While Chicago White Sox fans are all eagerly awaiting to see the Dallas Keuchel and Vince Velasquez combination, it is safe to say the starting rotation could still use some help.
Rick Hahn told the media that Micheal Kopech battled illness during the offseason which affected his build-up during the offseason. As a result, he will be on a “managed workload” to start the season. Kopech was expected to take Carlos Rodon’s spot in the rotation.
Seeing that the White Sox don’t know how many innings they can get out of Kopech and Velasquez/Keuchel each sported ERA’s north of 5.00 last season, some insurance would be nice.
The Oakland Athletics are having a fire sale. Athletics general manager David Frost already shipped out Chris Bassitt and Matt Olson. More pieces from the rotation could be next.
Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas are names that stand out for the White Sox.
Sean Manaea has been a productive pitcher since entering the big leagues in 2016. He has a career ERA of 3.86 in 727 innings pitched and is holding opponents to a .249 batting average. Manaea will be 30 years old next season.
He dealt with shoulder surgery in 2018 that knocked him out most of the 2019 season. Since returning from surgery, Manaea hasn’t missed a beat. He owns a 24.8% strikeout rate, 5.2% walk rate, and 43.8% ground ball rate. The high ground ball rate would play well in Guaranteed Rate Field.
He posted a 4.50 ERA in 2020 but lowered it back to 3.91 in 2021. Last season, he also accumulated 194 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP, while leading the MLB with two complete-game shutouts. Manaea established himself as the A’s number one starter.
However, he is in the final year of arbitration so he is due for a massive pay raise this offseason. For that reason, the A’s are likely going to try and flip him for prospects.
Manea would give the White Sox the starting pitching depth they need. Paired with Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and Dylan Cease, Manaea would be the perfect replacement for Carlos Rodon while also giving Tony La Russa insurance if Dallas Keuchel has another down year or Micheal Kopech doesn’t pan out as a starter.
Manaea would also be a one-year rental so the White Sox could capitalize on their championship window with an established starter and probably get him for cheap.
Meanwhile, Frankie Montas also owns a solid track record. The hard-throwing right-hander has a 3.86 career ERA in his 102 big league appearances.
Montas posted a 13-9 record last season and owned a 3.37 ERA. That was the fifth-best mark in the American League He proved to be durable as well, leading the American League with 32 starts.
That wasn’t the only accolade Montas collected last season. He also was named AL Pitcher of the Month in September. His 207 strikeouts were also good enough for fourth-best in the AL. He finished sixth in the Cy Young voting.
Montas’s career began with the White Sox in 2015 before getting traded. After coming off his best season to date, his price tag figures to be a bit higher than Manaea’s. Here are possible trades the White Sox could make to acquire one of them: