With the White Sox making no trades before the non-waiver trading deadline, understand the wheeling and dealing isn’t done. Considering trades can be made via waivers through August 31, and time hasn’t run out for the South Siders to make a deal.
James Shields (RHP)
This will be an interesting move, assuming they do trade him. With $44 million owed over the next two years (if he doesn’t opt out after 2016), keep in mind one area the Sox would have to negotiate. When they acquired Shields from the Padres, San Diego agreed to $10 million each in 2017 and 2018. On top of that, they will also pick up the buyout assuming a team picks it up for 2019. While Shields is in decline, he could still be a solid back-end starter at the MLB level.
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Miguel Gonzalez (RHP)
Considering the White Sox picked up Gonzalez off the scrap heap, he has been an excellent success story. In his last ten starts, he ‘s pitched at least six innings eight times. Even though his record is 2-5 with an ERA of 4.06, he has still kept the White Sox in the game and for the most part over this season. Since he is still in his arbitration years, he is attractable in that manner due to the fact he could be paid a lesser salary and produce at a fairly high level.
Dan Jennings (LHP)
Jennings is the lone reliever of the three, and has been among the more consistent Sox relievers with a 4-3 record, 2.00 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. Lefties hit .208 off of him with a .338 OBP, but he does have the ability to retire batters from both sides of the plate. A little bit more than twice (108 to 53) the number of batters he has faced have been right-handed, with the right-handed hitters performing slightly better. Jennings has allowed a .269 BA against right-handed hitters, not to mention a .354 OBP, as opposed to the numbers vs left-handed hitters above. One major concern has been the base on balls, as Jennings has already walked 24 batters in 45 innings. With all of that said, Jennings is under team control for three more years, making him a valuable trading asset. While he wouldn’t garner the return of the two mentioned above, he could still bring back a mid-level prospect.
Overall, waiver wire deals generally don’t bring back the level of talent that trades made before the deadline. As you may have noticed, the three mentioned above are pitchers, due to the fact teams are always looking for pitching help as the seasons wears on. On top of that, the White Sox don’t have a whole lot to trade when it comes to position players, at least any that they wouldn’t want to get rid of.
The lack of movement at the deadline leaves more questions than answers for the White Sox. What is the direction of the team moving forward? Are the White Sox going for it in 2017 or will they sell in the winter? Time will tell, but they need to figure out a direction, or expect to be mired in mediocrity for a long time.