The MLB trade deadline is right around the corner. At the top of Rick Hahn’s list is to solidify the bullpen. The Chicago White Sox bullpen was supposed to be a strength of the team heading into the season. Aaron Bummer even said that their goal was to be undefeated when leading after the sixth inning.
On paper, there was a good reason for this. Bummer had a 2.13 ERA in 2019 and a 0.96 ERA in 2020. Ethan Katz called his sinker the most impressive thing he has ever seen. Meanwhile, Evan Marshall posted a sub-three ERA his previous two seasons with the White Sox.
Matt Foster had a 2.20 mark and Codi Heuer had a 1.52 ERA. Garrett Crochet was virtually unhittable with his blazing fastball and Liam Hendriks was acquired to be the closer. Hendriks was named the best relief pitcher in baseball by MLB Network during the offseason.
Things have not gone as planned. Heuer’s ERA ballooned up to 5.26. Matt Foster was sent down to Charlotte. Evan Marshall went down with an injury but not before putting up a 5.60 ERA. Aaron Bummer’s ERA is just below five, and Crochet has yet to hit 100 mph with a pitch this season. The only bright spots in the bullpen have been Micheal Kopech and Liam Hendriks.
The Chicago White Sox needs to make sure that their bullpen is solidified before October.
On Sunday night the White Sox needed Liam Hendriks to lock down a six-out save just to hang onto a two-run lead. This formula will not be sustainable in the postseason.
There are plenty of good arms available on the market. Another setup man to help bridge the gap between the sixth inning may be just what the White Sox need to get over the top this season. Here are the four names Rick Hahn should target at the trade deadline to fix the bullpen: