Why Andrew Vaughn is steep price to pay for starter originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
It’s no secret the White Sox need pitching. With Lance Lynn heading on the IL to begin the season, and Lucas Giolito missing at least his next two starts, the rotation is now without its top two starters.
Could help be on the way via trade?
According to Bob Nightengale, Rick Hahn has been in talks with the Oakland A’s to acquire their ace, Frankie Montas. The only problem is the A’s want slugger Andrew Vaughn in return. Per Nightengale’s report, Hahn is hesitant to part ways with Vaughn, and it’s easy to understand why.
When the White Sox drafted Vaughn with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019, they did so because he had the most advanced bat in his class, and you could clearly project him to take over for José Abreu at first base one day. He lived up to the hype, debuting in 2021 and hitting 15 homers in 127 games.
What may have come as more of a surprise is that Vaughn proved to be such a high-level athlete that he was able to contribute all over the field when called upon. No demonstration of that ability was more impressive than when he made his MLB debut at left fieldー a position he had only started playing a few days before since Eloy Jiménez hurt himself about a week before the season began. Vaughn did so well with the new assignment that he became the team’s regular left fielder before too long. By season’s end, Vaughn was playing left field, right field, filling in at first when Abreu needed a breather, and even played a game at second and third. He became the team’s slugging swiss army knife.
Flash forward to 2021. Jiménez is back and the team traded for A.J. Pollock to play right field, so Vaughn didn’t have a position to play. But with an ascending bat, the team wanted him in the lineup, so Tony La Russa made Vaughn the Opening Day DH. Once again, Vaughn showed why he was worthy of a high draft pick, and why the White Sox want him in their future plans. After the Sox bullpen blew a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning, Vaughn crushed a solo home run to regain the lead. If the team had held on to the win, it could’ve been a defining moment in his young career. But they didn’t, so Vaughn crushed another homer two days later, this time a three-run shot to seal the series win over the Tigers.
With three games in the books, Vaughn leads the team in average (.400), home runs (2) and RBI (6), and he’s done it all without striking out once.
Yes, the White Sox need to find a way to eat innings while Giolito and Lynn each recover. But Vaughn would be a steep price to pay to find that solution.