumors » » Chicago White Sox 2017-09-25T03:35:24Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom Steve Adams <![CDATA[Three Needs: Chicago White Sox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103209 2017-09-22T20:03:47Z 2017-09-22T20:03:47Z The White Sox have made a staggering amount of progress on the rebuild of their franchise in less than a year’s time. It’s almost incredible to think that last year, when doing a “Three Needs” look at the Sox, one need that Tim Dierkes listed was to make a decision on whether they should embark on a fire sale or take one more shot with a group led by Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, David Robertson, Carlos Rodon, Tim Anderson and Todd Frazier.

The Sox have traded almost everything that isn’t nailed down over the past year, bringing in high-profile talent like Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech, Eloy Jimenez, Blake Rutherford and roughly a dozen other prospects of varying levels of upside. Certainly, though, there’s still work for the team to do. We’ll take a longer look at their offseason in next month’s Offseason Outlook series, but here’s a higher-level overview of the Sox’ remaining needs.

1. Make a decision on Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia.

Abreu has been one of the best hitters in the American League over his four Major League campaigns, and he’s enjoying his best year since his rookie season in 2017. Thus far, he’s hitting .303/.356/.549 with 31 homers and a career-low 17.5 percent strikeout rate. His 40.1 percent hard-hit rate is easily a career-high, while his 6.9 percent infield-fly rate is the lowest of his career. Abreu is due a raise on this year’s $10.8MM salary, and he’s controllable only through 2019, so the end of his contract will coincide with the arrival of much of the team’s young talent.

Jose Abreu | Matt Marton-USA TODAY SportsGarcia, 26, is in somewhat of a similar position (which is not something that anyone really expected to be the case this time last year). While his deeper track record is unsightly, the right fielder/designated hitter has long been seen as having a healthy offensive ceiling, and this year he’s come through and delivered on that hype. In 524 plate appearances, he’s hitting .333/.382/.502 with new career-bests in home runs (17), doubles (23), triples (four) and strikeout rate (19.8 percent). There’s no way Garcia can sustain a .396 BABIP, and his exit velocity is actually down from the 2016 season, but some of the strides he’s made appear legitimate. Like Abreu, though, he’s controlled only through 2019 and could be viewed by the organization as either an extension or a trade candidate.

The White Sox don’t technically have to make a call on either this winter, but the more time that goes by, the less team control they can shop to interested suitors and the closer each gets to free agency (thus reducing some of Chicago’s leverage in talks). Chicago also doesn’t have much else in the way of marketable veteran pieces to shop this winter, making a trade of at least one of the two the most realistic avenue to accruing more prospect capital. Garcia’s breakout has some potential red flags, but his price tag is lower than that of Abreu and he’s four years younger.

2. Add some veteran arms to support/mentor the kids (and to flip in summer trades).

White Sox fans can dream on a rotation consisting of Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carlos Rodon as soon as late 2018 or early 2019, but there are a lot of innings to be covered while Kopech finishes his development in Triple-A and the team monitors the workloads of the other three (Giolito and Lopez due to youth, Rodon due to 2017 injuries and durability concerns). Adding Derek Holland for the 2017 season may not have netted a trade piece for the Sox — Holland was released in August after struggling for most of the season — but he soaked up plenty of innings for an inexperienced staff.

Grabbing at least one veteran, if not two, to step into a similar role next season would be prudent. There should be no shortage of names available for the Sox to pursue, with hurlers such as Jeremy Hellickson, Scott Feldman, Tyson Ross, Anibal Sanchez and old friend Hector Santiago among the free agents likely looking at one-year rebound scenarios. Pitching coach Don Cooper’s reputation will likely be a point in the team’s favor in luring such veterans, as will be an easier promise to guaranteed innings than most contending clubs would be willing to offer.

Also on the docket, of course, should be a veteran reliever or two. Just as the Sox can offer guaranteed innings to rebound candidates, the team can also offer high-leverage roles to relievers looking for rebound seasons. Huston Street, Tyler Clippard, Fernando Salas and Neftali Feliz are among the bounceback candidates on the free-agent bullpen market.

3. Take advantage of a nearly blank payroll slate.

The fact that the Sox don’t have much in the way of marketable veterans to pitch to other teams doesn’t mean that they simply can’t acquire further talent this offseason. The White Sox only have about $15MM committed to next year’s payroll: the $10MM portion of James Shields’ salary they must pay, $3.95MM for Nate Jones and $1MM for Tim Anderson. Beyond that, the only notable arbitration raises they’ll face belong to Abreu, Rodon and Yolmer Sanchez. As it stands, the White Sox could easily field a team for under $40MM in player salaries next season, though they’ll surely spend more to fill out the roster and invest in some potential trade chips.

But, the Sox are also extremely well positioned to take on some or all of a veteran player’s contract in order to persuade a rival club to part with some meaningful young talent. When teams like the Braves (Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis), Diamondbacks (Yasmany Tomas), Yankees (Jacoby Ellsbury), Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen) and others are looking to shed some unfavorable contracts, the White Sox will no doubt be involved in exploring scenarios that allow them effectively to purchase the rights to prospects — while also filling out the MLB roster with players that can perhaps be flipped again later, as occurred with Clippard this summer.

As recently as 2016, the White Sox opened the year with a near-$115MM payroll, and they opened with payrolls north of $118MM in 2015 and 2013 as well. The team can afford to spend — especially on players with only a year or two remaining on their contracts — and taking on those burdensome commitments could allow them to pry another few prospects away from rival clubs. As a bonus, the lack of veteran commitments on the current White Sox roster should also allow the Pale Hose to nab at least one player (if not multiple players) in this year’s Rule 5 Draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Avi Hopes To Remain With Sox Through Rebuilding Phase]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=103116 2017-09-20T19:52:58Z 2017-09-20T19:52:58Z
  • White Sox outfielder/DH Avisail Garcia tells Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times that he hopes to remain with the club even through the rebuilding phase. The 26-year-old can become a free agent following the 2019 season and is in the midst of a breakout campaign, however, making him a fairly logical offseason trade candidate. Van Schouwen also spoke with ChiSox hitting coach Todd Steverson about Garcia’s improvements this season, getting his take on what has helped Garcia break out. Through 519 plate appearances, Garcia is hitting .333/.382/.504 with 17 homers, 23 doubles and four triples.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reds Claim D.J. Peterson From White Sox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102951 2017-09-17T18:34:17Z 2017-09-17T18:21:00Z The Reds have claimed infielder D.J. Peterson off waivers from the White Sox. Cincinnati transferred reliever Drew Storen to the 60-day disabled list in a corresponding move. The White Sox also outrighted catcher Alfredo Gonzalez to Double-A Birmingham, reducing their 40-man total to 38, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune tweets.

    This is the second time this year a club has claimed Peterson. He previously went to the White Sox on Aug. 6 after the Mariners designated him for assignment at the end of July. For Seattle, moving on from the 25-year-old meant cutting ties with a 2013 first-round pick and a player who was once a highly regarded prospect. Peterson struggled this season with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate and did the same in his 97-plate appearance stint with the White Sox’s top farm team, giving him a .252/.315/.404 batting line in 518 PAs. The righty-swinger still hasn’t ascended to the majors, and he won’t report to the big league club upon his arrival to the Reds, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter).

    The 25-year-old Gonzalez also hasn’t gotten past the minors since signing with the Astros as an international free agent in 2008. This year, his first in the Chicago organization, the Venezuelan hit .208/.306/.301 in 249 trips to the plate with Birmingham.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Abreu Hopes To Remain With Sox Beyond Rebuild]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102822 2017-09-15T16:22:28Z 2017-09-15T16:14:29Z
  • Jose Abreu has made it clear that he hopes to remain with the White Sox even amid the team’s rebuild, writes MLB.com’s Phil Rogers. Chicago values his leadership and productive bat, Rogers notes, and he wonders if the team would make a four- or five-year offer to Abreu to keep him around this offseason. There’s no indication that there have been any actual extension negotiations between the two sides, though Rogers suggests that both Abreu and Avisail Garcia could make sense as longer-term pieces in Chicago.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[2017 Rule 5 Roundup]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102751 2017-09-14T16:14:45Z 2017-09-14T14:15:17Z With just a few weeks left in the season, we have a pretty clear idea of which Rule 5 draft picks will stick with their drafting teams. At this point, having already carried the player this far and with expanded rosters easing any pressures, teams are quite likely to stay the course. Here’s how this season’s Rule 5 group has shaken out thus far:

    Keepers

    It isn’t official yet, but these

    • Miguel Diaz, RHP, kept by Padres (via Twins) from Brewers: As part of the Pads’ unusually bold Rule 5 strategy, the club kept three youngsters this year. Diaz, 22, has managed only a 6.21 ERA with a 31:22 K/BB ratio over 37 2/3 innings. But he is showing a 96 mph heater and will remain with the organization, quite likely heading back to the minors next season to continue his development.
    • Luis Torrens, C, kept by Padres (via Reds) from Yankees: The youthful backstop — he’s just 21 — has struggled badly on offense in limited action. Through 133 plate appearances, he’s slashing just.169/.246/.212 — with just four extra-base hits, none of them home runs.
    • Allen Cordoba, INF, kept by Padres from Cardinals: And then there’s Cordoba, who’s also just 21 years of age. He faded after a hot start at the plate, but on the whole his output — a .209/.284/.304 batting line and four home runs over 215 plate appearances — is fairly impressive given that he had never before played above Rookie ball.
    • Dylan Covey, RHP, kept by White Sox from Athletics: Technically, owing to a DL stint, Covey has only compiled 83 of the minimum 90 days of active roster time required to be kept. But he’s going to make it there before the season is up, meaning that the Sox will be able to hold onto his rights and option him back to the minors in 2018. Covey, 26, has struggled to a 7.90 ERA with 4.9 K/9 against 4.4 BB/9 over 54 2/3 innings, allowing 18 long balls in that span.
    • Stuart Turner, C, kept by Reds from Twins: Turner has seen minimal action, appearing in just 33 games and taking only 77 trips to the plate. And he’s hitting just .141/.184/.268 in that sporadic action. Clearly, though, the Reds have seen enough to believe he’s worth the trouble to hang onto.

    Still In Limbo

    • Kevin Gadea, RHP, selected by Rays from Mariners: Gadea has not pitched at any level this year owing to an elbow injury. He’ll remain with the Tampa Bay organization for the time being, but will still need to be carried on the 40-man roster over the offseason and then on the active roster for at least ninety days for his rights to permanently transfer.
    • Armando Rivero, RHP, selected by Braves from Cubs: It’s the exact same situation for Rivero as for Gadea, though he has had shoulder problems.
    • Josh Rutledge, INF, selected by Red Sox from Rockies: This was not your typical Rule 5 move. Boston snagged the veteran infielder after he signed a minors deal with Colorado. He ended up seeing minimal MLB time owing to injuries and his season ended recently with hip surgery. Rutledge is eligible for arbitration this fall and isn’t likely to be kept on the 40-man roster regardless.
    • Anthony Santander, OF, selected by Orioles from Indians: Since he only made it off of the DL late in the summer, Santander can accrue only 45 days on the active roster. If Baltimore wants to keep him, then, it’ll need to put him on the Opening Day roster next year. Santander has seen minimal playing time thus far, recording two hits in twelve trips to the plate, though he put up impressive numbers on his rehab assignment.

    Kept By Other Means

    • Daniel Stumpf, LHP, signed with Tigers after electing free agency upon return to Royals: This is another unusual situation. As a previous Rule 5 returnee, Stumpf was eligible to elect free agency upon being returned to his original organization. That’s just what happened when Detroit sent him back to Kansas City; the southpaw then turned around and re-signed a MLB deal with the Tigers. He has ended up turning in a rather productive year, posting 32 1/3 innings of 2.78 ERA ball with 8.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 at the major-league level and showing even more impressive numbers during his time at Triple-A.

