White Sox: The acquisition of prospects through the progression of trades
Rick Hahn continues to pull off trades out of nothing that adds to the immense prospect depth within the organization
The White Sox announced that they traded left-handed relief pitcher Luis Avilan to the Philadelphia Phillies in return for Double-A pitcher Felix Paulino on Wednesday. Ok, that’s not earth-shattering news nor highly unexpected. I would say that 99 percent of Sox fans had never heard of Paulino before Wednesday morning. So, should they?
Well, he’s just another power arm that Hahn seems to be able to keep stockpiling in the farm system. Not every player on the next championship Sox squad will be a highly rated top prospect. Some come out of nowhere and become an important cog in the machine. I’m not saying Paulino will be that guy, but, a pitcher that can throw mid 90’s with life has potential. So, how did this trade come about? Let’s take a look back.
Let’s go back to this past January. The Sox traded utility man Jake Peter to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a three-way trade also involving the Kansas City Royals. In return for a minor league utility infielder, the Sox received the following:
More from White Sox News
- The Chicago White Sox might have had a season ending loss
- The Chicago White Sox are expecting Tim Anderson back soon
- Miguel Cairo’s words spark life into the Chicago White Sox
- Dylan Cease should be the favorite for the AL Cy Young Award
- Ozzie Guillen speaks the whole truth about Tony La Russa
Joakim Soria (from the Royals)
Avilan (from the Dodgers)
$3 million (combined from both teams)
So, Hahn turned a minor league utility guy into a solid left handed reliever, $3 million in cash and a past top closer of the league. Again, for a minor league utility guy! However, that’s obviously not where this trade stops. Hahn recently flipped Soria to the Brewers for two more young pitching prospects.
Former first-round draft pick Kodi Medeiros and Dominican summer leaguer Wilber Perez. Medeiros is currently in Double-A Birmingham as a starter. While his numbers are not impressive right now, he still carries the label of a potential middle of the order rotation piece. The White Sox have had a history of turning other teams pitching prospects into legitimate major league pieces.
Next, he took that $3 million cash from that deal and sent it to the Mariners. He got back hard throwing reliever Thyago Vieira. Vieira, as you know, was recently called up and has shown flashes of dominance in his appearances. Hard throwing relievers that can perform in high leverage situations are valuable assets.
Finally, on Wednesday, he turned Avilan into Paulino. Not a huge upgrade, per se, unless you look at the contracts. Avilan had an expiring contract and would be gone after the season. So, for 1 1/2 months of Avilan, the Sox got a younger, cheaper prospect that they can work with.
Let’s recap this flowchart. The Sox drafted Peter. Peter was a decent contact hitting infielder that seemed to have a ceiling of being a utility player on a major league roster. He shuffled between Double-A and Triple-A during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Hahn turned that utility minor league infielder into the following players currently in the organization:
RHP Vieira, currently on the major league team as a high leverage bullpen piece
LHP Medeiros, currently in the starting rotation for Birmingham. A former no.12 overall draft pick of the Brewers with a lot of upside.
RHP Perez, currently in the Dominican summer league. An unknown who could be just a guy or could develop into a piece. Too early to tell.
RHP Paulino, just acquired in the Avilan deal. Will probably be sent to Single-A Advanced Winston-Salem or Birmingham. Another strong arm that can hit mid 90’s with life.
Hahn turned Jake Peter, a middling minor league infielder into four pitching prospects. I’d say a deal well done. These little low profile moves that don’t rattle the needle could turn out to be pivotal somewhere down the road. Hahn is a master at getting something out of very little. The future appears to be in good hands.