With the work stoppage looming, MLB teams across the league dished out some huge contracts. The Chicago White Sox was not one of them. For a team with needs in the starting rotation, second base, and right field, Rich Hahn and Co. were oddly quiet.
Meanwhile, Corey Seager got a 10 year $325 million contract with the Rangers. The Rangers also inked Jon Gray, Marcus Semien, and Kole Calhoun, all of who could’ve been of some use to the White Sox.
Other names on the White Sox radar such as Max Scherzer, Eduardo Escobar, and Robbie Ray are also off the board. Javier Baez has a deal with the Tigers as well. The White Sox see themselves as World Series contenders.
However, it is clear they need to add a couple of pieces after two consecutive premature playoff exits. Now that the MLB is heading for a work stoppage it will be interesting to see how much the White Sox are willing to spend when free agency resumes.
The Chicago White Sox really needs to make a big move before the deadline.
Rick Hahn is not one to go down quietly. He can see the glaring flaws just as easily as fans can. But if the White Sox choose not to hand out a mega-deal they may have their sights set on some mid-tier level players. One such player to keep an eye on is Danny Duffy. He seems like exactly the type of player the White Sox would bring on.
The White Sox needs rotation help. With Rodón likely gone, the White Sox are replacing him with Micheal Kopech, who is going to be under an innings restriction. The rest of the rotation will consist of Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, and the aging Dallas Keuchel and Lance Lynn.
While the starting rotation was the strength of the team during the regular season, they were not so sharp during the postseason. No starter could make it beyond the fifth inning in the ALDS which quickly taxed the bullpen. Another guy that could help eat inning during the 162-game grind could be helpful for the White Sox.
Duffy is a former World Series Champion with the Kansas City Royals back in 2015. Rick Hahn has shown in the past that he values World Series experience. The White Sox are very familiar with Duffy because he has spent his entire career in the division, playing 11 seasons with the Royals. He owns a career 3.95 ERA, 1048 strikeouts, and a 1.32 WHIP.
Last season Duffy had a solid 2.51 ERA in 13 games before being traded to the Dodgers but then was shut down for the season with a flexor strain. Duffy never got to throw a pitch for the Dodgers before hitting free agency. His elbow problems and age should certainly affect his value in free agency.
His advance metrics are also poor. He constantly gets hit hard, placing him in the 33 percentile of average exit velocity, 26th percentile in max exit velocity, and 33rd percentile in hard-hit percentage. Duffy is also in the 43rd percentile in walk rate which is considered poor by MLB standards.
The White Sox already had their problems with Dallas Keuchel. Taking on another veteran that gets barreled up seems like a bad idea. But it also seems like the type of band-aid move the White Sox would make.
Last season the White Sox played it cheap in the rotation when they needed a fifth starter by pulling Carlos Rodon off the scrap heap for a one-year deal. The move ended up working out but Duffy is no Carlos Rodon. His stuff isn’t nearly as good.
If the White Sox are serious about contending they should avoid Danny Duffy and set their sights a little higher.