    Already Returned

    • Tyler Jones, RHP, returned to Yankees by Diamondbacks: Jones has thrown rather well at Triple-A since going back to the New York organization, posting 10.7 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings, though he has also allowed 4.38 earned per nine.
    • Caleb Smith, LHP, returned to Yankees by Brewers: Smith ended up earning a 40-man roster spot and spending some time in the majors after showing quite well as a starter in the minors. But he has been knocked around in his 18 2/3 MLB frames on the year.
    • Justin Haley, RHP, returned to Red Sox by Twins (via Angels): The 26-year-old didn’t stick with Minnesota, allowing a dozen earned runs in 18 innings before being returned to Boston. But he has thrown well since landing back at Triple-A Pawtucket, posting a 2.66 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 44 innings over seven starts.
    • Tyler Webb, LHP, returned to Yankees by Pirates: Webb also gained a 40-man spot with the Yankees after showing some intriguing K/BB numbers at Triple-A. He was ultimately dealt to the Brewers.
    • Aneury Tavarez, OF, returned to Red Sox by Orioles: Tavarez played his way back up to Triple-A upon his return to his former organization, but has hit just .244/.292/.400 in 145 plate appearances there.
    • Glenn Sparkman, RHP, returned to Royals by Blue Jays: Sparkman was bombed in his one MLB appearance and has been limited to just 30 1/3 minor-league frames due to injury.
    • Hoby Milner, LHP, returned to Phillies by Indians: Another player who has risen to the majors with the organization that originally let them leave via the Rule 5, Milner has turned in 24 1/3 frames of 1.85 ERA ball in Philadelphia. Of course, he has also managed just 15 strikeouts against ten walks in that span.
    • Mike Hauschild, RHP, returned to Astros by Rangers: The 27-year-old righty struggled badly in his eight MLB frames. Upon returning to the rotation for Houston’s top affiliate, Hauschild has uncharacteristically struggled with free passes (5.3 per nine).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Shut Down Carlos Rodon]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102394 2017-09-09T00:56:16Z 2017-09-09T00:25:20Z The White Sox have shut down lefty Carlos Rodon for the rest of the season, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). He is said to be dealing with inflammation in his shoulder.

    Rodon underwent an MRI today, leading to the DL placement. But the specific findings aren’t yet known. The prized southpaw will be checked out further next week, Merkin notes.

    This is not how Rodon and the Sox hoped the season would end. The 24-year-old opened the year with an extended DL stint due to biceps bursitis, but returned to make a dozen mostly promising starts. Over 69 1/3 innings, Rodon carries a 4.15 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. Beyond the free passes, he was hurt most by permitting 1.56 homers per nine.

    It’s always at least a bit concerning to hear of shoulder issues, though in this case there was little reason for the club to take anything but the most conservative course of action. Needless to say, Chicago isn’t pressing for a postseason berth. And after trading away most all of the club’s veteran assets, Rodon is perhaps the team’s most valuable remaining player.

    The South Siders will continue to take the long view with Rodon, who will qualify for Super Two status this coming fall. While that’ll enable him to begin increasing his earnings one year early, Rodon will not be eligible for free agency until 2022.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Select Contracts Of Al Alburquerque, Chris Volstad]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102377 2017-09-08T18:32:48Z 2017-09-08T18:32:09Z The White Sox announced this afternoon that they’ve added a pair of experienced arms to their pitching staff for the remainder of the year, selecting the contracts of right-handers Al Alburquerque and Chris Volstad from Triple-A Charlotte. The pair of additions fills Chicago’s 40-man roster.

    Alburquerque, 31, is no stranger to the AL Central, having spent the 2011-15 seasons with the Tigers and also having tossed 10 innings for the Royals earlier this season. The hard-throwing righty used a sharp slider to rack up nearly 13 strikeouts per nine innings over his first three seasons in the big leagues, but control has long been an issue for Alburquerque. In recent years, his velocity and strikeouts have both dipped, though he averaged 93.8 mph on his heater with the Royals in this season’s limited sample.

    Overall, Alburquerque owns a lifetime 3.23 ERA in the Major Leagues through 237 innings. He’s averaged 10.9 K/9 with a 48.4 percent ground-ball rate as a big leaguer, but he’s also averaged 5.1 BB/9 in that time. He pitched well for the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate earlier this season and will give a thin White Sox bullpen some experience for the season’s final weeks as he also auditions for a 2018 job (be it with the Sox or with another club should Chicago remove him from the 40-man at season’s end).

    As for Volstad, the towering righty will be making his first appearance in the Majors since a two-inning stint with the Pirates in 2015. Volstad, in fact, has thrown just 10 1/3 innings in the Majors since the 2012 season. In the interim, he’s spent a season in the Korea Baseball Organization and pitched in Triple-A with the Rockies, Angels, Pirates and now the White Sox.

    The 6’8″ Volstad was once one of baseball’s best pitching prospects during his minor league days with the Marlins. He graduated to Miami’s big league club in 2008 and went on to toss 584 innings out of the Marlins’ rotation through the 2011 campaign, logging a 4.59 ERA, 5.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in that time.

    Overall, Volstad has a career 4.92 ERA in 705 2/3 Major League innings, during which he’s averaged 5.6 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 50.1 percent grounder rate. He’s made 18 starts and nine relief appearances for the White Sox’ Triple-A affiliate this year and can serve as a long reliever for manager Rick Renteria or make a start or two down the stretch, if needed.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rodon Scratched With Shoulder Stiffness; Petricka To DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102343 2017-09-08T02:10:33Z 2017-09-08T02:10:33Z
  • Rodon isn’t the only injury for the White Sox, either; right-hander Jake Petricka was placed back on the 10-day DL for a third time this season due to an elbow strain, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. Petricka expressed some frustration but explained that the injury built up over time as opposed to a more severe injury that could occur on one single pitch. Indeed, Hayes notes that an MRI revealed no structural damage for Petricka, but there’s uncertainty as to whether he’ll be able to return to an already inexperienced ChiSox pen before season’s end.
    • Left-hander Carlos Rodon was a last-minute scratch for the White Sox tonight, as Scott Merkin of MLB.com writes. Fifteen minutes before first pitch, the Sox swapped Rodon out for veteran Mike Pelfrey due to stiffness in his left shoulder. The former No. 3 overall pick is viewed as a key long-term piece for the Sox, but injuries have limited him to 69 2/3 innings this season. It’s not clear at this time if Rodon will need to miss any further outings.
    • Rodon isn’t the only injury for the White Sox, either; right-hander Jake Petricka was placed back on the 10-day DL for a third time this season due to an elbow strain, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. Petricka expressed some frustration but explained that the injury built up over time as opposed to a more severe injury that could occur on one single pitch. Indeed, Hayes notes that an MRI revealed no structural damage for Petricka, but there’s uncertainty as to whether he’ll be able to return to an already inexperienced ChiSox pen before season’s end.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Release Derek Holland]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=102165 2017-09-05T18:05:03Z 2017-09-05T17:54:38Z The White Sox announced that they have placed lefty Derek Holland on release waivers. Chicago announced a series of other moves as well. Top prospect Yoan Moncada has been activated from the DL, while the team purchased the contract of lefty Jace Fry and brought him up from Double-A.

    Holland will almost certainly clear waivers, in which case he’d return to the open market while the remainder of his $6MM annual salary remains on Chicago’s books. Though he can still sign with another organization, so long as one is willing to free up a 40-man spot, Holland would not be eligible to pitch in the postseason.

    The 30-year-old southpaw simply has not had quite the bounceback season he and the Sox hoped for when he signed on over the winter. Holland has managed only a 6.20 ERA over 135 innings, allowing 31 long balls while carrying 6.9 K/9 against 5.0 BB/9 in that span.

    If there’s something to build off of, it’s the fact that Holland has been available all year after dealing with significant injuries in recent campaigns. Still, he averaged just 91.7 mph on his fastball, well off his career average of around 94. A variety of other underlying indicators suggest that hitters weren’t having much trouble seeing what was coming their way. For instance, Holland coaxed batters to offer at pitches outside the zone just one quarter of the time while surrendering 38.4% hard contact — both representing career-worst figures.

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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[White Sox Select Contracts Of David Holmberg, Rymer Liriano]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101980 2017-09-02T21:21:10Z 2017-09-02T21:21:10Z
  • The White Sox announced yesterday that they’d selected the contract of lefty David Holmberg from Triple-A Charlotte. Holmberg spent three months on the White Sox staff earlier this year, posting a respectable 3.55 ERA, but with 5.0 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 over 50 2/3 innings, including six starts. The team outrighted him last month. The 26-year-old has now pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues, also appearing with the Diamondbacks and Reds.
  • The White Sox announced today that they’d placed outfielder Leury Garcia on the 10-day DL with a sprained thumb, replacing him with Rymer Liriano, whose contract they selected from Charlotte. Liriano was once a top prospect in the Padres organization, but they designated him for assignment prior to the 2016 season. He found a home with the Brewers, only to have his 2016 campaign derailed when he was hit by a pitch in Spring Training. The White Sox claimed him last winter, then outrighted him near the end of Spring Training. He batted .256/.323/.416 with Charlotte and now appears set for his first big-league action since 2014.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers Acquire Miguel Gonzalez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101765 2017-09-01T03:17:09Z 2017-09-01T03:05:19Z The Rangers have struck a deal to add righty Miguel Gonzalez from the White Sox, as Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun first reported (Twitter link). Per the report, the Orioles were also attempting to bring back the veteran starter, but weren’t willing to meet the asking price. Infielder Ti’Quan Forbes will go to Chicago in return. The Rangers have designated righty Anthony Bass to open a roster spot.

    Aug 31, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez (58) throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the third inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

    Though Texas isn’t exactly in prime position to snag a Wild Card berth — the team entered play today three games out and dropped its contest — it seems the club is at least interested in keeping that possibility open. Gonzalez will help bolster a rotation that no longer features Yu Darvish and has seen numerous other pitchers struggle. If they can crack the postseason, the Rangers will be able to utilize Gonzalez on their roster.

    The White Sox have been quite aggressive in moving veterans, and Gonzalez now becomes the latest to go. The 33-year-old has been a steady presence since coming to Chicago after a four-year run in Baltimore. He’s earning $5.9MM this year — about $1MM of which remains to be paid — and will be a free agent at season’s end.

    On the season, Gonzalez owns a 4.30 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 to go with a 38.1% groundball rate over 127 2/3 innings. He has been quite good since returning from a mid-summer DL stint, spinning 49 frames of 2.94 ERA ball — albeit still with just 35 strikeouts against 19 walks.

    Despite the underwhelming peripherals, Gonzalez has typically managed to limit hard contact and suppress batting average on balls in play; opposing hitters carry a .278 BABIP against him over his six-year career. He doesn’t work with much velocity, but mixes five pitches and has managed to post a lifetime 3.88 ERA over 843 MLB frames.

    Forbes only just turned 21 and was a second-round pick in 2014. But he has not really shown much yet as a professional. While playing mostly at third base this season, which he has split between the Class A and High-A levels, Forbes carries a meager .234/.281/.344 batting line with 11 home runs through 517 plate appearances.

    The 29-year-old Bass has seen action in six MLB campaigns, but was bombed in two appearances this year with Texas. He has pitched to a 4.17 ERA in 84 1/3 Triple-A innings, though, with 10.2 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/26/17]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101272 2017-08-26T20:44:07Z 2017-08-26T20:43:55Z Here are the latest minor moves from around the game, with the newest transactions at the top of the post…

    • The Reds outrighted right-hander Nefi Ogando to Triple-A, according to Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link).  Ogando has been limited to just 5 1/3 minor league innings this season due to a hand injury, and then a shoulder injury suffered while rehabbing his hand.  The hard-throwing Ogando has a 3.86 ERA, 7.4 K/9 and 1.69 K/BB rate over 373 1/3 career innings in the farm systems for four different teams (Reds, Marlins, Phillies, Red Sox) in his eight-year pro career.  Ogando has also had a couple of brief stints at the big league level with Miami and Philadelphia over the last two seasons.
    • The White Sox purchased the contract of catcher Rob Brantly from Triple-A, in a corresponding move to the 10-day DL placement of outfielder Nicky Delmonico.  Brantly has spent the entire season with the Triple-A affiliates of the White Sox and Reds, coming to Chicago’s organization in late June after being released by Cincy.  He’ll be looking for his first taste of MLB action since 2015, when he appeared in 14 games in a previous stint with the White Sox.

