The Chicago White Sox have won baseball’s winter meetings thus far. After completing two stunning trades the Chicago White Sox seem poise to remain in the spotlight. Unlike most seasons when the White Sox were looking to build a team to compete for the upcoming season, they are rebuilding.
Rebuilding in Major League Baseball is not a fun thing for a baseball team. And for the Chicago White Sox, it is especially difficult because rebuilding is not something they typically do. Going for it all, whether it is foolhardy or not has been how the White Sox conduct their business. The baseball winter meetings have presented a different story.
Top pitcher Chris Sale became the first player the White Sox dealt. The prospects the White Sox received from the deal (courtesy of ESPN) with the Boston Red Sox was enough to raise the ranking of their farm system several spots.
Getting back Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech is a huge for the White Sox. Moncada is the top overall MLB prospect, according to MLB.com. Kopech is ranked No. 30.
Having two players ranked in the top-50 of MLB prospects is enough to elevate any minor league system. It took one more trade for the White Sox to double that number.
In a separate deal (courtesy of the Washington Post) with the Washington Nationals, the White Sox received two more prospects ranked in the top-50 for outfielder Adam Eaton. The White Sox got the top-rated pitching prospect in Lucas Giolito, along with the highly regarded Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning.
The White Sox minor league system that was once a sore spot now is an embarrassment of riches. This is the result of just two players getting traded. And there are more players the White Sox can jettison in an effort to further replenish their minor league system.
What will the Chicago White Sox do for an encore? Which players could be leaving next?
Most people will argue that the White Sox had the two best pitchers available in Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Sale is already Boston-bound, leaving Quintana the next pitcher to go. What helps is that the White Sox do not have to trade Quintana. In fact, they can use him as their No. 1 starter, then trade him near the trade deadline or move forward with him on the roster.
Since the beginning of baseball’s winter meetings the Chicago White Sox dealing from a position of strength. Judging from the two trades they have made in the past few days, they seem to realize this.
If the White Sox heard an offer they like Jose Quintana would have been dealt. All signs point to him getting traded. Something can happen within the next 36 hours if the White Sox want anything to happen.
Jose Quintana has great value on the MLB trade market. He will not fetch a Chris Sale type of haul, but the Adam Eaton trade may have set Quintana’s price.
The Houston Astros are in on the Jose Quintana sweepstakes. It is possible that the Atlanta Braves will also get involved. Keep an eye on the New York Mets, as they look to counter what the Washington Nationals have done.
Several other players could be on the move in the next 36 hours. This includes closer David Robertson, outfielder Melky Cabrera and infielders Todd Frazier and Jose Abreu. Of that group, Frazier and Robertson will likely be traded to a contending team.
Jose Abreu would net the White Sox the best return, but the acquisition of Yoan Moncada might give them second thoughts. Moncada, a Cuban-born player has played with Abreu before.
Having the veteran slugger around to ease Moncada’s professional transition would be ideal. Abreu could fill a role similar to the Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo. Abreu is a type of player that is still young enough where the White Sox can build around him and the young players.
What cannot be overlooked is Abreu’s chemistry with Moncada. There is a win-win element to keeping him, if that is what the White Sox choose to do.
The case of Todd Frazier is slightly different.
Frazier is a White Sox fan-favorite, but given his age, he may not fit in the team’s future plans. Also, he will want to be a part of a winning environment. Look for the White Sox to either convince him to stay the course and serve as a mentor, with the promise to trade him to a contender at a later time.
The same can be said for Melky Cabrera, who is a free agent at the end of next season.
That leaves David Robertson. The Washington Nationals are in need of a closer, and chances are high that they will begin negotiating with the White Sox for Robertson.
With the Cubs trading for Kansas City Royals’ closer Wade Davis, the White Sox might have the best closer available. Getting a similar return like the Adam Eaton trade would make the White Sox happy.
Do not expect the White Sox to get anything but lower-level prospects for Robertson. As they simply want to get his contract off of their books.
Any additional trades would come across as shocking, but the baseball winter meetings are always unpredictable. It is safe to say that the Chicago White Sox still have one, maybe two trades up their sleeves. Jose Quintana and David Robertson could be joining new teams soon.
Rebuilding is hard in Major League Baseball. This winter the Chicago White Sox are creating a blueprint.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]