Garrett Crochet and Luis Robert Jr. hold the keys to the Chicago White Sox future

Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Chicago White Sox have put together a historically bad season thus far, and there is a good chance several players will be finding themselves sporting different jerseys by the July 30th trade deadline.

However, despite the speculation they could bring a solid return, neither pitcher Garrett Crochet nor Luis Robert Jr. should be on that list of players heading elsewhere.

While the likes of Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong, Eric Fedde, and Mike Clevinger could be moved over the next few weeks, trading either Crochet or Robert Jr. would set the club back even further in its attempt to not be a Major League Baseball bottom-feeder in the years to come.

Both players' age, potential, and contract status make them very appealing to potential suitors. But it is for those same reasons the White Sox would be making a mistake in dealing them away.

This isn't to say general manager Chris Getz shouldn't listen to offers for either player. He wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't entertain inquiries from other teams and see what the market bears.

Each is the type of players teams should be building around and not moving on from despite the funk the White Sox have been in all season. Crochet and Robert are 24 and 26 years old respectively, early in their careers, and may have their best baseball still ahead of them.

This year marks the first time in Crochet's four seasons on the big stage that he has performed in a starting role. Since making his debut back in 2020, Crochet, who missed the 2022 campaign due to Tommy John surgery, pitched 73 total innings, all out of the bullpen.

So far, Crochet has looked solid as the ace of the staff. He heads into Thursday's finale against the Seattle Mariners second in MLB in strikeouts and third in the American League in both WHIP (0.93) and batting average (.190). Crochet has posted a respectable 3.33 earned run average to go along with his 6-5 record.

In addition, he is a left-handed, top-of-the-rotation type pitcher that all teams covet. As such, his value to the White Sox staff going forward is imperative if the team hopes to turn things around.

Entering his fifth year in the league, Robert Jr. has managed to put together quite the resume despite playing more than 98 games in a season only one time. He has won a Gold Glove (2020), along with the Silver Slugger Award (2023), and made his first All-Star team last year when he hit 38 homers and drove in 80 runs.

Of course, injuries have been the biggest hurdle Robert Jr. has had to deal with throughout his career. Still, when healthy, he has performed consistently at a rate that matches the hype surrounding his arrival with the organization.

Despite a hip flexor injury which has limited his playing time this season, Robert Jr. still has hit six home runs and driven in nine RBIs in just 15 games. His offensive abilities and defensive skills qualify him to be the centerpiece of any lineup.

To top things off, both players have rather workable contracts. Robert Jr. has one year left on his six-year deal with club options for 2026 and '27, while Crochet is in his first year of arbitration and under team control for two more years.

These attributes are what make each player desirable in the trade market. But there are red flags that may not bring the haul many people think the White Sox could get: Crochet has yet to put together a full season of work as a starter and Robert Jr.'s injury history.

If Getz were to deal either or both players, the return would come in the form of prospects which would put the timetable for any rebuild back even further.

By keeping Crochet and Robert Jr., Getz has quality players to build around and, hopefully, quicken the process of getting back into playoff conversations.