    Earlier Today

    • The Rays outrighted Trevor Plouffe to Triple-A after the third baseman cleared waivers, the team announced.  Plouffe was designated for assignment earlier this week.  Acquired by the Rays from the Athletics in June, Plouffe hasn’t produced much in either uniform in 2017, hitting a combined .204/.274/.325 over 281 PA.  One would think Plouffe will be a candidate to rejoin the Rays when rosters expand in September, though a new space will have to be found on their 40-man roster.
    • The Reds selected the contract of catcher Chad Wallach from Triple-A Louisville prior to yesterday’s game.  The move was made to replace Stuart Turner, who went on the paternity list.  Even if it may be a brief stint as Cincy’s backup catcher, it still represents the first big league callup for Wallach, a fifth-round pick for Miami in the 2013 draft and the owner of a .259/.350/.387 slash line over 1477 plate appearances in the minors.  Wallach, the son of longtime Expos/Dodgers third baseman and current Marlins bench coach Tim Wallach, joined the Reds in December 2014 along with Anthony DeSclafani in the trade that sent Mat Latos to Miami.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Delmonico Discusses Past Addiction Issues]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=101048 2017-08-23T21:11:28Z 2017-08-23T17:17:01Z
  • White Sox newcomer Nicky Delmonico has broken onto the major league scene with an intriguing twenty-game run. Before he could push for an opportunity in the bigs, though, he had to overcome an addiction to Adderall, as David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune writes in a piece that’s well worth a full read. Delmonico sports an excellent .329/.434/.614 batting line with six home runs over his first 83 plate appearances. More impressively, perhaps, he has drawn a dozen walks to go with just 13 strikeouts.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Lucas Giolito To Make White Sox Debut On Tuesday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100759 2017-08-20T01:09:09Z 2017-08-20T01:09:09Z
  • Right-hander Lucas Giolito will make his White Sox debut Tuesday with a start against the Twins, relays Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). The Sox acquired Giolito and a pair of fellow pitching prospects, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning, from the Nationals last winter for outfielder Adam Eaton. Giolito has since turned in 128 2/3 Triple-A innings of 4.48 ERA ball, to go with 9.37 K/9, 4.13 BB/9 and a 44.4 percent ground-ball rate. Once among the game’s most celebrated prospects, the big 23-year-old has lost some luster over the past couple seasons, though he still factors into the summer top 100 lists of FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen (No. 35), MLB.com (No. 59) and Baseball America (No. 75).
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[White Sox Place Reynaldo Lopez On DL, Select Danny Farquhar's Contract]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100706 2017-08-19T21:31:55Z 2017-08-19T19:07:39Z
  • The White Sox have announced that they’ve placed righty Reynaldo Lopez on the 10-day DL with a strained back. To take his place on the active roster, they’ve selected the contract of veteran righty Danny Farquhar. The extent of Lopez’s injury is unclear, although he left Thursday’s game with soreness in his ribcage, as MLB.com’s Scott Merkin notes. Farquhar pitched 35 innings in Tampa Bay’s bullpen earlier this season, posting a 4.11 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 before being released.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Holland, Gonzalez, Shields Clear Revocable Waivers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100550 2017-08-17T18:38:35Z 2017-08-17T17:55:06Z
  • White Sox starters Derek Holland, Miguel Gonzalez and James Shields have all cleared revocable waivers, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. It’s almost impossible to see Shields moving anywhere, as the White Sox are still on the hook for $14.5MM of Shields’ contract through the end of the 2018 season. Shields has posted a 5.90 ERA in 68 2/3 innings this season. It’s at least feasible that Holland and/or Gonzalez could move, though. While neither would fetch a significant return, Holland has held lefties to a putrid .216/.279/.333 slash and could be viewed as a bullpen option at the least, if not as a simple innings eater for a club with a comfortable division lead. That latter label could also be applied to Gonzalez, who has a 4.67 ERA with 5.2 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 39.2 percent ground-ball rate in 113 1/3 innings this year. Gonzalez has turned in a 3.60 ERA over his past six starts, though peripheral metrics don’t support the uptick in ERA. Holland is on a one-year, $6MM deal, while Gonzalez is on a very similar one-year, $5.9MM pact.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Astros Acquire Tyler Clippard]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100266 2017-08-21T18:57:44Z 2017-08-16T23:30:16Z AUG. 16: USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Astros sent $1MM to the White Sox in the trade, which covers the bulk of Clippard’s remaining contract. (Clippard was owed a total of roughly $1.14MM at the time of the trade.)

    AUG. 13: The Astros have acquired reliever Tyler Clippard from the White Sox for a player to be named later or cash considerations, according to announcements from both teams.

    Tyler Clippard[Updated Astros & White Sox Depth Charts]

    This is the second trade of the season involving the 32-year-old Clippard, who went from the Yankees to the White Sox last month in a deal that saw major leaguers David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier head to New York. Clippard struggled to prevent runs this year as a Yankee, with whom he pitched to a 4.95 ERA over 36 1/3 innings, in part because of a bloated walk rate (4.77 per nine). Clippard did post a 10.44 K/9 with the Yankees, though, and allowed just two earned runs in 10 frames with the White Sox. The right-hander also added 12 strikeouts against five walks during that span.

    The Astros have been quiet this summer in terms of trades, with longtime starter and now-reliever Francisco Liriano serving as their most prominent in-season acquisition. And while the Astros possess the best record in the American League, 72-45, and a bullpen that ranks fifth in the majors in fWAR (4.9), their relief corps has scuffled of late. Over the past 30 days, Houston’s bullpen has logged the league’s sixth-worst ERA (4.96).

    Considering he has been successful with multiple teams as both a setup man and a closer since debuting in 2007, Clippard may help the Astros overcome their recent issues. However, as someone who generates a lot of fly balls (his 52.1 percent FB rate ranks fourth worst among relievers), Clippard might not be a great fit for home run-friendly Minute Maid Park. Nevertheless, he’ll slot into a bullpen that currently features a few other proven options – Ken Giles, Chris Devenski and Luke Gregerson – and has seen youngster Joe Musgrove dominate. The team could also be close to welcoming back Will Harris, who has been on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation since July 28.

    For the White Sox, parting with Clippard likely wasn’t an especially difficult decision. The rebuilding club has been selling off veterans dating back to last winter, after all, and Clippard’s an impending free agent whom Chicago acquired in large part to help balance out money in its trade with the Yankees. Clippard is on a $4.25MM salary and is due roughly $1.14MM of that through season’s end.

    Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network first reported that the Astros were trying to acquire Clippard (Twitter link). Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweeted that a trade was close. FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweeted that Clippard was indeed on his way to the Astros. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/16/17]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100470 2017-08-16T19:34:50Z 2017-08-16T19:34:50Z Here are some of the latest minor moves from around the game, courtesy of Baseball America’s Matt Eddy except where otherwise noted:

    • The Mariners outrighted right-hander Christian Bergman to Triple-A after he cleared waivers, per a club announcement. Bergman, 29, had the right to opt for free agency now or at the end of the season; given that he’s now listed on Tacoma’s roster, it seems he’ll wait and consider the latter option when the time comes. Bergman, 29, has thrown 51 1/3 innings on the year for Seattle, working to a 4.91 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9.
    • Outfielder Daniel Robertson will return to the Indians on a minors deal after being designated for assignment and then released, the club announced. The 31-year-old has appeared in each of the past four MLB campaigns — each time with a different team.  This year, he took 88 plate appearances for Cleveland, slashing .225/.287/.338. While it’s not clear whether Robertson will factor at the major league level again this year, the fleet-footed, high-contact 31-year-old could conceivably make for a useful bench piece once rosters expand in September.
    • The Diamondbacks have added right-handers Andury Acevedo and Louis Coleman on minors deals. Acevedo, who’ll soon turn 27, was intriguing enough to land a 40-man spot with the Cubs a few years back, but has yet to show any consistency on the mound in the upper minors. As for Coleman, who threw 48 innings of 4.69 ERA ball last year for the Dodgers, he’ll return to Arizona after briefly testing the open market. He has worked to a 2.05 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 over 57 innings this year in stints with the D-Backs’ and Reds’ top affiliates.
    • Heading to the Reds on a minors deal is slugging outfielder Adam Walker. He has bounced around via waiver claims and minor-league deals of late, seeing time in three organizations thus far in 2017. All told, he has compiled a tepid .185/.220/.410 batting line — with a dozen home runs but also 88 strikeouts against just ten walks — in his 241 plate appearances in the upper minors.
    • The White Sox released infielder Grant Green, who had previously seen brief action in the majors this year with the Nationals. On the season, Green owns an overall .232/.306/.300 slash over 245 plate appearances at the Triple-A level with those two organizations. The 29-year-old was once considered a notable possible contributor with the Athletics and Angels, but has managed only a .248/.283/.336 batting line in his 353 trips to the plate in the majors.
    • Six-year MLB veteran Collin Cowgill has been released by the Padres. Cowgill, 31, joined the organization on a minors deal over the winter, but never earned a crack at a return to the majors. He carries a .235/.297/.390 slash through 220 plate appearances
    • Finally, the Rangers have released lefty Bobby LaFromboise and righty Jaye Chapman. The former has made 27 MLB appearances and shown some intriguing numbers at times, but struggled last year at Triple-A with the Phillies and was sidelined for much of the current season. The 30-year-old Chapman, meanwhile, is looking to work back toward the majors for the first time since his lone stint back in 2012. But he was hit hard in his 36 2/3 innings at Triple-A Round Rock, with a 6.63 ERA and 6.9 K/9 against 5.2 BB/9.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Recently Extended Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100467 2017-08-16T14:30:12Z 2017-08-16T14:30:12Z Earlier this summer, the White Sox extended the contracts of executive vice president Kenny Williams and general manager Rick Hahn, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports in the course of a lengthy interview with long-time club owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Precise terms are not known, but both have received new long-term deals, per the report. Reinsdorf also discussed the organization’s current rebuilding efforts in a piece that’s well worth a full read.

    Both executives are longstanding members of the organization. Williams played with the White Sox, joined the club as a scout in 1992, and has steadily climbed the ranks ever since. He took the GM seat in 2000, helping to engineer the club’s 2005 World Series-winning roster, and left it with a move further upstairs twelve years later.

    Hahn took the baton from Williams as GM in 2012 and has held that role since. He originally joined the South Siders when Williams took over the baseball operations, moving to the organization after a stint as a sports agent. He quickly rose to become the assistant GM and was long seen as an eventual successor.

    In recent years, that pair of top baseball decisionmakers oversaw the construction and then dismantling of a strong core of young talent. High-end, controllable players such as Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Adam Eaton seemingly gave the club a chance at a nice window of contention, and it spent big on complementary veterans (through trade and free agency) to put a winner on the field. Those efforts failed to come to fruition, though, and the Sox haven’t posted a .500 record since 2012.

    With evident needs all over the roster after a  disappointing 2016 campaign, Reinsdorf authorized a dedicated sell-off. Sale and Eaton were moved in successive Winter Meetings blockbusters. Quintana went this summer to the cross-town Cubs. And ensuing deals saw David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, and Tommy Kahnle swapped out for young talent.

    While Reinsdorf says it was “very tough” to go through that process, particularly given that he’s 81 years old, he tells Nightengale that he determined he has “an obligation to do what’s right for the fans.” It was particularly difficult to boost the Cubs by sending them Quintana, he noted, though again he cited the need to focus on his own organization’s needs. “I know the White Sox fans will be upset if Quintana pitches them to the World Series,” says Reinsdorf, “but I also know we got their two best prospects.’’

    Since embarking upon this new path, the White Sox have compiled one of the game’s top farm systems. In addition to the numerous youngsters added via trade, Chicago inked highly rated Cuban prospect Luis Robert and is on course to score a top draft choice next year. The club’s most intriguing new assets litter top-100 prospect ranking lists, and several — including Yoan Moncada and Reynaldo Lopez — have already earned promotions to the majors.

    Turning that aggregation of young talent into a successful MLB roster, of course, will still require a concerted effort. The Sox currently own an ugly 45-71 record and will face many challenges in player development and, eventually, further roster maneuvering designed to supplement the hoped-for new core. More immediately, the team’s top decisionmakers will need to consider trades involving players such as Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia, each of whom has played well this year and can be controlled for two more seasons via arbitration.

