At 45-52 and 10 games back of a wild-card spot, the White Sox are buried in the American Leagugue playoff race. Despite that, the team isn’t going into the July 31 trade deadline as a motivated seller, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score explains.
Thirty-somethings Alex Colome and Jose Abreu would represent a pair of plausible trade chips if the White Sox were to aggressively ship out veterans. Either player could still move by the 31st, but considering Colome’s under control through 2020, the White Sox could opt to retain him, Levine observes. Abreu’s an impending free agent, though the franchise icon and the club have time and again expressed a desire to stay together beyond this season. The White Sox still aren’t ruling out dealing the first baseman, per Levine, but he adds they’d need to “love” an offer for Abreu if they’re going to part with him.
Meanwhile, two of Colome’s fellow relievers – Aaron Bummer and Jace Fry – as well as utilityman Leury Garcia have also garnered interest, Levine reports. Bummer has generated the most inquiries, but the White Sox are inclined to keep him and Fry.
Just 25 and not even eligible for arbitration until after next season, the left-handed Bummer has pitched to an exceptional 1.73 ERA (3.17 FIP) in 36 1/3 innings. An eye-popping 68.5 percent groundball rate and 8.67 K/9 against 2.72 BB/9 have driven Bummer’s success, as has a rise in velocity. Bummer has seen his average fastball velo rise from 93 mph between 2017-18 to 95-plus this season.
Fry, 26, is another lefty-throwing grounder machine, having forced them at a 57.8 percent clip in 2019. He’s striking out an excellent 11.5 per nine to boot, but a sky-high walk rate (6.68 BB/9) has undermined Fry’s work, evidenced by a 4.28 ERA/4.23 FIP over 33 2/3 innings. He, like Bummer, won’t reach arbitration until after 2020.
Garcia’s already in the arb process – he’s in his second-last year before free agency – but his $1.55MM salary, season-plus of control and defensive flexibility make him appealing to the White Sox and other clubs. While the 28-year-old is typically a center fielder, he has played upward of 40 games at both corner outfield spots and both middle infield positions since debuting in 2013. Garcia’s also a switch-hitter who has complemented his versatility in the field with useful offense in recent years. After managing terrible numbers with the bat from 2013-16, Garcia has been closer to a league-average hitter over the past two-plus seasons. Despite a lack of power, Garcia has posted a 92 wRC+ (.278/.316/.396) dating back to 2017.
Garcia’s improvement at the dish may help lead to his exit from Chicago in the next several days. However, the White Sox – who’d surely like to move past their rebuild and into contention soon – don’t seem dead set on trading Garcia or anyone else.