Cost of doing business

Sam Sherman

CHICAGO — I have no idea if the White Sox will end up making a trade before Monday's trade deadline, but names like Lance Lynn, Brandon Woodruff, Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger have been tossed around. Therefore:

  1. The White Sox are looking at bringing in a pitcher to bolster their starting rotation.
  2. It will not be any pitcher that you've seen in rumors.

Something that the White Sox have become quite possibly the very best at in Major League Baseball is keeping their cards close to their vest. While tons of other team's trades will leak out before official announcements, the White Sox have always been really good at breaking news of their trades and free agent signings on their own.

If you're trying to decipher the next White Sox trade, you have to see the forest through the trees, or something like that. So in this example, Lynn, Woodruff, Bauer, and Clev are the trees, and the forest would be starting pitchers. 

Anyway, I'd bet that the Sox are going to make a trade before the deadline, but it will probably be for a player that NOBODY has been bringing up in rumors. That's just their style, and it's what led Sox fans to never quite know what the team's next move will be. 

It's more fun that way. Rumors are exciting, but can sometimes lessen the excitement of a move happening if the rumored players are the ones who end up getting traded for. 

I've always kind of gone back and forth when it's come to trading away prospects for veteran talent, but this season I feel more clarity on that stance than I ever have. 

TRADE THE PROSPECTS AND DON'T LOOK BACK.

The White Sox are incredibly fun team this season with a sometimes laughably explosive offense, a more than respectable bullpen and, well, a shaky starting rotation. 

Yes, Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel are gods among men at the top of the rotation, and nobody is taking that for granted. Beyond that, you're left with lots of question marks. Anybody who has watched a Reynaldo López start throughout his career will tell you that despite having pretty good stuff, he's not even close to a lock to get through three or four innings. While Dylan Cease's raw stuff can look even more lethal, his lack of control makes him a bit of a liability to trust moving forward. Cease has a far more promising starting career ahead of him than López, but in 2020, there's an easy way to decide if they will be enough. 

Just think about sending out Giolito and Keuchel in the first two games of a playoff series. OK, you're thinking about it, and you're LOVING IT. Now, wipe that drool off the keyboard, and think for a second who you would trust giving the ball to in Game 3. 

That's a lot tougher, ain't it?

Maybe Dane Dunning, in his first partial major league season, shows he's already fully developed and becomes that guy. There's just not enough time to be able to determine that for sure, especially if you're expecting a deep playoff run. 

That's what makes it OK to trade prospects, even those players that you might like a lot, for a pitcher you'd have more trust in starting a Game 3 of a playoff series. If you're against the White Sox trading for a rental player whose contract is up after this season, you have to consider just how badly you want the Sox to have a legitimate chance to win a World Series in 2020. If you're more focused on the future, the Sox will still need to strengthen their starting rotation, but I'd understand if you didn't want them giving up much for someone who more than likely will only be around for a season. 

Solid starting pitchers with more than a year of control cost a premium. If the Sox want to get one of those guys, they're going to have to give up some of THEIR guys. That probably means saying goodbye to a few players who you were looking forward to maybe seeing play on the South Side one day. 

Realize that if your hope as a fan is to watch the team you root for compete for championships as soon as possible, then you have to be ready to part with some of your dearly beloved prospects. That's the cost of doing business when you're a good team — and that is absolutely what the 2020 White Sox are. 

 

 

THANKS FOR READING SOUTH SIDE HIT PEN
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Comments (10)
No. 1-7
Brett Ballantini
Brett Ballantini

Editor

I do like Luke's idea of chasing Gausman. I think it was @LukeSmailes, on Twitter.

Owen Schoenfeld
Owen Schoenfeld

Editor

I think the White Sox are going to follow two paths here: work out a deal for a controllable pitcher, who can ride with this group for at least two years beyond 2020 or a fall back rental.

Lynn is sort of a hybrid because he has 2021 control. But I think with him, they will not be pressed beyond a certain line. I think they’re still in the mix, but if it gets to Dunning+ I’d expect them to go harder on a bigger move or explore last resort fallback contingencies just to add depth.

Overall, I think a guy like Brandon Woodruff is target A. Lynn is Plan B at the right price. If bidding there goes up, and nothing materializes on Woodruff, I’d expect them to look at a Gausman type. They won’t force a move just to make a move. They’re being very calculated.

Clevinger I think is too rich and complicated for in-division and less likely than a guy like Woodruff.

Brett Ballantini
Brett Ballantini

Editor

I understand that chemistry is a very tricky and maybe a dumb thing, but Clevinger is a weird force-fit into this tight clubhouse.

Darren Black
Darren Black

They just need a starter no matter what. Giolito and Keuchel should be reliable but they need one more.

Trevor Lines
Trevor Lines

It alllll depends on price. I would LOVE Clevinger but do not want to see Vaughn go. If Kopech, Stiever, and Mazara (no clue if they’d want him but need OF help) gets it done I’m pulling the trigger. Would also be in favor of a smaller deal; Hahn has historically been very shrewd with these trades so I’m excited to see what he cooks up. I thought a number 3 starter or better would be a must, but with today’s performance by Dunning, I somehow already trust him to get 15 outs in a Game 3.

Mark Liptak
Mark Liptak

With all the uncertainty surrounding the 2021 season, i.e. virus issues, owner talking about how much money he's lost and the big one, the end of the current CBA and the possibility (probability?) that at least a part of the season will not be played, you have to take the chance for this bastardized season even if it means hurting you down the road. BUT if your are going to make a deal and give up prospects it damn well better not be for broken down stiffs and retreads like James Shields.

Brett Ballantini
Brett Ballantini

Editor

I absolutely do not want Mike Clevinger, especially at a seller's market price.


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