With the trade deadline approaching, the Chicago White Sox should target a starting pitcher.
This Major League Baseball season has been very interesting for ball clubs around the league and especially the Chicago White Sox. It started a little shaky and then players got hot at the plate and pitchers became more efficient on the mound. After a few games, it gets a little easier to see where a team still needs to improve. For the White Sox, that happens to be the starting pitching rotation. The team is without Michael Kopech who opted out of his much eagerly awaited return which made things more questionable. The pitchers the White Sox should pursue are familiar to most and show promise.
It is no secret that right-handed pitcher Reynaldo Lopez has not been a shining star for the White Sox. In his latest start, Lopez had an okay outing against hometown rival the Chicago Cubs. Per Fangraphs, his 13.50 ERA for the three innings he pitched put the White Sox in a losing predicament. Earlier in the season, he gave up a home run and a total of four runs while striking out none against the Minnesota Twins.
Unfortunately, he has not shown much improvement this season but it is not all bad for the Chicago White Sox’s starting rotation. Dylan Cease has shown a lot of improvement so far and took a turn for the better after his first few starts. Per Fangraphs, His ERA is 3.13 so far this season and that is significant progress from an ERA of 5.79 last season. The White Sox has more pitching promise than last year, but the job is not done.
A pitcher whose performance has put him on everyone’s radar is Baltimore Orioles right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb. He has been putting up quality starts that will not reflect his win column due to the team he is on. Even though, in past seasons Cobb was inconsistent and lacked control. In the 2020 regular season, he is looking like a new pitcher on the mound and is giving the opportunity to the Orioles to use that and try to make a move.
That franchise is on full rebuild mode so the White Sox should not ignore the chance because it favors them. On the White Sox, Cobb would have a chance at more wins because of the batting lineup and he would have more of a chance to stand out. The Chicago White Sox can send over Nicky Delmonico to beef up the Orioles outfield and create room for a potential offseason outfield signing.
Another great trade target for the Chicago White Sox is Marcus Stroman who opted out of pitching for the New York Mets in the 2020 regular season due to the coronavirus. Unlike Cobb, Stroman has had a lot of believers in his pitching ability. In his past two seasons on the Toronto Blue Jays, Stroman has improved and grown to be a more consistent pitcher. Per Fangraphs, his ERA in 2018 was 5.54 and in 2019 he possessed more control over the strike zone and had an ERA of 2.96.
When it comes to the New York Mets, improving their infield defense and adding consistent hitting will appeal most to them. The Chicago White Sox and the Mets could both benefit from trading Stroman for Danny Mendick. It would have to be for his rights and hope that he signs an extension with the team that shows they believe in him. In a similar situation to Cobb, Stroman could use being on a team with better at-bats and Stroman will not miss out on being apart of a young talented squad. He could also use the tremendous catching knowledge from Yasmani Grandal and James McCann.
Mendick has been okay at the plate for the White Sox, but he has not been anything explosive so far and it is hard for him to really play to his potential on the White Sox. His position with the franchise is spoken for and with Nick Madrigal coming up and Leury Garica getting hot. There is not a chance for him as a second baseman either.
On the Mets, he can excel as their shortstop because he has all the tools. He just needs a ballclub that can give him the starts and with the inconsistency shown by Amed Rosario defensively and offensively, the shortstop position is pretty much an open door in Citi Field.
In the end, there is nothing worse than when a player is wasting their prime with a ballclub that does not actually suit them. It is even worse to have all the young hitting talent on the White Sox, but not acquire pitchers who can secure wins. This trade deadline should be all about seeking out pitchers who are on the rise and continuing this trend of improvement with this franchise.