White Sox: Overlord of Flipping Assets, Rick Hahn Does It Again

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 26: Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn presents Jose Abreu
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 26: Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn presents Jose Abreu /

White Sox general manager strikes another trade by dealing veteran closer on Thursday. The team continues to add depth to its farm system.

Coming this summer on the Business Channel, Flip or Flop: Rick Hahn Edition.

He’s done it again. White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn is back at it again with another asset flip for the ages, sorta.

On Thursday, the White Sox completed a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for Joakim Soria in exchange for two minor league prospects, Kodi Medeiros and Wilber Perez. Soria, once doubted to have little-to-no trade value earlier this season, was dealt to Milwaukee for two pitchers both having very solid seasons.

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At the surface, the trade makes perfect sense on paper. The rebuilding White Sox get another two prospects and the contending Brewers get some much-needed bullpen help with Soria. But looking at the overarching plan altogether, Soria’s name is added to a long list of players that Hahn has flipped for assets.

Since the start of the rebuild last season, the White Sox have traded just about anything with any value. Hahn would get rid of the vending machines in the hallways if it could get him any value for the future. That’s not entirely surprising considering the White Sox are completely all-in on the rebuild, but what’s surprising is that Hahn is actually receiving quality packages for players that had (or have) diminishing value.

Here’s the updated list of White Sox players traded:

Joakim Soria to MIL

Tyler Saladino to MIL

Tyler Clippard to HOU

Melky Cabrera to KC

Anthony Swarzak to MIL

Dan Jennings to TB

Todd Frazier to NYY

David Robertson to NYY

Tommy Kahnle to NYY

Here’s what the White Sox got in return

These players might be the big names of Eloy Jimenez or Yoan Moncada but they can be valuable in the future. Cordell and Gillaspie are solid ballplayers that are very close to making the big league roster. Rutherford is a very highly rated prospect that can be a future starting outfielder of the White Sox. The two pitchers acquired Thursday are very exciting additions to the organization. Medeiros has a 3.14 ERA with 103.1 IP and 107 strikeouts.

Also, something to note is the traded White Sox players are definitely not big names with the minor exception for Frazier. But looking at what the White Sox received – young players with potential – it must be noted that many of the players the Sox sent over are no longer with their teams.

Clippard (traded to HOU) is with Toronto. Cabrera (traded to KC) plays in Cleveland. Swarzak and Frazier (traded to MIL and NYY) are Mets. Jennings (traded to TB) is a Brewer. The only players that remain with their teams are Kahnle, Robertson and Saladino. To think that Hahn traded these players as rentals is ridiculous. Aroldis Chapman, Manny Machado, Chris Archer, and Cole Hamels were/are labeled as rentals.

It’s one thing to trade Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and Jose Quintana for assets and prospects. It’s easier to get better prospect packages for stars with much higher value. In those three trades alone, the White Sox received three number one organization prospects, two number two organization prospects (WASH and CHC), in addition to six other prospects. But the Sox were trading away a Cy Young contender and two All-Stars.

It’s a whole other animal to get assets and prospects in exchange for players that some baseball fans have even never heard of. Kahnle was in the league for four years before being traded to the Yankees. Swarzak was in the league for seven years. Soria had an awful start to the season but still managed to get traded for not even one, but two prospects. Clippard wasn’t even on the team for a whole month before being traded.

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Regardless of how the prospects turn out, credit must be given to the emerging master of “The Flip” in Hahn. If there is any value in anything, he’ll be sure to get anything in return for it.