3. Gordon Beckham (2B) — The former first-round selection of the White Sox has had his up-and-down moments with Chicago throughout his career, but would the franchise be better off trading him?
Jun 20, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham (15) rounds second base after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Right now, he’s playing better than his career numbers with a .269 batting average, along with six home runs and 22 RBIs. Batting 19 points over his career batting average could be a prime time to gain valuable prospects for the second baseman.
In Charlotte, the White Sox have Micah Johnson waiting for his eventual call to the majors. Johnson has played 24 games in Triple-A (104 at-bats) where he is batting .279 with an OBP of .306. He has walked just three times since joining Charlotte earlier this season, and he’s not a home run hitter with just one.
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Earlier this season, in 37 games with the Double-A Birmingham Barons, Johnson batted .329. He seems to be the type of player that will get on base for the main hitters to get him over and score, which could be an asset to the White Sox down the road.
Johnson’s fielding percentage is .971 with two errors with the Knights.
4. Conor Gillaspie (3B) — I don’t know what exactly the White Sox could get for Gillaspie, but right now he’s playing the best baseball of his career. In 53 games this season, he’s batting .337 with 27 RBIs. His OBP is .381 (76 points higher than last season). Maybe the White Sox should sell high on Gillaspie, because I’m not sure these numbers can stay this high.
His batting average last year in 134 games was .245, his first full season in the majors. This is a tricky one, but maybe the White Sox would be better served and take the chance of trading while his value is the highest it has been.
5. Chris Sale (LHP) — Pitchers are a tough call to keep or trade, no matter how great they are. One bad throw, and a career could be over.
Jun 23, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) pitches in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Sale, who is the best and only pitcher the White Sox have worth keeping in the rotation, has already been on the DL once this year, and the White Sox still have a losing record with him on the roster. Maybe he could bring in a few prospects that could make this a better, overall team down the road.
Look at all the prospects the San Diego Padres brought in when they traded their young ace Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds a couple seasons ago. It is far-fetched, and I’d rather see Sale stay with the White Sox, but with Ken Williams and Rick Hahn running the show … you never know what that duo is thinking.
Plus, maybe they just drafted their ace of the future in Carlos Rodon of North Carolina State. This is the last hope idea of trading Sale, but to get a more balanced team that can compete, the White Sox might have to trade their top pitcher to do so.
My preference, though … I’d rather keep Sale and build the rotation around him.