    There’s mostly a blank slate on future salary commitments, though, which will surely aid the undertaking. After pushing payroll to north of $130MM by the end of 2016, the front office has pared things back to the point that the recent extension of shortstop Tim Anderson stands as the only significant remaining long-term commitment.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Orioles Have Had Past Interest In Derek Holland]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100454 2017-08-16T19:09:14Z 2017-08-16T03:48:37Z
  • Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com writes that Orioles GM Dan Duquette has a long history of making August deals — six in the past five years — but opines that there’s not much worth pursuing for the O’s this summer. Baltimore’s greatest need is starting pitching, but the remaining available arms are mostly fringe fifth starters that don’t represent a clear upgrade over the Orioles’ current options. Nonetheless, Connolly states that he does find it likely that Duquette and his staff make some kind of move, noting that the Orioles have “always had a little interest in” Derek Holland and are quite familiar with Miguel Gonzalez — both currently pitching for the rebuilding White Sox. I’d agree with Connolly that neither seems to represent an upgrade, though the O’s could probably acquire either pitcher primarily in exchange for salary relief.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reinsdorf On Decision To Rebuild]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100442 2017-08-16T01:48:17Z 2017-08-16T01:42:53Z
  • White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf spoke with Bob Nightengale of USA Today about the difficult decision to give GM Rick Hahn and his staff the green-light for a full rebuild of the team. “What made it hard for me was my age,” said Reinsdorf. “I’m 81 years old. How long am I going to be around, right? … The decision I made was that I can’t be a factor in this thing. As the owner of this team, I have an obligation to do what’s right for the fans. The real owner of a team is the fans, the owner is a custodian.” Reinsdorf acknowledges that the closely bunched group of teams in the American League suggests that the ChiSox might have had a chance for a Wild Card spot had they kept Chris Sale and Adam Eaton this offseason and made one more attempt at contending. However, he also adds that his ultimate goal of building a perennial contender for White Sox fans and the haul of young talent Hahn & Co. have acquired leaves him with no regrets about the rebuilding decision.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox Notes: Lopez, Closer]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100291 2017-08-14T14:25:12Z 2017-08-14T14:07:12Z
  • The White Sox will monitor Reynaldo Lopez’s workload over the rest of the season, manager Rick Renteria tells Brian Sandalow of the Chicago Sun-Times, though the skipper declined to divulge a specific innings cap on the ballyhooed young righty. I think everybody is very cognizant of pitch counts,said Renteria. Like we talked about last night, he has wipeout type stuff. He can strike out a lot of guys. Those guys tend to elevate in their pitch counts sometimes. We will be mindful of that.Lopez totaled 153 1/3 innings between the Majors, Triple-A and Double-A last season. He’s currently pitched 127 innings between Triple-A Charlotte and his lone start with the ChiSox.
    • The White Sox will monitor Reynaldo Lopez’s workload over the rest of the season, manager Rick Renteria tells Brian Sandalow of the Chicago Sun-Times, though the skipper declined to divulge a specific innings cap on the ballyhooed young righty. I think everybody is very cognizant of pitch counts,said Renteria. Like we talked about last night, he has wipeout type stuff. He can strike out a lot of guys. Those guys tend to elevate in their pitch counts sometimes. We will be mindful of that.Lopez totaled 153 1/3 innings between the Majors, Triple-A and Double-A last season. He’s currently pitched 127 innings between Triple-A Charlotte and his lone start with the ChiSox.
    • Following last night’s trade of Tyler Clippard to the Astros, the White Sox don’t have a single player on their roster with a save in 2017, as MLB.com’s Scott Merkin points out. Clippard, David Robertson, Dan Jennings, Tommy Kahnle and Anthony Swarzak have all been dealt to other clubs in the past five weeks, while excellent setup man Nate Jones is out for the remainder of the 2017 season. Merkin suggests that Jake Petricka and rookies Brad Goldberg and Aaron Bummer could all be candidates to get some save opportunities. Petricka, who has 16 career saves after spending part of the 2014 season as Chicago’s primary stopper, seems to be the logical candidate for saves of that bunch. However, each of the three has struggled considerably at the big league level in 2017. Of the others currently in the South Siders’ bullpen (depth chart), Greg Infante and Juan Minaya have had the best results this season.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Mulling Futures Of Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=100122 2017-08-12T23:38:20Z 2017-08-12T23:36:11Z
  • The rebuilding White Sox are still deciding on the futures of first baseman Jose Abreu and outfielder Avisail Garcia, says Rosenthal. As a bat-first type who doesn’t play a premium position and will turn 31 in January, Abreu would be the harder of the two to trade, observes Rosenthal, who also points out that he’s not cheap ($11MM salary in 2017 with two arbitration trips left). With that in mind, the White Sox could end up keeping the veteran around as a lineup anchor and a mentor to their younger players, including fellow Cubans Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert. Garcia, meanwhile, is amid a career year and still fairly young (26), so he could be an extension candidate if the White Sox don’t “trade him at peak value,” suggests Rosenthal. Garcia’s making a reasonable $3MM this season and, like Abreu, has two arb-eligible years remaining.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Brett Ballantini <![CDATA[Carlton Fisk: Sox Changed, Thanks To Postal Snafu]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=96994 2017-08-12T02:46:18Z 2017-08-12T02:46:18Z Even in this modern era, with MLBTR tracking the prospects of any conceivable free agent and setting a clock to the service time of every top prospect this side of Sidd Finch, the story still astounds:

    A future Hall-of-Famer freed by … postal laxity?

    Thirty-six years ago, the biggest gaffe in baseball postmarking history—a case made for Contract Law 101—freed Carlton Fisk from the Red Sox. Boston GM/owner Haywood Sullivan mailed out contract renewals to two players in their option year, Fisk and Fred Lynn, past the mandated Dec. 20 deadline.

    The flub freed up Fisk—ironically, an unyielding New Englander who never sought to leave the Red Sox—as an unrestricted free agent.

    Let’s dig deeper into one of the odder offseason occurrences in baseball history.

    Carlton Fisk: Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I never planned to leave Boston.

    Honestly, it broke my heart to leave New England. I grew up there, in a little town in New Hampshire called Charlestown. It was one of those towns, look right, look left, and you’ve seen everything. No movie theater. No swimming pool. No traffic lights. It was a thousand people. My graduating class was the biggest ever: 32 kids! It was in me—still is. And as kids, we all dreamed of wearing a Red Sox uniform or a Celtics jersey.

    So, why’d I leave? Well, I was 33 years old. I’d made money in the game, sure, but ownership wasn’t exactly giving it away. I had my family to think of, and my own pride. I wanted to be paid fairly—and the plain fact is that from the moment I was drafted [1967] I’d been underpaid by the Red Sox. That’s how it was in those days.

    Also, Boston was in a sort of transition. Honestly, it didn’t seem clear to me that the front office was dedicated to our core group of guys, or to winning.

    Indeed, the two baseball Soxes seemed to be working in opposite directions in 1981.

    Boston was just five seasons removed from the thrill of the 1975 World Series, which it lost in dramatic fashion in seven games to the Cincinnati Reds, and a few years past its historic, regular-season AL East division race collapse, culminating in Bucky F’ing Dent’s tiebreaker game-winning home run in 1978.

    Meanwhile, in Chicago, excitement greeted the 1981 season after Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn purchased the club from Bill Veeck and signaled that the days of Veeck’s hamstrung purse strings were over. With a promising young pitching staff already in place and a solid base of position players, the team felt it was just one key offensive acquisition away from contention.

    Jerry Reinsdorf: We didn’t come in with an agenda to make a “splash,” but looking around at the state of things, we wanted to make it clear to fans that things would change. We tripled the promotional budget. We made efforts to upgrade Comiskey Park. And we were willing to look into any way we could help the club, be it by trading for a player or signing one.

    Eddie Einhorn*: We were excited to get our hands dirty and improve the ballclub. We kept Roland Hemond, the GM who built our first great White Sox team, and we had some money to spend if an opportunity came along. [Note: Einhorn died in 2016; the interview referenced in this article was conducted during Spring Training 2011.]

    Roland Hemond: Bill Veeck had already spent some of Edward DeBartolo’s money after DeBartolo agreed to buy the White Sox. Not many people remember this, but Bill never was supposed to leave the White Sox. He sold the White Sox to DeBartolo for $20 million and the promise of staying on with the team as President. But American League owners had it out for him, and rejected the sale two different times.

    But initially, Bill was excited to have some financial freedom, which he hadn’t enjoyed for the five years he’d owned the team in the 1970s. We picked up Ronnie LeFlore from Montreal. We signed a catcher, Jim Essian, to some big money.

    Reinsdorf: Those deals were made under a prospective DeBartolo ownership, but once the owners rejected DeBartolo and voted for us, we were on the hook for the contracts.

    More than the roster, we honestly thought we had a bigger issue with the off-field things like improving an aging ballpark, and increasing attendance. We knew the White Sox were an up-and-coming team, and figured its natural development in 1981 would be a step forward, without any other acquisitions.

    Einhorn: But then we heard Carlton Fisk was a free agent.

    When the Red Sox missed their deadline to renew the Fisk and Lynn contracts in December 1980, an unprecedented situation arose. Never before in the free agency era had a player been freed from his contract because of a clerical error. With no precedent from which to base a decision, an arbitration date was set in January 1981 to determine Fisk’s fate.

    Fisk: The easiest solution would have been for the Red Sox to rip up my old contract and make me a fair market offer. I generally knew what I was worth. People talk. It wouldn’t have been complicated. Treat me fairly, and I’m right back in Florida with the Red Sox in spring training, with a few more dollars in my pocket. But the Red Sox never made a fair market offer. Their offer was so low it wasn’t even worth considering.

    Lynn, who received his 1981 contract even later than Fisk, bailed out on the arbitration process early on by agreeing to a deal that would send him to his hometown California Angels along with pitcher Steve Renko for Joe Rudi and Frank Tanana. The center fielder also received a contract from Angels owner Gene Autry for $5 million over four years.

    Fisk, on the other hand, didn’t have a trump card in negotiations like driving a trade to his hometown—the New Hampshire native was already there, with the Red Sox. But without an offer worth considering from Boston, the veteran was driven by principle to see the arbitration process through.

    Fisk: I didn’t have any doubt we’d win in arbitration. It was very simple: Haywood Sullivan did not tender me a contract. The Red Sox sort of admitted, ‘Well, we forgot.’ One of their defenses was that they didn’t understand the agreements with the Players’ Association. I thought, ‘Hey, wait a minute, we’re talking about the uniform player’s contract that they’ve been using for 100 years!’ That’s when I knew for sure we’d win, and we did.

    It was reported that Boston had offered Fisk a three-year, $1.5 million deal, but some felt it was merely a face-saving pitch, made after the fact.

    Fisk: I can say that offer is definitely not true, because if I was offered that, I may have taken it—at least we would have been close, and negotiated from there. The Red Sox weren’t even in the ballpark with the money or the years they offered, believe me.

    Even still, they had a chance to sign me. Make a fair offer—I’m an unrestricted free agent now, so you’re going to compete against other teams, and the offer needs to be competitive—and I’ll stay.

    But while I was still waiting to hear something concrete from Boston, Chicago called and made an offer I couldn’t turn down.

    Because of the unique and late nature of the contract infraction, and the somewhat protracted arbitration process, Fisk was declared a free agent late in the offseason, after teams had already reported to spring training. The entire process generated a sort of Fisk Watch: Would he leave the Red Sox? Where would he go?

    Reinsdorf: We had Essian, and we’d signed another catcher, Marc Hill, but when Fisk became available, you had to consider him. Remember, this was late in the offseason, way late. Signing Carlton had the potential to be disruptive. But we had to pick up the phone and call.

    Einhorn: We were still so new to everything. I was doing all sorts of things to put our stamp on the team, like staffing up the front office, even choosing a new mascot. Jerry was trying to improve ticket sales and fix up the ballpark. The initial reaction to us in Chicago had been a little lackluster; the White Sox hadn’t won in a while, and fans were tired of five-year plans. So getting a chance to reach out to Carlton was a timely opportunity.

