The White Sox didn’t even wait until the end of the All-Star break to make a splash in the trade market, dealing lefty ace Jose Quintana to the Cubs for four prospects, including outfielder Eloy Jimenez and righty Dylan Cease. While the team filled the void left by Quintana by activating Miguel Gonzalez from the DL on Friday, the trade heightened anticipation of major league promotions for pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez.
Though the White Sox don’t have any rotation vacancies, everyone outside of Carlos Rodon appears to be replaceable. Of the current members of the rotation, only Rodon has an ERA below 4.50. Yet owners should not look to Giolito to provide an upgrade over Gonzalez, James Shields, Derek Holland or Mike Pelfrey. The former Nationals first-rounder has taken a step backward this season, posting a 5.00 ERA in 18 starts with Triple-A Charlotte. Even away from his hitter-friendly home park, Giolito has a 4.53 ERA, and overall, he has an 11.0 percent walk rate and a 60.6 percent strikes-thrown rate.
Lopez, who also came over to the White Sox in last December’s Adam Eaton deal, offers more hope for a callup and useful stats once he reaches the majors. He has a 3.78 ERA on the season, and on the road, that mark shrinks to 3.40. Lopez is also trending upward, having reeled off four consecutive strong starts, and since May 31, compiling a 3.45 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 13 walks over 47 innings.
The flyball-prone righty could run into trouble at Guaranteed Rate Field, and that makes him something less than a must-add in 12-team mixed leagues. Then again, he could be a useful streaming option, so there are worse uses of a bench spot in those formats. Giolito, however, does not need to be stashed outside of deeper formats.
OTHER WHITE SOX TO CONSIDER
- Yoan Moncada, 2B/3B
The White Sox have reportedly been in talks with the Red Sox regarding a Todd Frazier deal, but Moncada doesn’t need Frazier to vacate the hot corner to have a starting big league gig. He just needs the White Sox’s decision-makers to be ready to hand over the reins of the second base job from Yolmer Sanchez. While Sanchez has amassed a pedestrian .308 wOBA, his defense has been sufficiently strong for him to have earned 1.0 fWAR in 77 games.
When you bear in mind that Rougned Odor and Jonathan Schoop were 2.0-fWAR players over the full 2016 season, Sanchez’s rate of production is not to be dismissed. It also does not seem to be enough to block Moncada from advancing from Triple-A in the coming weeks. Because of that possibility, owners in all but the shallowest of mixed leagues should try to stash the 22-year-old, as he has the potential to deliver double-digit steals with some power if he is called up by the end of the month. Moncada is still striking out too much (28.5 percent K-rate), but as a line drive hitter, he could still bat in the .250s, and he could walk enough to be useful in OBP leagues.
Prospective owners should also be prepared for a scenario in which Moncada does not provide much beyond steals. He has a .170 Iso with Charlotte, and given how conducive his home park is to home run power, that mark is something of a disappointment.
- Tommy Kahnle, RP
Trade rumors have been following David Robertson since the offseason, and it seems to be only a matter of time before he is dealt, creating the need for a new closer. Kahnle has been setting Robinson up and has been outstanding in that role, and he seems to be the obvious candidate take over the ninth inning. Among qualifying relievers, only Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen have a higher K-BB% than Kahnle’s 37.6 percentage points. The only concerns around Kahnle are his 38 percent hard contact rate and the possibility that he will also be traded. The former is not a major concern, as Kahnle does not allow much contact in general. As for the latter, Kahnle is not likely to be that expensive next season, even though he will become arbitration-eligible, so the White Sox could opt to keep him around.
- Nicky Delmonico, 1B/3B
Frazier’s days — and maybe hours — with the White Sox are probably numbered, and Moncada appears destined to arrive as a second baseman, so who takes over at third base? One option would be to shift slugger Matt Davidson over from DH, but then there would be a void there. The most sensible move may be for the White Sox to call up Delmonico from Charlotte. He has slumped so far this month, but through the end of June, Delmonico had slashed .276/.364/.459. He has been helped greatly by his current home venue, but then again, Guaranteed Rate Field could aid in pumping up Delmonico’s numbers. He’s certainly worth a stash in AL-only leagues and some deeper mixed leagues.
OTHER UNDER-OWNED PLAYERS
- Drew Robinson, 2B/SS, Rangers
Robinson was called up from Triple-A Round Rock for the weekend series against the Angels just before the All-Star break, and he has started four of the last five games. Manager Jeff Banister has said that he wants to give Robinson, a left-handed hitter, more opportunities to play against right-handed starters. He is versatile enough that he could settle in as a super-utility player, having already started at second base, third base and left field in limited time this season. Banister penciled Robinson into his lineup again as the team’s left fielder for Monday night’s game at Baltimore.
Robinson can’t be of value without playing time, but he will also have to produce. While a 23.9 percent strikeout rate limited him to a .268 batting average at Round Rock, he also owns a .369 OBP and a .494 slugging percentage to go with seven stolen bases. Robinson has already shown he can produce power at the major league level, hitting three home runs in his first six games. Owners in standard mixed leagues need to put the Rangers’ potential answer to Marwin Gonzalez on their radar, while owners in any mixed league with 14 or more teams need to roster him now.
- Chad Green, SP/RP, Yankees
If you are in a league with a scarcity of available closers, or if you just need to find a cheap way to boost your strikeout total and lower your ERA and WHIP, you really need to consider adding Green. Joe Girardi has been steadily calling on Green for multiple-inning outings out of the bullpen, so you could count on getting roughly four strong innings a week from the hard-throwing righty. Since making his season debut on May 9, Green has struck out 49 batters in 36 batters, which is a higher total than those of Jesse Chavez, Julio Teheran, Jason Vargas and Ivan Nova over the same period of time. He also has a 1.75 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. Green has allowed only three home runs, and given his 29.0 percent ground ball rate, some regression could be on the way. Still, Green has enough skill to produce outstanding relief numbers going forward.
- Fantasy baseball two-start pitching options for Week 15
- Start and sit options for fantasy | Hitters edition for Week 15