In this trade, I am just going to assume the White Sox bring back Alex Colomé, but miss out on Liam Hendriks. The bullpen is not the biggest issue but is something that can be patched with a quick trade.
Similar to Hendriks, José Leclerc’s career numbers rise and drop as much as a Sox fan’s blood pressure in the ninth inning. One year he posts a sub 2 ERA, the next he is at or around 4. His best year was 2018 when he posted a 1.56 ERA in 57.2 innings. He struck out 85 and even saved 12 games. His worst year would be the next (2019). In 68.2 innings, he gave up 7 home runs and walked 39 compared to only one home run and 25 walks in ‘18.
It seems that Leclerc just sort of had an off-year in 2019. At an 85 overall, he would already be the third-best pitcher in the White Sox bullpen. With the help of new pitching coach Ethan Katz and the leadership established in that bullpen, he has the potential to put up numbers similar to 2018. His B potential rating says so. Leclerc is coming off a shoulder injury that sidelined him in 2020, but he is 100% and is ready to come back in 2021.
In exchange, the White Sox would be giving up two depth pieces. One we are waiting for in the minors and the other a solid platoon player. As much as we love Jonathan Stiever, he has a better chance to shine in Texas with his former teammate Dane Dunning as the Sox will continue to stack their pitching staff with better talent in trades to follow. At 58 overall, he just is not ready to win with this White Sox team.
In Danny Mendick, the Sox are losing a 27-year-old platoon infielder who can kind of hit the ball well and fields pretty well too. To replace him, the Sox need an infielder with a 70 overall or higher and a C potential or higher. There are some names on the market that stand out and fit the profile like Kiké Hernández, César Hernández, Jonathan Schoop, and Hanser Alberto. Lock one of them up for a year for less than $8 million and call it day.
This trade might be less likely considering the two teams just made a headlining trade a few weeks ago, but the Nomar Mazara trade last season means the two are in close connection. Regardless, this is a video game and the White Sox could add even more talent.