White Sox “Trades” with EVERY TEAM – AL Central Edition – 2023

A long time ago, I was listening to an interview with legendary poker professional Phil Ivey and the interviewer asked the question (paraphrasing) How would you recommend a player learning the game get better the fastest? Phil said something to the effect of (paraphrasing) Buy in to a game at much lower stakes than you would normally play, and then play every single hand for an hour. Try and figure out how you would play all of these different hands in different situations and positions that you are normally taught not to play in. In the spirit of that recommendation from an all-time great, Chorizy and I are once again going to undertake the exercise of making a White Sox trade with every team in the majors…..this is the AL Central Edition.

Minnesota Twins

White Sox send: Davis Martin SP, Gavin Sheets OF/1B, Carlos Perez C
White Sox receive: Nick Gordon 2B/OF
Rationale: It’s a bit difficult to trade with a team when their biggest need is ambulances and hospital beds. If you think the Sox get hurt a lot, wow do the Twins have issues. That said, with them likely not picking up a number of SP options (they will pick up Sonny Gray‘s), they can use a pitcher. Another option they will likely not pick up is Miguel Sano, leaving them surprisingly thing at the corner infield spots. What they do have a ton of is middle infielders, even with Correa likely opting out of his contract. They’ll still have Jorge Polanco, Royce Lewis, Luis Arraez, and Nick Gordon. Along with Brooks Lee (top 100 prospect) and Edouard Julien (had 17 HR at 2B) in Wichita. Additionally, they have some younger depth at single A. Out of all this, Nick Gordon is likely the best fit for the White Sox.

While certainly not someone the Twins would consider expendable (he’s a former #5 overall pick and can play the outfield), it’s possible they’d move him if they believe Davis Martin can contribute to their rotation. Sheets could also find a role there as a guy that can flex between 1B/OF since he bats opposite of Jose Miranda. But both Sheets and Perez are filling minor roles for the Twins. It will hinge on if they believe Martin can give them innings.

Cleveland Guardians

White Sox send: Colson Montgomery SS, Jimmy Lambert Right Handed RP, Norge Vera Right Handed SP and Erik Hernandez OF
White Sox receive: Shane Bieber Right Handed SP
Rationale: MLB Trade Rumors projects Shane Bieber’s raise in arbitration for 2023 to race past $10M, which is about the point in which Cleveland decides to transact and turn their stars into future assets. This is just how they do business, so how about contracting it with the White Sox? They don’t play specifically for “contention windows” they are constantly churning and hoping their development machine will produce the next contender for pennies on the dollar.

That’s what this deal here is, the White Sox really only trade 1 top 100 prospect, but that’s usual for a Cleveland deal. The Guardians have good pitching on the MLB roster and tons on the way from the farm, so they are ripe to re-stock.

The White Sox get one of the top pitchers in the AL to pair with Dylan Cease. Although Cease is likely to get the Cy Young accolades for 2022, Bieber was actually more valuable by fWAR, this is the big swing the White Sox need to take.

Kansas City Royals

White Sox send: Adam Engel OF
White Sox receive: Amir Garrett RP
Rationale: Both of these guys are likely to be arbitration raise casualties for their current squads coming off of less than satisfactory seasons in their particular roles. However, both fit nicely on the other squad in a potential bounce back capacity. The Royals can use another outfielder that can cover the vast pastures of the Kauffman power alleys and the White Sox are always on the look out for Katz can fix’em projects.

Buh-Bye sweet Adam

Detroit Tigers

White Sox send: Yasmani Grandal C, Garrett Crochet P, Jake Burger 3B, Lenyn Sosa 2B/SS
White Sox receive: Javier Baez SS/2B + $20M contingent on Baez not opting out after ’23
Rationale: This might have more to do with the Tigers than the White Sox. The Tigers fired their GM Al Avila the same year he inked this contract and the team did not progress as expected in 2022. The Tigers are now looking for that growth in 2023 under a new GM. The current Baez situation is that if he does what they brought him in for, he may simply opt out when they begin to really need him in 2024. If they want to rid themselves of this contract, I could see them going nearly 1:1 on this year with the Grandal contract while grabbing a pitcher they can be patient with and determine where he fits, plus replacements for Candelario and Schoop as they go off the books for 2024. For the White Sox it solves second base, especially as the shift goes away and defense will be even more important. Baez can also provide a lot of power in the bottom half of the lineup.

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