    After some protracted negotiation and last-minute twists, Fisk signed with the White Sox for five years and $3 million, almost tripling his 1980 salary. Getting Fisk to change his Sox wasn’t as universally lauded as hindsight might lead us to think today—at the time, the veteran backstop was 33 years old, and many thought his best days were behind him.

    Fisk: Yeah, I’d hear that from some people. It’s a little trick management plays on you. When you’re younger and outproducing your salary, the team talks about how young you are, you’re still unproven, there’s a pecking order with salaries, don’t breed dissent with the veterans. When you get older, teams say that you’re over the hill, even if you’re still producing. You think, wait, do I even get one season to be paid fairly?

    But the White Sox were upfront with me. They played up the opportunity there, with a young pitching staff and a mix of younger players and veterans, a changing of the guard in ownership. They looked to me for leadership and encouraged that, without it sounding like a burden. They pointed out there were opportunities with advertisers that I might not get in Boston. Jerry and Eddie were enthusiastic guys. They seemed fair. It was a really difficult decision, but in the end, my gut said it would be a good move for me and my family.

    Later on, Haywood Sullivan was talking about how the White Sox pressured me and gave me a take-it-or-leave-it deal. Do I look like a guy who’s going to let himself get strongarmed?

    For catcher Jim Essian—who had signed a club record four-year, $1 million contract just a couple of months earlier—the Fisk signing was a mixed bag.

    Essian: Of course, I wanted to get my 400 at-bats that year. That’s why I came back to Chicago. The White Sox had made me a priority. It’s easy to forget today, but a million-dollar contract, even over several years, was a big deal in 1981. I was really proud. It was a validation of a lot of hard work I’d put in to be a major leaguer.

    Well, in comes Fisk, and there goes my chance to start. For a while [manager] Tony [La Russa] was talking like me and Carlton would split the catching duties. But even if that was the plan, I knew that if Fisk started hitting, he’d be playing every day. He was an All-Star. He wasn’t the kind of guy who begged out of games, even if he was in a rough stretch. But Fisk was a class guy, and a leader, and we needed that.

    While Essian played little in 1981 and was dealt to the Seattle Mariners after the season, the Fisk signing also had an unintended, negative impact on Chicago’s key superstar. Center fielder Chet Lemon, a two-time All-Star and by far the most valuable position player on the club in 1980 (notching 4.2 WAR in his age 25 season), took notice of the deal—and wasn’t digging it.

    Lemon: I was very comfortable in Chicago. I loved the team, and playing for the White Sox fans. The new ownership and Roland Hemond sat down with me in spring training in 1981 and laid out a five-year contract extension [1983-87] that would have made me the highest-paid on the team. Everything went smoothly, but I never got around to signing the deal.

    While the contract was just sitting on the table, a couple of weeks later they signed Carlton Fisk. For the team, that was great. For me, suddenly I wouldn’t be the highest-paid player on the club. I thought I’d done a lot for the White Sox in my five seasons, and it hurt a little bit that a new guy, even Carlton Fisk, would sweep right in like that.

    I can look back now and see that it’s a little childish to be caught up in who makes the most money, but I was still a young kid and it mattered to me. I decided I wouldn’t sign the contract, and that we’d talk again after the season.

    After the 1981 season, pressure was mounting on the White Sox to get a return for Lemon in case he bolted as a free agent after the 1982 season. At the end of November, and without significant extension discussions, Chicago dealt Lemon to the Detroit Tigers for Steve Kemp—ironically, a player also in the last year of his contract who was a risk to bolt the White Sox after the season. (Kemp indeed signed elsewhere, with the New York Yankees, in 1983.) Meanwhile, Lemon signed a 10-year deal—the longest in the majors at the time—with Detroit and produced 23.0 WAR over the five seasons that his unsigned extension with the White Sox would have covered.

    Lemon: Things worked out great for me in Detroit [the Tigers won the World Series in 1984]. But I’ve always loved the White Sox fans. Things could have been different.

    At the time of the Fisk signing, everyone in baseball felt the clock was ticking on the catcher’s career—even the White Sox, who despite shelling out millions weren’t certain the catcher would finish out his contract (two mutual option years at the end of the deal were understood to be fulfilling a future front office position, not a roster spot). 

    Yet somewhat amazingly, Fisk ended up playing far beyond his five-year contract, and 343 more games for the White Sox than he played in Boston. He remained a catcher his entire career (97% of Fisk’s games were at catcher), retiring after being released in mid-season in 1993, at age 45. With Fisk’s final game, he broke Bob Boone’s record for games caught, with 2,226—a record he held for 16 years, until it was broken by Ivan Rodriguez.

    Ozzie Guillen [who spent the most games as Fisk’s White Sox teammate]: We loved to give Fisk s— about his age, and he gave it right back. We had a great, young pitching staff in the early 1990s and they didn’t want to put up with his old man bulls— [imitates all of Fisk’s mannerisms]: adjusting his chest protector, his cup, his mask, walking out to the mound every other pitch and barking instructions to the infield. Remember when Joe Mauer was catching for Minnesota, walking out to the mound every other pitch? That was Fisk. We had an aggressive staff: Black Jack [McDowell], [Alex] Fernandez, [Jason] Bere, [Wilson] Alvarez. They wanted to attack guys but Fisk was like a human stop sign.

    Don’t get me wrong. Carlton Fisk was a great player and a great teammate. Best catcher I ever played with on the Sox. But it was time. No player wants to admit it—I f—— didn’t, for sure. But it was his time.

    Of everyone involved in Fisk changing Sox, no one suffered more than Sullivan. The GM/owner was already under heavy criticism after the 1978 collapse, as he dealt away or released many of the team’s assets (including Luis Tiant, Bill Lee, Bernie Carbo, Reggie Cleveland, Ferguson Jenkins, and Jim Willoughby) and drafting poorly (most notably picking his own son, non-prospect Marc, in the second round in 1979). In 1983, Sullivan’s last year as GM, he watched Fisk’s move to No. 2 in the batting order spur the White Sox to an AL West title and 99 wins, while overseeing a 78-84 season in Boston. 

    Sullivan always had maintained the reason that the Fisk and Lynn contracts weren’t mailed promptly was the fact that, due to mutually agreed-upon clauses, the two players were already under contract for 1981.

    Fisk: Haywood claimed he offered me more money, more years, more everything. Again, there’s an easy answer to that: If he had, I would have taken it and stayed in Boston my entire career.

    It’s funny, at the time people were talking about me betraying the Boston Red Sox. Everyone made a big deal about December 20, like it was some fluke, and the Red Sox got cheated because of [the deadline]. What no one talks about is the Red Sox had seven months to offer me a contract—they never did. Even during the hearing, the Red Sox could have made it all go away with a fair offer. They didn’t. I wasn’t interested in beating the Red Sox—but I did want what’s fair.

    Once his White Sox career began, Fisk would take particular relish in sticking it to the Red Sox—especially at Fenway. A career .300 hitter in Boston, Fisk upped that average to .314 as a member of the White Sox. Fisk hit homers in 3.8% of his career plate appearances and 4.4% of his Fenway appearances, but as a member of the White Sox visiting Fenway upped his longball rate to 6.9%. In the end, over 107 career games vs. the Red Sox Fisk hit .310, with 27 homers and 68 RBI.

    And there was never a more dramatic a moment for Fisk as a visitor to Fenway Park than in his first game there, on Opening Day 1981, when he hit the an eventual game-winning, three-run homer in the top of the eighth to spur a 5-3 White Sox win.

    With the White Sox, Fisk would produce another 28.8 WAR, ending his career with 68.3. At age 37 in 1985, he put up career numbers of 37 home runs and 107 RBI.

    Yet in spite of an acrimonious divorce and more time logged in White Sox than Red, Fisk was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000 as a member of the Red Sox.

    Fisk: There was nothing hard about the decision to go into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Red Sox. Boston is my hometown and my home team. There’s no way I can ever divorce myself from that home run—not a day goes by when I don’t hear about it from someone. With all respect to the White Sox and my long career there, that particular decision wasn’t difficult at all.

    Brett Ballantini has been a sportswriter for two decades, drawing on hundreds of interviews over the years to compile oral histories of great moments in major league baseball, basketball, and hockey. Follow him on Twitter @PoetryinPros.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Acquire Ryan Burr From D-Backs For International Bonus Money]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99970 2017-08-11T20:01:38Z 2017-08-11T18:07:25Z The White Sox announced that they’ve acquired minor league right-hander Ryan Burr from the Diamondbacks for international signing bonus pool money.

    The 23-year-old Burr had been with the Diamondbacks since they used a fifth-round pick on him in 2015. At the time, Baseball America (subscription required and recommended) lauded the ex-Arizona State closer’s “very live fastball,” though it was unimpressed with his offspeed pitches. Since then, Burr hasn’t ascended beyond the Single-A level, nor did he rank among Arizona’s top 30 prospects, per MLB.com. He has generated excellent minor league results, however, including a .72 ERA with 10.44 K/9, 2.16 BB/9 and an absurd 73.1 percent ground-ball rate in 25 High-A innings this season.

    In picking up Burr, the White Sox have subtracted from their remaining $4.75MM in international money. However, they’re barred from spending more than $300K on an individual player because of the signing of Luis Robert during the previous international period. The Diamondbacks had $5.75MM to work with as of July 2, tying them with a slew of other teams at the top, and immediately made several signings. Their most expensive acquisition has been $2.5MM outfielder Kristian Robinson, a 16-year-old from the Bahamas.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Hope To Deal Three Veteran Pitchers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99897 2017-08-11T00:56:00Z 2017-08-11T00:56:00Z
  • The White Sox would like to deal veteran hurlers Derek Holland, Miguel Gonzalez and Tyler Clippard, which isn’t surprising considering they’re impending free agents on a rebuilding team. Given the seasons they’re having, Holland and Gonzalez probably won’t carry much appeal to rotation-needy contenders, though Clippard has put up six straight scoreless appearances out of Chicago’s bullpen. Across that seven-inning span, Clippard allowed three hits and three walks, with nine strikeouts. MLBTR’s Steve Adams noted Wednesday that Clippard’s a prime August trade candidate.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[White Sox To Promote Reynaldo Lopez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99749 2017-08-08T22:16:24Z 2017-08-08T21:45:51Z The White Sox announced today that touted pitching prospect Reynaldo Lopez will make his 2017 debut on Friday. The 23-year-old right-hander will step into the rotation spot of veteran righty Mike Pelfrey, who is being moved to the bullpen.

    [Related: Updated Chicago White Sox depth chart]

    Chicago acquired Lopez alongside right-handers Lucas Giolito and Dane Dunning in the offseason trade that sent center fielder Adam Eaton and his highly favorable contract to the Nationals. Of the three righties acquired in that swap, Lopez has separated himself from the pack as the most impressive of the bunch thus far.

    In 121 innings with Triple-A Charlotte this season, he’s averaged 9.7 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 with a 36.3 percent ground-ball rate en route to a 3.79 ERA. However, Lopez has been utterly dominant as of late, working to a collective 2.70 ERA with a 63-to-15 K/BB ratio in his past 46 2/3 innings (12.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9). Both Baseball America and MLB.com listed Lopez as the game’s No. 59 overall prospect on their midseason rankings of baseball’s top 100 prospects.

    Friday won’t mark the MLB debut for Lopez, as he first surfaced in the Majors as a 22-year-old with the Nats last season. However, in six starts, he struggled to a 4.91 ERA, issuing 22 walks and reeling off five wild pitches in his 44 innings of work. Lopez picked up 44 days of service time last year, and he’ll have the opportunity to accrue another 52 days of service in 2017 if he sticks on Chicago’s roster. That best-case scenario of 96 days of MLB service will leave him shy of Super Two projection, so Lopez presently would not be eligible for arbitration until after the 2020 season. As it stands now, the earliest he could become a free agent would be upon completion of the 2023 season.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Claim D.J. Peterson]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99612 2017-08-06T19:08:32Z 2017-08-06T18:56:29Z The White Sox have claimed infielder D.J. Peterson off waivers from the Mariners, according to an announcement from Seattle. The Mariners designated Peterson for assignment on July 30.

