Pitching market inches toward White Sox

Pitching market inches toward White Sox

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:

  • Britton
  • 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.

4+
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Soxfan2
Member

James Shields to the Cubs for OBP King Mark Zagunis?

moncada5ever
Member

David Bote intrigues me more if we are getting a deal done with the Cubs

yinkadoubledare
Member
yinkadoubledare

Given the year he’s having (actually one of his career best on his peripherals), I wonder if Soria having an option for next year increases the value slightly? A team can use him as a rental, or think that retaining him at 1 year 9 million (10 mil, but they have to pay 1 million if they let him go so effectively 9) is a better contract that trying to find someone in free agency.

Otter
Member

I’d say so. And if I were Rick Hahn, I’m picking up the option if things continue this way (edit: now seeing Jim pointing out it’s a mutual option so I’d bring him back, but Soria walks). So the Sox can/should hold out for a little more value. Even so, Soria shouldn’t be on the team on August 1st.

I can’t decide if the Sox move will be able to move Shields. Right now I’m leaning no?

Otter
Member

Joe Maddon is on a quest to ruin everything fun about baseball. If it turns out he’s an NBA/NFL double agent, I wouldn’t be shocked. Imagine Maddon managing Verlander… the fun would be completely ruined.

knoxfire30
Member
knoxfire30

Hoping teams emphasis on pen quality and depth helps the sox here, also hope they get a little creative to maximize a return. Not sure how everyone else feels but I am kind of over depth and looking for more high upside talent. Sox should set their sites on a 1 player return, kick in money, maybe even include a lesser of their own prospects to upgrade a return.

PauliePaulie
Member
PauliePaulie

Also the approach I hope they go with.(18-20 yo with some projection)
Still think a Soria + Cedeno package, with $ thrown in, or a short-term bad contract coming back, if the buyer is nervous about Lux Tax penalties, nets the best return.
Probably still in the minority, but I also hope the Sox consider lowering their asking price on Abreu.

Otter
Member

I think it probably has more to do of Abreu not being a huge upgrade for a number of teams. The Yankees are the only team I can see him being a clear upgrade for, there really isn’t much of a market imo.

Josh Nelson
Editor

Abreu would help the Yankees and Rockies.

PauliePaulie
Member
PauliePaulie

Astros interest has also been reported. Not sure how realistic.

joewho112
Member
joewho112

Which team are near the Luxury Tax? Yanks, Red Sox, Dodgers. Anyone else?

PauliePaulie
Member
PauliePaulie

Red Sox and Nats are over lux tax and reportedly OK with it. Giants, Dodgers and Yankees want to stay under.
LilJimmy had a great proposal of Soria + Cedeno for G. Lux and Logan Forsythe’s remaining salary.

zerobs
Member
zerobs

Remember it’s not just being over the tax but how long they’re over it. The more consecutive years they are over, the higher the tax. Get under for a full year, and the penalty rate resets lower.

sgp2204
Member
sgp2204

Soria was the best closer on the market even before the Britton/Familia deals. It amazes me why basically nobody puts him in the same conversation with those 2 even though he has been the best of the 3 for the last 2 years, and he has a tremendous track record.