With another starter and reliever coming off the board, Joakim Soria and James Shields could be on notice
The trade market loosened up a little bit, and the American League East is doing the wiggling.
On Tuesday night, the Yankees acquired Zach Britton for three minor-league pitchers, the most prominent one 2015 fourth-overall pick Dillon Tate. The Red Sox responded this morning by acquiring Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays for lefty Jalen Beeks.
These are the kinds of players who need to come off the board before the market arrives at the White Sox’ most tradeable players. The question is how many more players are in the way, because there’s only a week left and it still looks like a market for buying.
Eovaldi, for example, was a candidate for the best starter on the market, especially if somebody like Jacob deGrom isn’t on it. Including guys like J.A. Happ, Matt Harvey, Marco Estrada and others, Shields doesn’t stand out. Endurance, in-game and otherwise, is his strong suit, and it takes a specific contender that needs a starter, but doesn’t need anything much from him in October. In this sense, Shields does kinda fit a Cubs team that took the fun out of pitching position players, but it’s hard to tell how much of a match is idle speculation from Chicago writers who like making the city’s teams kiss.
Soria’s stats hold up against any other available closer — 2.56 ERA, 2.15 FIP, 16 saves, 49 strikeouts to 10 walks over 38 2/3 innings (Jake Peter, meanwhile, has a .297 OBP in Triple-A Oklahoma City). It seems like Soria should have shifted to the top of the reliever heap, considering the market has already churned through:
- Alex Colome
- Kelvin Herrera
- Brad Hand
- Adam Cimber
- Jeurys Familia
Soria’s in the same neighborhood as Brad Brach and Craig Stammen as the next to go, and Keone Kela is also drawing buzz.
Looking at that list, it strikes me that all six American League contenders have added to their pitching staffs. The National League is a little slower in this regard, so the White Sox still may find suitors, especially since the bulk of these deals have caught the rumormongers by surprise. If I had to guess, I’d wager the reliever market has tilted toward the Sox while the starter market has moves to go, but it’s more fog than smoke out there.