In Retrospect: Grading The 2017 White Sox Trades

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 16: Yoan Moncada
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 16: Yoan Moncada /
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Jul. 26 – Traded LHP Anthony Swarzak to Milwaukee Brewers for OF Ryan Cordell

Swarzak, one of the many players acquired and flipped this season, is currently having a career year. Swarzak had an ERA of 2.23 with the Sox in 48.1 IP. With the Brewers, his ERA has dipped to 205 in 26.1 IP. Swarzak was a solid piece for the Sox to sell and just like every other player with value, they did. The Sox received Cordell, another solid outfield prospect. Cordell is currently the No.16 Sox prospect, in between 2017 second round draft pick Gavin Sheets and another prospect received in a trade – Luis Alexander Basabe.

Grade: C+ / Similar to the Jennings trade, the Swarzak move was acceptable because of the return. Swarzak was good enough for another team to add at least another prospect. Maybe not one that could have been added to the Sox Top 30 list but just another prospect to sweeten the deal.

July 19 – Traded 3B Todd Frazier, RHP Tommy Kahnle and RHP David Robertson to NY Yankees for LHP Ian Clarkin, OF Tito Polo, OF Blake Rutherford and Clippard.

The crazy July continued with this blockbuster trade between the Sox and the Yanks. The Sox gave up Frazier, who was having the worst year of his career; Kahnle, who was having the best year of his career, and Robertson. The Yankees were in need of bullpen arms and received two very solid relief pitchers. Robertson was involved in trade talks going all the way back to December. He’s a valuable piece because of his setup and save capabilities. Kahnle on the other hand was very close to dominant this season. Kahnle was sporting a 2.50 ERA over 36.0 IP with a K/9 rate of 15.0. Frazier meanwhile is on pace to finish with career lows in runs, hits, and batting average.

For the White Sox, they received a nice package of prospects but this trade is heavily reliant on the headliner which is undoubtedly Blake Rutherford, the current Sox fourth ranked prospect. He’s been compared to David Justice with less power so it’s safe to say that he’s highly rated and very talented. The Sox also received Ian Clarkin who is currently No. 21 on the Sox Top 30 list.

Grade: B / This was a solid trade but whether or not this trade was a success for the White Sox depends all on Rutherford. The Sox gave up two valuable bullpen pieces that were going to attract a lot of attention. Clarkin is fine acquisition but the Sox want to see Rutherford reach his maximum potential. The other prospects have not been discussed enough to shed any more light on this trade.

Jul. 13 – Traded LHP Jose Quintana to Cubs for INF Bryant Flete, INF Matt Rose, RHP Dylan Cease and OF Eloy Jimenez

This was the biggest deal of the calendar year for both sides but the winner is still undetermined.  Quintana was a definite White Sox fan favorite and player who the fans have seen grow into one of the best and most unappreciated pitchers in the league. This was not his best season but the Cubs were banking on their ability to get him runs, which he doesn’t need a lot of.

He’s currenlty 6-3 with an ERA of 3.95 on the Northside but the value in Quintana for the Cubs is  he’s still under team control for the next three seasons and is still relatively young. In contrast to the Aroldis Chapman trade which they only had for half a season, Quintana is not a rental.

However, for the White Sox, they added literally the top two prospects in the Cubs organization.  Jimenez arrived in Single-A ball and as the fifth ranked prospect in baseball. He’s now the Sox top prospect, and ranked fourth overall. Cease is the Sox fifth ranked prospect and is listed at No 59 in the Top 100 prospects list courtest of Jimenez is said to be Moncada 2.0 with a ridiculous amount of power. He was promoted to Double-A Birmingham near the close of the 2017 season.

Grade: A- / This trade was great for both sides. Both teams should be able to say they were big winners of this one. The Sox received two of their current top five prospects, as well as two other prospects for Quintana. He was an important player but the return in Jimenez alone looks like the ends will justify the means.