Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Padres reportedly eyeing Garrett Crochet in deadline trade: Who else could White Sox be ready to move?

The Chicago White Sox entered Tuesday with the worst record in Major League Baseball at 15-45, as well as the longest losing streak of the season (active or not), at 11 games. Anytime a team requires 30 consecutive victories to hit .500, you can be sure that they’re going to be a non-factor in the playoff race. Predictably, the White Sox appear ready to concede as much, even with more than a month and a half to go until Major League Baseball’s July 30 trade deadline.

Dennis Lin and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the White Sox have already had trade discussions with the San Diego Padres concerning left-handed starter Garrett Crochet. The two sides are not believed to be close to a deal — the Padres have a weakened farm system that might make it difficult for them to close out such an agreement — but the mere existence of those negotiations suggest that first-year general manager Chris Getz is open to making big moves. 

With that in mind, we here at CBS Sports wanted to provide a buyer’s guide to the White Sox’s roster. Below, we’ve highlighted who we consider to be Chicagoo’s five most interesting trade candidates. (Do note that these players are presented in alphabetical order.)

1. LHP Garrett Crochet

We mentioned Crochet last week in relation to the Orioles’ pitching needs. Provided he stays healthy through the deadline, he’s going to be a popular target this July. Crochet has made a successful transition from the bullpen to the rotation in part by adding a cutter to an arsenal that already featured a high-octane fastball and a swing-and-miss slider. Through 13 starts this season, he’s compiled a 3.49 ERA (116 ERA+) and a 6.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Crochet is under team control for two more seasons after this one, but he has a lengthy injury history and he represents Chicago’s best chance at returning impact young talent to their farm system.

2. RHP Erick Fedde

Give credit where credit is due: the White Sox look wise for making a $15 million bet that Fedde’s improvements in South Korea would transfer back to the majors. In his first 12 turns through the rotation, he’s amassed a 3.12 ERA (129 ERA+) and a 3.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Fedde also recently notched quality starts against the Orioles and Guardians, two potential American League playoff teams. He’s under contract for an additional season, making him more than a rental.

3. RHP Michael Kopech

Kopech doesn’t have the shiniest ERA (3.86 through 24 appearances) in his first season back in the bullpen, but he’s going to be an enticing target for a team seeking relief help. He does most of his work with an upper-90s fastball that features a ton of rise given his release height. Kopech also has a swing-and-miss slider and a newly minted cutter. Any club who believes they can help him cut down on his home runs could view him as a multi-year solution in a high-leverage role.

4. OF Tommy Pham

Pham’s inclusion in trade deadline preview material was cemented the moment he signed with the White Sox back in mid-April. Although he’s currently on the shelf with a sprained ankle, he remains an above-average hitter capable of impacting the ball and commanding the strike zone. Pham is a minus defender at this point in his career, which might turn off some prospective suitors.

5. CF Luis Robert Jr.

Robert is one of the most exciting players in baseball when he’s healthy: a power-speed dynamo who has averaged 33 home runs and 20 stolen bases per 162 games for his career. Unfortunately, “when healthy” is doing as much work as the statistical proration. Robert, making his return to the big-league lineup on Tuesday after being sidelined since April with a hip flexor strain, has appeared in more than 100 games just once in his first five seasons. (To be fair, he did appear in 56 of 60 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.) While Robert is under contract through at least the 2025 season (and potentially as long as the 2027 season), the White Sox should probably move him before his injury history takes a bigger bite out of his trade value.

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