    The 25-year-old Peterson had been with the Mariners since they used the 12th overall pick on him in the 2013 draft. Peterson was a fixture on top 100 prospects lists in the early going, but since holding his own at the Single-A and Double-A levels from 2013-14, his bat has cooled. Peterson hasn’t been able to conquer Triple-A pitching, as he batted .260/.316/.418 in 627 plate appearances with the Mariners’ affiliate in Tacoma. He hit just .264/.323/.414 there this year, good for 12 percent worse than the Pacific Coast League average, according to wRC+.

    Peterson has three options remaining, per Roster Resource, and could get a shot in the majors at some point with the rebuilding White Sox. For now, he’ll head to Triple-A Charlotte.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Players That Have Cleared Revocable Waivers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99485 2017-08-29T13:05:28Z 2017-08-05T21:20:46Z We’ll use this post to keep track of players that have reportedly cleared revocable waivers. Before diving into the names, a few items bear repeating. The majority of Major League players will be placed on trade waivers this month, with most instances going unreported. There are undoubtedly players (quite a few of them, most likely) who have already cleared waivers but have not been reported to have done so. Players can be traded into September, as well, but only those traded on or before Aug. 31 will be eligible for the postseason with their new teams, so there’s some urgency for contending clubs to complete deals by month’s end. And, of course, for those who aren’t familiar with the inner-workings of waiver trades, MLBTR published a full explanation of how August trades work earlier this month.

    Here’s the current list (last updated Aug. 29):

    • Jeff Samardzija, SP, Giants (link): While he hasn’t produced great results this year and is owed another $54MM over the following three seasons, Samardzija has put up compelling peripherals and has long been a scout’s favorite. Still, the Giants may not be all that inclined to move him and Samardzija has broad no-trade protection, so a deal seems unlikely.
    • Nicholas Castellanos, 3B, Tigers (link): The 25-year-old hasn’t produced at the plate this year after a quality 2016 season. But he is still hitting the ball hard and could be an interesting bounceback target for other organizations — with an offseason deal seeming more likely than a late-August swap. Castellanos is playing this year on a $3MM salary and can be controlled for two more campaigns via arbitration.
    • R.A. Dickey, RHP, Braves (link): Dickey has been just what Atlanta thought it was getting: a solid innings eater with plenty of durability but limited upside. He could fill in the fifth slot in a contender’s rotation, but teams might be reluctant to force one of their catchers to learn to catch a knuckleball this late in the year. He’s averaging six innings per start, and Atlanta may just keep him around in 2018.
    • Brad Ziegler, RHP, Marlins (link): Ziegler has been stellar since returning from the disabled list and could certainly help a contending club’s bullpen. However, he’s owed $9MM in 2018, and the Marlins now find themselves back in Wild Card contention — both of which make a trade before the end of August unlikely. He could be an offseason trade candidate.
    • Miguel Gonzalez, RHP, White Sox (link): Gonzalez is earning $5.9MM in 2017 and has been a serviceable, if unspectacular source of innings for the ChiSox. He won’t be a part of a contending club’s playoff rotation, but a team with a big division lead that is looking to rest its rotation (or allow some of its injured rotation members to mend) could turn to Gonzalez for some stability. The asking price won’t be much.
    • Derek Holland, LHP, White Sox (link): Like Gonzalez, Holland could be a rotation stabilizer for a team with a comfortable division lead. He’s also shut down opposing lefties (.216/.279/.333) in 2017, so perhaps a club would look at him as a potential relief specialist with expanded September rosters on the horizon.
    • James Shields, RHP, White Sox (link): The Sox still owe Shields the balance of a $10MM commitment this season (the Padres are on the hook for the rest), plus $12MM in 2018. Given his enormous struggles over the past two seasons, he’s not going anywhere unless the ChiSox simply cut bait and release him.
    • Victor Martinez, DH, Tigers (link): Martinez has been a decidedly below-average contributor at the plate in 2017 and is owed the balance of this year’s $18MM salary plus an identical $18MM salary in 2018. The Tigers won’t find any takers here.
    • Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers (link): Cabrera is 34 years old and has been a roughly league-average hitter in 2017. He’s owed a ridiculous $192MM from 2018-23 and has full no-trade protection as well. That last point is largely moot, though, as his enormous contract makes him all but impossible to move anyhow.
    • Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Tigers (link): With a 5.29 ERA in his nearly two seasons as a Tiger and $74MM owed to him from 2018-20, Zimmermann is effectively an immovable asset for the Tigers.
    • Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins (link): Stanton is owed $295MM over the next decade, so an attempt at acquiring him wouldn’t exactly make for a casual undertaking. He has more than made up for a relatively disappointing 2016 season thus far with a monster 2017, boosting his value, but structuring a deal would be complicated by a variety of factors — including the Miami organization’s still-pending sale.
    • Brandon Phillips, 2B, Braves (link): The 36-year-old isn’t the exciting option he once was, but Phillips still brings acceptable and affordable production to the table. Combining those factors with his impending free agency, Phillips seems like someone the Braves could realistically trade this month.
    • Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants (link): Crawford emerged as a two-way star over the previous couple seasons, pairing good offense with otherworldly defense. His glovework remains strong, but the 30-year-old’s production at the plate has fallen off dramatically this season. The Giants reportedly still have little interest in dealing him, and doing so would be difficult in any event. Crawford, who’s making $8MM this year, will rake in $15MM each season from 2018-21. He also has a full no-trade clause.
    • Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners (link): Unfortunately, King Felix’s days as an ace appear long gone, which is all the more troubling for the Mariners when taking his contract into consideration. Hernandez, 31, is collecting a $26MM salary this year and will make $53MM more from 2018-19. He also has a full no-trade clause, making him even less movable.
    • Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Mets (link): Unlike fellow Mets outfielders Bruce and Granderson, Cespedes doesn’t seem like a logical trade candidate. Cespedes is in the first season of a four-year, $110MM deal, and the Mets gave the franchise cornerstone a full no-trade clause when they re-signed him.
    • Asdrubal Cabrera, INF, Mets (link): Cabrera, who’s making $8.25MM this season and has either an $8.5MM club option or a $2MM buyout for 2018, drew trade interest in July. However, recent indications are that the Mets are leaning toward keeping him in the fold for next year.
    • AJ Ramos, RP, Mets (link): Ramos was a popular name in trade rumors before the Mets acquired him from the Marlins in late July. Plenty of teams showed interest in Ramos, so perhaps the Mets would be able to find a taker for the longtime closer. However, New York acquired Ramos knowing it wasn’t in contention this season, so keeping him into 2018 – his final season of arbitration eligibility – looks more likely.
    • Bryce Harper, RF, Nationals (link): Harper isn’t going anywhere. Putting the superstar through waivers was purely a procedural move by the Nationals.
    • Chris Davis, 1B, Orioles (link): Davis, 31, no longer resembles the force of nature he was at the plate before the Orioles handed him a seven-year, $161MM contract leading up to the 2016 campaign. They included a partial no-trade clause in the accord, but the contract itself has essentially become a full NTC thanks to Davis’ decline. Realistically, Baltimore’s stuck with him.
    • Joey Votto, 1B, Reds (link): The Reds haven’t shown any interest in moving Votto, nor has he expressed a willingness to leave Cincinnati. Considering those factors, the remaining money on Votto’s enormous contract (a guaranteed $171MM through 2024) and his full no-trade clause, the hitting savant will stay where he is.
    • Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers (link): With plenty of cash still owed this year and $56MM more promised through 2019, Verlander is not a guy who’ll casually be acquired. Things are complicated by Detroit’s inclination to try to achieve real value for a cornerstone player, not to mention Verlander’s full no-trade rights — though he seems willing to entertain a move. While a deal still seems less than likely, Verlander could be a fascinating player to watch if he throws well and one or more contenders see a need for his services.
    • Justin Upton, LF, Tigers (link): As is the case with Verlander, moving Upton would be a major challenge for Detroit. Not only does Upton have a 20-team no-trade clause, but his contract includes an opt-out clause for after the season, when he’ll have to decide whether to play out his deal or leave four years and roughly $88MM on the table. The tricky financial situation has apparently overshadowed the great season Upton’s having, as nobody has shown real interest in acquiring him.

    Additionally, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce and Neil Walker cleared waivers before their respective trades to the Dodgers, Indians and the Brewers.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Al Alburquerque]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99476 2017-08-05T04:17:08Z 2017-08-05T04:17:08Z The White Sox have signed righty Al Alburquerque to a minors deal, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports on Twitter. He’ll report to Triple-A Charlotte.

    Alburquerque, 31, becomes the latest veteran reliever to join a Chicago organization that is stockpiling arms after a flurry of deadline activity. He’ll join veterans such as Mark Lowe, Jean Machi, and Danny Farquhar as recent additions to the depth chart.

    Most recently, Alburquerque pitched with the Royals. He took his free agency after losing his roster spot following ten innings of 3.60 ERA ball. He’s still throwing 94 and getting swings and misses, though his career-long walk problems were also still evident. That said, Alburquerque did manage to allow only 1.7 BB/9 in his 26 Triple-A frames on the year, over which he also recorded 9.7 K/9 while carrying a 2.08 ERA.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Hahn: Reynaldo Lopez "Forcing The Issue"]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99363 2017-08-03T04:19:55Z 2017-08-03T04:19:05Z
  • White Sox prospect Reynaldo Lopez, acquired in the offseason Adam Eaton trade, is forcing his way into the team’s big league plans, general manager Rick Hahn tells Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago“He’s forcing the issue,” said Hahn. “He’s had several starts in a row that have been very impressive.” Indeed, Lopez has turned in a 2.16 ERA with a 54-to-11 K/BB ratio in his past 41 2/3 innings. Hahn also offered praise for Lucas Giolito’s recent work, though those numbers are skewed by a pair of drubbings in an otherwise solid run of 11 starts. Lopez recently appeared on the latest installment of Jason Martinez’s “Knocking Down the Door” series here at MLBTR and seems to be nearing his first Major League look with the ChiSox.
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    Jason Martinez <![CDATA[Knocking Down The Door: Honeywell, Kemp, Lopez, McMahon, Smith]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=96419 2017-08-03T01:39:12Z 2017-08-02T15:00:18Z “Knocking Down the Door” is a regular feature that identifies minor leaguers who are making a case for a big league promotion.

    Brent Honeywell, SP, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A Durham) | Rays Depth Chart

    While the Rays were busy adding first baseman Lucas Duda and a trio of relief pitchers prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, they didn’t make the splash that they were probably capable of making based on the depth and quality of their prospect talent. The team’s likely unwillingness to include the 22-year-old Honeywell in a deal is probably among the top reasons.

    Not only is Honeywell one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, there’s also a chance that he can help the Rays down the stretch in the same way that rookie David Price did in 2008 when he pitched 14 innings in September and another 5 2/3 frames in the playoffs for the AL Champs. Since being named the Futures Game MVP, the right-hander has continued to look more and more comfortable in Triple-A, allowing only three runs and 12 hits over his past 16 innings while striking out 22.

    Tony Kemp, OF/2B, Houston Astros (Triple-A Fresno) | Astros Depth Chart

    The window could close quickly depending on how quickly George Springer returns from the disabled list, but the recent trade of Nori Aoki could allow the Astros to give Kemp a rare chance for semi-regular playing time in the big leagues.

    Kemp is doing his best Jose Altuve impersonation down in Triple-A, and it’s not just because he’s a 5’6″ second baseman. The 25-year-old is slashing .324/.376/.465 with 19 stolen bases, 31 walks and 32 strikeouts in 90 games. His ability to play left field—he started 24 games there for the Astros in 2016—and left-handed bat should give him plenty of value on the Astros’ roster down the road, even if he’s destined to be a bench player. But it’s probably a good time to find out if he can be more than that.

    Reynaldo Lopez, SP, Chicago White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte) | White Sox Depth Chart

    Somewhat surprisingly, the White Sox did not trade free agents-to-be Miguel Gonzalez and Derek Holland prior to the deadline, which would’ve cleared a path to the big league rotation for Lopez — one of several elite prospects that the team has acquired since the offseason.

    The 23-year-old Lopez, who came to the ChiSox in the Adam Eaton trade, could be forcing the team’s hand anyhow, though. In his past six starts, he has a 1.97 ERA with 26 hits allowed, eight walks and 49 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs over that span and has three 10+ strikeout games. It will be a surprise if he makes more than two more starts in Triple-A.

