The trade deadline has come and gone and Chris Sale and Jose Quintana remain White Sox. As the Sox’ endured a 28-44 slide since May 9th, I heard from plenty of fans calling into the Post Game Show advocating moving one or both of those top-tier arms. It seems pretty clear, given the vast quantity of reports, that overtures were made for each. Any team seeking to add one of the White Sox’ gems would have to pay dearly. Sale and Quintana, had they been dealt, would have easily been the best pitcher to have moved at the deadline. It wouldn’t have been close.
Instead, they remain. White Sox GM Rick Hahn told reporters that nothing every came close enough to have to take to owner Jerry Reinsdorf for approval.
I have a guess as to what that means. I’d guess that Hahn would have only flipped Sale/Quintana in packages that included current major leaguers. The White Sox aren’t into the complete tear down. Not the way the Astros did it. Not the way the Cubs did it. Definitely not whatever the Braves are doing.
“Rebuild on the fly” is a slightly more apt description in that it covers the desire to compete at all times. If the Rangers wanted Sale, I’d be the White Sox needed Nomar Mazara to make that happen. If the Red Sox asked about either (or both) the White Sox likely were asking that Mookie Betts make his way to the Southside.
Hahn would have been right to want those players. The Rangers and Red Sox would have been right to pass—for now.
I see the situation as an “If, then” statement. If the White Sox are to deal one or both of Sale and or Quintana, then it will happen in the winter when Mazara’s and Betts’ are more likely to move.
That said, I’m curious as to why a few other players are still on the squad.
In his age 31 season, Melky Cabrera has been the White Sox most consistent and effective offensive threat. Hands down. He’s owed the remainder of his $14 million dollar salary this year and in 2017 he’s owed $15 million. Compare that to Carlos Beltran who, at have 39, is having a rebirth. Beltran was flipped from the Yankees to the Rangers for three prospects. One of whom, Dillon Tate, is a former fourth-overall pick. Tate has lost some considerable shine in the past season but at 22, has plenty of room to bounce back.
Beltran, owed the rest of his $15 million this season and $15 for 2017, compares favorable to Cabrera. They’re both switch hitters. They’ve both played on big stages. They’re both producing. Take a look:
Cabrera v LHP – .351/..377/.554
Cabrera v RHP – .302/.355/.454
Beltran v LHP – .351/.405/.640
Beltran v. RHP – .282/.314/.502
Beltran gets an edge in the power category—no doubt about it. Still, Cabrera’s consistent on-base skills are superior and, unlike Beltran, Cabrera can play a corner outfield spot which makes him trade-worthy in two leagues.
The Yankees are 5.5 games out of the Wild Card. The White Sox are 7.5 games behind.
Also, there’s the eight year age difference. Cabrera would have brought back a solid return.
Instead, the White Sox have kept together a group that could be highly mobile during this offseason or at next year’s trade deadline. Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera reach free agency after the 2017 season. Everyone else is under contract or team control. While the Sox showed they’re capable of playing great baseball through the first six weeks of the season, it’s yet to be seen wether they’ve got another six weeks like that in them. Even if they do, will it be enough to change minds?