The Chicago White Sox have made significant progress on their rebuilding project this season, but as the MLB trade deadline nears, they’ll be looking to add even more young pieces to the mix.
Thankfully for the Sox, they still have plenty of trade chips to work with even after dealing away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton over the winter. Players like Todd Frazier and Jose Quintana are still on the trade block, and with plenty of teams looking for help, the White Sox are in a position of real power ahead of the deadline.
So which players could go, and where may they end up?
Abreu has been one of the most consistent performers in baseball in the early years of his career, and he’s keeping that up in 2017 as he’s batting .292 with 16 home runs and 58 RBI for the White Sox.
His bat would be a welcome addition to any lineup, but the White Sox may be hesitant to trade him. With talented Cuban prospects like Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada, the Sox look at Abreu as a role model and a potential mentor for those players, and his team-friendly contract also could help him stay in the city.
Even if the White Sox decide they want to trade Abreu, there is then an issue of market. Most of the top teams in the game already have a quality first baseman on their roster, and that could keep the White Sox from getting the appropriate value for him.
A free agent at the end of the season, Frazier could be an attractive commodity as the deadline approaches, and unlike Abreu, there seem to be teams that would be interested in adding his services.
One team that has repeatedly been tied to Frazier is Boston, who sits in first place in the American League East, but they could also use an upgrade at third base. Adding Frazier’s bat to their already potent lineup would be a huge boost, and they can use all the help they can get with the New York Yankees and Houston Astros likely adding pieces at the deadline.
Trade rumors have been dogging Quintana for months now, and his performance this season has been slowly improving, leading some reporters to speculate that the team could maximize its return on him if they trade him before the July 31 deadline.
The real question that comes up in that situation is a simple one: who would cough up the prospects needed to get him? The Los Angeles Dodgers already have a strong rotation, but they have more than enough young players to entice the White Sox to trade Quintana to the west coast, and so they could be a team to keep an eye on.
The Astros and Red Sox could also make a play for Quintana, and one team to keep an eye on as a dark horse: the Chicago Cubs. They have the prospects to make a deal happen, and if Rick Hahn can convince ownership to sign off on a crosstown swap, the White Sox could really benefit from making a deal with their neighbors to the north.
Finally, if the White Sox want to go outside the box and deal Quintana to a non-contender with a good farm system, the Atlanta Braves could be a good destination. The Braves are a team that should be on the rise within the next few years, and their prospect depth is really strong.
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Let’s get this out of the way: the Washington Nationals should be pounding down Chicago’s door to get Robertson, as they’ve been trying to find bullpen help thanks to a slew of blown saves and bad pitching performances from their relievers.
Other teams could be in the mix for Robertson as well, including the Yankees and Astros, who need help in the back end of their bullpens. Robertson used to pitch for the Yankees, lending some fuel to the fire that he could head to the Bronx for a reunion with his former teammates in pinstripes.