    Ryan McMahon, INF, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Albuquerque) | Rockies Depth Chart

    USATSI_9701237_154513410_lowres

    Mark Reynolds has been productive enough in 2017 that a less-than-stellar month of July (.229/.319/.410) won’t cause him to lose his starting job, especially to a rookie with zero Major League at-bats. But it’s getting to the point in the season where it makes sense for the Rockies to at least give the 22-year-old McMahon, the No. 1 ranked player in Roster Resource’s MiLB Power Rankings, some occasional starts at first base while utilizing him occasionally at other spots on the diamond.

    McMahon, who has played a good amount of games at first base, second base and third base this season, is 19 for his last 34 to push his Triple-A batting average to .396 (86-for-217). Overall, he’s slashing .364/.406/.598 between Double-A and Triple-A with 36 doubles and 17 homers. It’s safe to say that he has very little left to prove in the minors.

    Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets (Triple-A Las Vegas) | Mets Depth Chart

    Despite hitting only 10 homers in the low minors over his first three professional seasons, Smith was a highly-touted prospect who many experts believed would develop power at some point. They were right. And it didn’t really take that long. Since reaching the upper minors as a 20-year-old in 2016, the left-handed hitting first baseman has 30 homers and 62 doubles while hitting over .300 and maintaining a disciplined approach at the plate.

    Even after trading Duda, the Mets are holding off on calling up the 22-year-old Smith for some reason. That’s difficult to do after he slashed .385/.437/.725 in July, but this is the organization that called up Amed Rosario, arguably, two months after he was making it clear that he was ready for the Major Leagues. GM Sandy Alderson has suggested that they won’t wait much longer on Smith, though. He should settle in as the team’s first baseman before the end of the month.

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/1/17]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=99275 2017-08-01T19:42:45Z 2017-08-01T18:50:04Z Here are the latest minor moves from around the game:

    • The Twins have called up veteran righty Dillon Gee, as LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune first reported (via Twitter). Gee will re-join the roster after the club dealt away a pair of pitchers in recent days. The 31-year-old logged four outings with the Rangers earlier this year and briefly appeared on the Twins’ active roster, though he did not see any game action. He has pitched to a 3.23 ERA with 7.3 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9 through 78 Triple-A innings on the year and will offer a swingman option for Minnesota.
    • With outfielder Willy Garcia going to the 7-day concussion DL after a scary collision yesterday, the White Sox have selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Nicky Delmonico, per a club announcement. Chicago has ample 40-man space after a bevy of deadline moves. Delmonico was a solid prospect when he was dealt from the Orioles to the Brewers in the 2013 deal that sent Francisco Rodriguez to Baltimore, but things did not work out in Milwaukee and he caught on with the South Siders as a minor-league free agent. He has spent the season at Triple-A, posting a .262/.347/.421 slash with a dozen home runs.
    • The Nationals released corner infielder Matt Skole after he cleared waivers following a recent DFA, Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). The 27-year-old lost his 40-man spot when the Nats acquired Howie Kendrick and evidently was not seen as being a part of the team’s future plans. A left-handed hitter, Skole has launched twenty or more home runs in several minor-league campaigns, including last year at Triple-A, and has consistently maintained a walk rate in the vicinity of 12% in the high minors. He also once rated as one of the Nats’ better prospects. But injuries have limited the Georgia Tech product quite a bit as a professional and he has spent more time at first base than at third in recent years.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Royals Acquire Melky Cabrera]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98781 2017-07-30T17:53:56Z 2017-07-30T17:07:39Z The Royals have acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera and cash from the White Sox in exchange for minor league righty A.J. Puckett and minor league lefty Andre Davis, the White Sox announced. Kansas City has designated minor league righty Andrew Edwards for assignment in a corresponding roster move, tweets MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that the White Sox are paying about half of the roughly $5.2MM that Cabrera is still owed on this year’s $15MM salary. Cabrera is a free agent at season’s end.

    [Related: Updated Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox depth charts]

    Melky Cabrera | Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Cabrera, 32, will return for his second stint with the Royals — though things are different in Kansas City this time around. Cabrera had a fine year in Royal Blue back in 2011, hitting .305/.339/.470 with 18 homers and 20 steals as a 26-year-old. However, the Royals finished out that season 20 games below .500 and finished fourth in the American League Central.

    Now in his second Royals tenure, Cabrera joins the team not as an up and coming outfielder but as an established veteran that will be inserted into a potential playoff contender’s lineup. The switch-hitter has a strong .295/.336/.436 batting line through 428 plate appearances this season, and he’s been especially effective against left-handed pitching (.296/.327/.500). That was surely an area of focus for GM Dayton Moore with tomorrow’s non-waiver deadline approaching, as the Royals have posted a collective .250/.305/.415 — good for just an 87 wRC+ that ranks 20th in the Majors.

    For the White Sox, the 22-year-old Puckett is the more highly regarded pickup in this deal. The Pepperdine product was selected with the 67th overall pick in the 2016 draft and ranks as the Royals’ No. 13 prospect, per Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. In 108 1/3 innings this season, Puckett has worked to a 3.90 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 48.9 percent ground-ball rate. Callis and Mayo note that Puckett is more about pitchability than power, with a 90-94 mph fastball and a plus changeup. Their report also pegs the 6’4″, 200-pound righty’s control at above-average, despite the 3.8 BB/9 rate that Puckett has turned in this season.

    Davis, 23, was the Royals’ eighth-rounder in 2015 and has spent the season pitching against younger competition in Class-A Lexington. In 85 2/3 innings out of the rotation, he’s posted a 4.82 ERA with 9.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 43.9 percent grounder rate. He’s been exclusively a starter this season, but if that track doesn’t pan out, Davis’ numbers against lefties in Class-A are solid; he’s held same-handed opponents to a .216/.289/.352 batting line through 97 plate appearances in 2017.

    Edwards, 25, has spent the bulk of the 2017 season with Kansas City’s Double-A affiliate in Northwest Arkansas. He’s punched out 34 hitters in 30 2/3 innings but has also struggled to a 7.92 ERA after allowing 45 hits and 14 walks in that same time frame.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Receiving Some Interest In Melky Cabrera]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98428 2017-07-28T13:12:32Z 2017-07-28T04:47:21Z
  • The White Sox have gotten “a little” interest in left fielder/designated hitter Melky Cabrera, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets, though he also notes that the ChiSox would clearly need to pay down some of the remaining $5.4MM on Cabrera’s $15MM salary. CSN Chicago’s Chuck Garfien tweeted earlier today that GM Rick Hahn is willing to do just that, however, so perhaps a modest market could develop for the veteran switch-hitter’s services. After this morning’s Dan Jennings trade, Cabrera is one of the few plausible trade assets that remaining on a gutted White Sox roster. Struggling pitchers James Shields, Derek Holland, Mike Pelfrey, Miguel Gonzalez and Tyler Clippard all figure to be plenty available as well, though none carries much (if any) trade value.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rays Acquire Dan Jennings From White Sox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98323 2017-07-27T16:10:17Z 2017-07-27T15:03:43Z The Rays have begun to bolster their bullpen, announcing on Thursday that they’ve acquired lefty reliever Dan Jennings from the White Sox in exchange for first base prospect Casey Gillaspie. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rays designated right-hander Diego Moreno for assignment.

    [Related: Updated Chicago White Sox depth chart and Tampa Bay Rays depth chart]

    Dan Jennings | Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Tampa Bay has been known to be interested in picking up a left-handed reliever, and they’ve reportedly checked in on the likes of San Diego’s Brad Hand and Detroit’s Justin Wilson in recent weeks. Both relievers are reportedly attached to exorbitant asking prices, however, which likely prompted the Rays to shift to another southpaw that they can control beyond the current campaign. Notably, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand tweets that the Rays are still looking at bigger names on the relief market, so there could yet be further additions to the Tampa Bay bullpen.

    Jennings, 30, has been a solid bullpen piece for the Sox since being acquired prior to the 2015 season in a shrewd trade by Chicago GM Rick Hahn. (The Sox sent righty Andre Rienzo to Miami in exchange for Jennings.) Jennings has totaled 161 1/3 innings out of the South Siders’ bullpen in the past three seasons, and while his 7.3 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 marks don’t stand out, he’s used a 59.1 percent ground-ball rate and a paltry 23.7 percent hard-contact rate to help him to a 3.12 ERA in that time.

    While he’s long been effective against lefties, Jennings has been flat-out lethal against southpaw swingers in 2017, limiting them to a feeble .164/.286/.211 batting line through 85 plate appearances. He’s also earning just $1.4MM in 2017 and can be retained for another two years via arbitration, making him a nice longer-term piece for the Rays’ bullpen.

    Jennings becomes the second reliever that the White Sox have flipped in a one-for-one swap involving a solid offensive prospect in as many days. (Anthony Swarzak officially went to the Brewers in exchange for outfielder Ryan Cordell yesterday.) Gillaspie, 24, was the Rays’ first-round pick in the 2014 draft and entered the season ranked as the game’s No. 74 overall prospect in the eyes of Baseball America. That ranking came on the heels of a strong .286/.387/.482 batting line in 555 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A in last year’s age-23 campaign.

    The 2017 season has been a struggle for Gillaspie, however. He’s slumped to a .227/.296/.357 slash through his first 395 PAs with Triple-A Durham and had slipped from fifth to tenth on MLB.com’s rankings of the organization’s top 30 prospects. That said, MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo still placed a solid 50 grade (on the 20-80 scouting scale) on Gillaspie’s overall potential moving forward, praising the switch-hitter’s “untapped power potential” and touting him as at least a league-average defender at first base.

    CSN Chicago’s Chuck Garfien tweets that Gillaspie, the younger brother of former White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie, is currently dealing with a broken toe and is expected to be out for another one to two weeks. He’ll then report to Triple-A Charlotte.

    Losing his roster spot as a result of the trade will be the 30-year-old Moreno, who has tossed 5 2/3 frames out of the Rays’ bullpen this season and allowed three earned runs on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Moreno’s biggest claim to fame is being one of the two players traded by the Pirates to the Yankees in the 2012 swap that sent A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh. He has just 16 innings at the big league level but has posted a more palatable 3.70 ERA with 8.3 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 through 165 1/3 career innings in Triple-A.

    ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick first reported that the Rays were closing in on a trade for a left-handed reliever (Twitter link). Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported the specifics (also on Twitter).

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Avisail Garcia Placed On DL With Strained Thumb Ligament]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98243 2017-07-26T21:35:10Z 2017-07-26T21:22:08Z White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia has been diagnosed with a strained ligament in his thumb and will be placed on the DL, per a team announcement. Garcia will miss approximately two weeks with the injury, tweets MLB.com’s Scott Merkin. CSN Chciago’s Chuck Garfien tweets that Garcia will undergo an MRI for further evaluation. A corresponding move has not yet been announced.

    [Related: Updated Chicago White Sox depth chart]

    While Garcia hasn’t been among the most discussed White Sox trade candidates, it certainly stands to reason that the Chicago front office would’ve listened to offers on the 26-year-old. He’s controlled only through the 2019 season and has enjoyed the most productive season of his career at the plate. Through 363 plate appearances, Garcia is hitting .303/.347/.485 with 13 home runs, 17 doubles and three triples. He’s also turned in slightly above-average marks in right field, per Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating, for the second straight season. The injury makes a move involving Garcia considerably less likely, however.

    Much of Garcia’s 2017 production looks attributable to a career-high BABIP that has begun to come back to earth in recent weeks, though he’s improved his strikeout rate to a career-best 21.5 percent and has substantially increased his overall contact rate at the plate as well. He’s also sporting a career-best homer-to-flyball ratio (19.7 percent) and has seen a corresponding uptick in isolated power (.182).

    With both Avisail and Leury Garcia on the shelf, the White Sox could give waiver pickup Alen Hanson more looks in right field. The team also has Willy Garcia as an option in Triple-A. Outfield prospect Ryan Cordell, acquired in the trade that sent Anthony Swarzak to the Brewers, would likely be an option were it not for the fact that he’s been on the minor league disabled list since late June. White Sox GM Rick Hahn elaborated on Cordell’s back injury, telling reporters that it’ll probably take another few weeks to resolve and suggesting that Cordell could be sidelined until the instructional league in September (Twitter link via the Daily Herald’s Scot Gregor).

