Let’s face it White Sox fans, the news of Luis Robert‘s injury and prognosis has hit us all in different ways. My buddy Josh Nelson (from SoxMachine) hosted a Twitter Spaces on Monday night after the Rick Hahn presser announcing the news and was cool enough to let me ride co-pilot on that journey. It was a therapy session of sorts, where we talked through lots of different White Sox scenarios. We basically tried to cope with the situation at hand.
What really helped was some awesome contributors to the discussion. If you don’t know, Twitter Spaces is an audio only discussion platform inside of Twitter. It allows the hosts to bring up guests to talk, almost like an old sports radio concept, you know, when they used to take callers. The positive, but also thoughtful commenters made me feel a lot better about our plight. That being said, SOMETHING STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE!
The OBVIOUS TRADE CHOICES….
I think over the past few and next few days, you’ll read a million billion trade scenarios from all of the various outlets that do that sort of thing and even some that generally don’t. Some of the more obvious trade ideas are, Starling Marte, David Peralta, Charlie Blackmon, Kris Bryant and Mitch Haniger. I understand the allure in those names and some more secondary ones. Actually, Patrick Flowers does a nice job detailing what I would call the mainstream choices right HERE. I hope the White Sox even land one of those names, however, I’m not really thinking that standing here on May 5th the White Sox will make that kind of splash.
I think even some of the more avant garde choices might still be a ways down the pipe. Think Jackie Bradley Jr. or Joc Pederson types. Short term contracts where a team might want to be opportunistic. I still don’t really see it. Nope. Here’s what I see in Rick Hahn as GM. A man who is very proud of the young talent he’s built (he should be!) and a man who is a little gun-shy to deal much of it for a short-term fix.
Look, I actually started thinking about this and taking notes on this approach right after Josh Nelson and I ended our Monday Night Twitter Spaces. Low and behold, the GM acted like I thought he would.
Basically what I was expecting, and Hahn beat me to the punch on this blog (SORT OF). That’s okay, but you see the theory, I need some potential fixes that are low cost, like Cash Considerations low cost.
I don’t expect the White Sox or our fearless GM to stop there. I am thinking we see at least one more of this type of acquisition and the truth of the matter is, there are players buried in depth charts all over MLB that could be the next Alejandro De Aza type White Sox stop gap.
BeefLoaf’s Dollar Store Choices
All of yous worried about “Prospect Capital” FEAR NOT! All of yous worried about “JERRY OPENING THE WALLET”….fuck that! This is the list for you and while I’m not Danny Ocean, I have been binging Storage Wars, so I think I know a discarded undervalued gem when I see one.
It is not possible to be more buried than to seek reps in a crowded Dodgers outfield. Kendall can play centerfield, is still only 25 and hits left handed. Here’s some more detail from Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs.
If that doesn’t scream available and 13.5% chance of actually working out, I don’t know what does.
I can’t really remember Phillip Ervin being a top prospect at all. Maybe he was, I just feel like I remember him being brought up once per year by Joe Sheehan as a guy the Reds should “take a shot at” during years in which they sucked. Ervin has some pop and he’s faked center field as recently as 2020 with the Reds. If the White Sox offense became more of a problem with Robert’s loss, I would I think going a little offense first and hoping the centerfielder isn’t awful might be an approach.
Now the downside, he’s 28 and hits right handed. So he’s not that big of a help with adding to the lineup balance. However, if the figured it out for a month he could be Adam Eaton‘s caddy in RF. I just don’t know at this point when Adam Engel comes back so the White Sox should prepare for the worst.
Alford is another terrific raw power, terrific speed, can’t fucking hit and never really made it, prospect. The cherry on top is he hasn’t really been able to stay healthy. HOWEVER, he can play CF and he’s only 26. He is a right handed hitter though and the White Sox don’t exactly need one of those. He’s a Post, Post, Post Hype kinda gamble. I love those gambles, but then again, I like playing Let It Ride when I am in Vegas and that rarely pays off either.
Now is time for the speed only guys (the younger, younger Billy Hamilton edition)….
I really wanna fucking believe in Smith’s 2018 season in Tampa which he slashed .296 / .367 / .409 is real. The last couple seasons would lead me to believe otherwise. Seattle wanted him to be their leadoff hitter, but getting on base at a .170 clip to start last season became a non-starter.
Regardless, Smith is one of those guys where if you just unlocked it a bit with the bat, he’d be an unbelievable weapon. He’s an excellent base runner, if not much else. He’s 27 and does hit left handed, so would provide some “flexibility” to the lineup (if you are okay with the flexibility possibly not really hitting, but just being left handed).
Jankowski displays a lot of the same characteristics as Smith, but is generally considered a better defender. He runs, but doesn’t hit much. There isn’t power in the profile like the first three bargain buys. Regardless, he sports a nearly 10% walk rate for his major league career. You’d think the White Sox would like this profile, especially if it is only to cover a rough patch. I’d think the guy could defense and walk his way to league average covering one warm summer in Chicago. At almost 30 years old, he’d be freer than the Readerand he’s almost out of mlb chances.
These aren’t the types of solutions that are supposed to get you excited. These are the types of solutions that I expect the White Sox to try, while we are here in the month of May, before the real hot stove gets cooking. Who knows, a throwaway type trade like this could end up becoming a substantial unexpected piece in a substantial unexpected pennant run.
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