clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

MLB Trade Deadline Recap: Chicago White Sox

New, comments

A look at what the White Sox accomplished before the trade deadline.

MLB: Winter Meetings Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the non-waiver deadline has passed, we’re taking a look back at what each team was able to accomplish before 4 p.m. ET on July 31. Next up in our recap series, the Chicago White Sox.

Chicago White Sox (41-64) 5th in AL Central

ACQUIRED: RHP Tyler Clippard (from NYY), OF Eloy Jimenez (from CHC), OF Blake Rutherford (from NYY), RHP Dylan Cease (from CHC), 1B Casey Gillaspie (from TB), OF Ryan Cordell (from MIL), RHP A.J. Puckett (from KC), LHP Ian Clarkin (from NYY), OF Tito Polo (from NYY), INF Matt Rose (from CHC), INF Bryant Flete (from CHC), LHP Andre Davis (from KC)

TRADED: LHP Jose Quintana (to CHC), 1B/3B Todd Frazier (to NYY), RHP David Robertson (to NYY), RHP Tommy Kahnle (to NYY), OF Melky Cabrera (to KC), LHP Dan Jennings (to TB), RHP Anthony Swarzak (to MIL)


White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn continued the club's full-scale teardown at this year's trade deadline, moving seven assets to contenders in exchange for 12 new faces. While some of the players dealt away from Chicago were predictable (Quintana, Frazier, Robertson), others were not (Cabrera, Jennings).

The White sox acted quickly in moving ace left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs on July 13 in a move that shook the baseball world. While Jose Quintana's name had been floated in trade rumors since last December, a deal with their crosstown rival was regarded as unrealistic and far-fetched. However, with Quintana's 3+ years of team control on an inexpensive contract, Hahn and Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein both reiterated that the deal made "too much baseball sense" for both clubs to ignore. The trade fetched the Sox an impressive prospect haul, including two top-100 prospects according to Baseball America, before what would become a buyer's trade deadline.

The return package for Quintana was highlighted by BA's #5 prospect, outfielder Eloy Jimenez, and BA's #83 prospect, right-handed starter Dylan Cease. Jimenez, 20, touts one of the most impressive power tools in the minors, and has slashed .349/.406/.651 in 18 games at High-A since joining the White Sox organization. Cease, 21, was the Cubs' 6th round pick in the 2014 draft and features a mid-90s fastball that has helped him cruise through low-A offenses in 2017.

While the Red Sox were continuously linked to the White Sox in trade discussions for impending-free-agent Todd Frazier, their rivals the Yankees finished a deal for the veteran third baseman, with one catch: Frazier wasn't the best player acquired by the Bronx Bombers in the deal. Chicago packaged Frazier with relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle in exchange for a prospect return led by BA's #45 prospect, outfielder Blake Rutherford.

Robertson, who is owed around $18 million through 2018, was considered a relatively inexpensive relief option for contenders and a strong first half in 2017 made him a lock to be dealt before July 31. Kahnle, on the other hand, may be the most compelling piece of the deal for New York. The right-hander rebounded from abysmal control issues in 2016 to post a 2.50 ERA and ridiculous 15.0 K/9 across 36.0 innings prior to the deal. He's under Yankees team control through 2020 and has consistently flashed superstar talent as a late-inning reliever in 2017.

With 3.5 years of team control, Kahnle could have factored into Chicago's future plans for the future. Yet Hahn and Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman both stated that Rutherford wouldn't have been included in the deal had Kahnle been left out. Hahn chose to deal Kahnle at the peak of his value in exchange for the club's eighth top-100 prospect. Rutherford, 20, was New York's first round selection in 2016 and was struggling this season at Low-A despite a productive first pro season last fall. The left-handed outfielder has rebounded since joining the White Sox, though his .350/.422/.425 in 10 games since the trade screams "small sample size". The Yankees also sent right-hander Ian Clarkin, outfielder Tito Polo, and big-league reliever Tyler Clippard to Chicago in the deal. Clarkin ranks 24th in the White Sox top-30 prospects per MLB Pipeline.

Closer to the deadline, the White Sox moved expiring contracts in Melky Cabrera and Anthony Swarzak to the Royals and Brewers, respectively. In return for Swarzak, Milwaukee sent AAA outfielder Ryan Cordell to Chicago, who has flashed power this season and has a projected MLB fourth-outfielder ceiling. In exchange for two months of Cabrera's services, Kansas City dealt their 2016 second round selection A.J. Puckett, and 23-year-old lefty Andre Davis, the Royals' 8th round pick in 2015.

While the White Sox' dealing of left-hander Dan Jennings to the Rays was one of the more unexpected moves by Hahn in recent years, the trade followed Chicago's current narrative of unloading productive big leaguers for high-ceiling minor-league talent. Jennings, under contract for two more seasons, was sent to Tampa Bay for preseason top-100 prospect first baseman Casy Gillaspie.

A hectic month saw the White Sox' major league club stripped of all veteran talent outside of Jose Abreu, but Hahn and Co. were able to complete important deals with contenders that have the organization's future looking brighter than it has in years.