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Acquire Anthony Swarzak]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98152 2017-07-26T15:02:05Z 2017-07-26T15:01:19Z TODAY: Milwaukee has announced the swap, making it official.

    YESTERDAY: The Brewers and White Sox have reportedly agreed to a trade that will send right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak from Chicago to Milwaukee in exchange for 25-year-old infield/outfield prospect Ryan Cordell.

    Anthony Swarzak | Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

    After signing a minor league deal with a $900K base salary this offseason, the 31-year-old Swarzak has broken out with the best season of his career. In 48 1/3 innings with the South Siders, he’s averaged 9.7 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9 with a 40.5 percent ground-ball rate en route to a 2.23 ERA.

    The former second-round pick is averaging 94.5 mph on his heater this year and has posted a 14 percent swinging-strike rate that dwarfs his previous career-high of 10.6 percent. Swarzak’s 71.9 percent contact rate sits nearly six percentage points below the league average of 77.5 percent.

    [Related: Updated White Sox depth chart and Brewers depth chart]

    Swarzak figures to serve as a setup man to breakout closer Corey Knebel. He’ll be joined in the relief corps by the likes of Jacob BarnesJared Hughes and Josh Hader. Veteran Carlos Torres and midseason acquisition Oliver Drake have both logged significant innings out of the Milwaukee ’pen, though each righty has struggled recently.

    Cordell, 25, has spent the season with Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate, hitting .284/.349/.506 with 10 homers and nine steals in the hitter-friendly environment of Colorado Springs. He’ll ultimately spend less than a full season in the Brewers’ system, as he’d previously been acquired as the player to be named later in last summer’s Jonathan Lucroy/Jeremy Jeffress trade with the Rangers.

    The versatile Cordell ranked 17th among Milwaukee farmhands on the updated top 30 list published by MLB.com today. A former 11th-round pick, Cordell has appeared at shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions in his career and could project as a super-utility option with some pop and speed in the Majors. While some scouts may project him as a fourth outfielder (as MLB.com’s report indicates and as Yahoo’s Jeff Passan suggests on Twitter), Cordell is essentially a very near-MLB-ready piece and should have a chance to convince the ChiSox that he’s capable of more in the very near future.

    Swarzak becomes the latest domino to fall in the White Sox’ aggressive, ongoing rebuilding effort. Chicago GM Rick Hahn has moved Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle this summer, in addition to shipping out center fielder Adam Eaton and ace Chris Sale this past offseason. There could still be more pieces on the move in Chicago as well, with Melky Cabrera, Miguel Gonzalez and Derek Holland all set to hit free agency at season’s end. Outfielder Avisail Garcia, too, could see his name bandied about the rumor circuit over the next five to six days, as he’s only controlled through the 2019 campaign.

    FOX’s Ken Rosenthal first reported the two sides were in talks. FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported that an agreement was in place (via Twitter). Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reported that Cordell was going to the White Sox in return for Swarzak  (via Twitter).

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers, White Sox Discussing Anthony Swarzak Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98139 2017-07-25T22:11:29Z 2017-07-25T22:11:29Z The Brewers and White Sox are in talks about a trade that would send right-hander Anthony Swarzak from Chicago to Milwaukee, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).

    After signing a minor league deal with a $900K base salary this offseason, the 31-year-old Swarzak has broken out with the best season of his career. In 48 1/3 innings with the South Siders, he’s averaged 9.7 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9 with a 40.5 percent ground-ball rate en route to a 2.23 ERA. The former second-round pick is averaging 94.5 mph on his heater this year and has posted a 14 percent swinging-strike rate that dwarfs his previous career-high of 10.6 percent. Swarzak’s 71.9 percent contact rate sits nearly six percentage points below the league average of 77.5 percent.

    Swarzak picked up the first save of his career in yesterday’s win over the Cubs, though his stint as the de facto closer in Chicago may not last all that long, as he’s a free agent at season’s end and is widely expected to be traded. The Brewers are known to be on the lookout for bullpen help, and Swarzak’s status as a rental and lack of a dominant track record should make him a reasonably affordable piece to acquire via trade, even with this year’s exceptional results.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 7/25/17]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98104 2017-07-25T18:04:18Z 2017-07-25T18:04:16Z Let’s catch up on a few recent minor transactions:

    • Blue Jays lefty Jeff Beliveau has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, per a club announcement. He had been designated for assignment recently after posting rough results over 19 MLB innings. The 30-year-old did manage 9.8 K/9 during his time in the majors, and was striking out over a dozen per nine at Triple-A this year. But he allowed four long balls in just 15 2/3 innings and had not generated much soft contact. The announcement seemingly suggests that Beliveau will take the assignment at Buffalo, though he’s not yet listed on the roster and would have the right to choose free agency.

    Earlier Updates

    • Righty Lucas Harrell has accepted an assignment with the Blue Jays’ top affiliate, per a club announcement. Depending upon the team’s deadline moves, perhaps it won’t be a lengthy detour. Harrell, 32, was knocked around in 6 1/3 big league innings this year after making nine useful starts last year at the game’s highest level.
    • The Mets added righty Jonathan Albaladejo on a minors deal, the team announced (h/t Marc Carig of Newsday, on Twitter). The former big leaguer had been pitching for the indy ball Bridgeport Bluefish. Now 34, Albaladejo hasn’t tasted the majors since a brief showing in 2012. Over 66 total appearances in the big leagues, he owns a 4.34 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9.
    • The Rockies have acquired lefty Will Lamb from the White Sox, with an announcement confirming a tweet from Robert Murray of Fan Rag (via Twitter). It’s not known what Chicago will receive in return, but it’s surely reflective of Lamb’s struggles. While the former second-rounder has produced good results in brief stops at Double-A in recent years, he has been knocked around at the highest level of the minors. Over 120 1/3 total Triple-A frames, Lamb carries a 6.06 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Sign Danny Farquhar]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98096 2017-07-25T03:21:02Z 2017-07-25T03:21:02Z The White Sox have signed veteran righty Danny Farquhar, Scott Merkin of MLB.com tweets. Triple-A Charlotte has confirmed the move, while also announcing the releases of catcher Carson Blair and righty Bobby Parnell.

    Chicago has been looking to add veteran arms to the ranks at Charlotte as it continues to oversee a rummage sale with its MLB roster. Several relievers have already been dealt and a few more appear to be on the block as well.

    The 30-year-old Farquhar continues to generate tons of swings and misses (better than 14% this year), but has had trouble translating that into consistent results. He was able to punch out only 8.5 batters per nine via strikeout despite the outstanding whiff rate, and also permitted a 5.7 BB/9 walk rate in his 35 innings this year with the Rays.

    Those struggles led to the loss of Farquhar’s MLB roster spot and, not long after, his release. But he obviously still has some intriguing skills and has at times been quite effective over long stretches. Farquhar will hope for another shot at the majors down the stretch, with designs on setting himself up for a solid opportunity entering the 2018 season.

    As for the other two players, the 27-year-old Blair has seen eleven games of MLB action, but has mostly played in the upper minors in recent years. He’s slashing .211/.297/.390 on the season at Triple-A. Parnell, the former Mets’ closer, has struggled to a 7.34 ERA in his 34 1/3 innings at the highest level of the minors this year (split between the Royals and White Sox organizations).

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Zack Burdi To Have Tommy John Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=97147 2017-07-24T17:01:32Z 2017-07-24T17:01:00Z July 24: Burdi will indeed undergo Tommy John surgery, Hayes tweets. The operation will be performed this week and figures to sideline the hard-throwing righty for the majority of the 2018 campaign.

    July 14: White Sox pitching prospect Zack Burdi is believed to have suffered a UCL tear that will require Tommy John surgery, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago first reported on Twitter. While he’ll first receive a second opinion, indications are that he’ll join his brother — Twins prospect Nick Burdi — in the lengthy TJ recovery process.

    The younger Burdi landed with the White Sox organization after following his brother in posting a stellar run with the University of Louisville. Chicago grabbed Burdi with the 26th overall pick in last year’s draft — quite a steep position for a relief pitcher.

    At the time, prospect watchers believed that Burdi could move quickly toward the majors. His triple-digit heater, quality slider, and serviceable change give him the arsenal of a closer; surely, the South Siders used that lofty pick in expectation that he’d become an elite pen arm.

    Burdi sprinted through the Sox’ system last year, reaching Triple-A in his first professional season. The expectation heading into 2017 was that he’d finish off his preparation and potentially get his first taste of the big leagues at some point later in the current season.

    Even before the injury, though, there was perhaps some cause to pump the brakes on Burdi’s rise. He has allowed fifteen earned runs on thirty hits and seventeen walks through his 33 1/3 innings at Charlotte this year, though he has also racked up 51 strikeouts.

    Still, the plan obviously was for Burdi to begin making an MLB impact sooner than later. While the rebuilding White Sox can deal with some delay, a major injury to a significant prospect obviously constitutes disappointing news. If he does indeed require a new UCL, the 22-year-old will likely miss the entire 2018 season — though perhaps an Arizona Fall League assignment next year could be possible.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Melky Cabrera Hopes To Stay With White Sox]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=98016 2017-07-24T05:03:41Z 2017-07-24T05:03:41Z
  • While the White Sox are continuing to trade veterans, Melky Cabrera is hoping to remain with the team, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin writes.  “I like this team and I would like to stay here for a long time, not just until the end of the season. But I don’t have control of those decisions,” Cabrera said via a translator.  Cabrera wasn’t garnering much trade interest as of a month ago, though the veteran has continued to post solid numbers at the plate.  Cabrera is owed approximately $5.2M in salary for the remainder of the season before hitting free agency this winter.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox To Acquire Mark Lowe, Jean Machi]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=97813 2017-07-21T23:56:21Z 2017-07-21T23:45:09Z The White Sox have acquired veteran relievers Mark Lowe and Jean Machi from the Mariners, according to Triple-A Tacoma broadcaster Mike Curto (Twitter link). Both will report to Chicago’s top affiliate.

    It seems that this isn’t a part of a larger deal, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets that cash is heading back to the M’s. Clearly, the addition of these two players by the rebuilding South Siders is designed to help the team maintain its pen depth down the stretch. Chicago has already traded away a pair of relievers from its major league roster and could move yet more by the trade deadline.

    Lowe, 35, was released by the Tigers late in camp after a disappointing run in Detroit. He joined the Mariners on a minors pact and has gone on to post a 6.23 ERA in 39 innings, all at Triple-A. Lowe has struck out 8.5 and walked 4.6 batters per nine on the year.

    As for the 35-year-old Machi, he did enjoy a brief MLB stint earlier this season — his first since 2015 — but has spent most of the year at Tacoma. Over 36 2/3 innings, Machi carries a 3.44 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mixed Reviews On Blake Rutherford]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=97765 2017-07-21T17:58:44Z 2017-07-21T17:58:44Z
  • The Yankeesseven-player trade with the White Sox may be New York’s only really big move before the deadline, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.  The Yankees are still looking for a left-handed hitting first baseman and lefty reliever, though “they do not appear to have urgency in those areas,” and certainly not to the degree it would take to move a significant prospect to address either need.  After missing out on Jose Quintana, the Yankees also don’t look like they’re willing to give up a notable prospect package to acquire a starter, since they were particularly enamored with Quintana’s durability and team-friendly contract.  While New York has been linked to Sonny Gray, Sherman reports that Gray’s injury history is a concern for the Yankees.  Similar concerns also scuttled the Yankees’ interest in Sean Doolittle before the Athletics dealt Doolittle to the Nationals.
  • Also from Sherman, he spoke to five rival personnel men who felt the Yankees made a very good move in swinging the Todd Frazier/David Robertson/Tommy Kahnle deal with the White SoxBlake Rutherford, the outfield prospect who headlined the minor league package sent to Chicago, received less-than-stellar reviews from the five executives, who questioned Rutherford’s power potential and his ability to stay as a center fielder.  One NL executive felt the Yankees may have sold high on Rutherford “when the buzz was still good” about his potential.  Incidentally, Sherman reports that Rutherford was also part of the Yankees’ offer to the White Sox for Quintana.
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