White Sox ties in the 2018 MLB Postseason

(Keith Allison / Flickr)

After the Oakland Athletics locked in a wild card spot to secure a return to the postseason for the first time since 2014, Chris Bassitt posted a photo from the celebration that should have resonated with some employees at 35th and Shields.

From left to right, that’s Bassitt, Marcus Semien and Josh Phegley — all former White Sox whom the White Sox sent to Oakland for Jeff Samardzija.

Of the trio of #TheTrade, Semien is the only one the White Sox might’ve missed. He’s shaped himself into a steady shortstop on both sides of the ball — the metrics loved his defense this year — and while he might’ve not have found the necessary playing time at shortstop in Chicago to improve his glvoework, he could’ve helped at other positions. Failing that, he could’ve been dealt for somebody more useful to the long-term plan than Samardzija.*

Bassitt recovered from Tommy John surgery to soak up some starts early, after which he was deployed as the post-opener for three or four innings at a time in September. Phegley’s OPS has fallen short of .600 the last couple of seasons.

That deal didn’t kill the White Sox on an individual level, but it’s remarkable — and distressing — that all three of them could be on a postseason roster for a 95-win Oakland team with the league’s lowest Opening Day payroll, while the White Sox had to scrap their first rebuild, and the second one has been slow to take root, too.

(*The White Sox did get Zack Burdi with the compensation pick after Samardzija signed with San Francisco, so keep hope alive.)

At any rate, Oakland has the highest concentration of former White Sox in the American League, and it’s not even close. If you’re only interested in pulling for players you pulled for, then an A’s-Brewers World Series is the matchup for you.

American League


Along with Bassitt, Semien and Phegley, the A’s also have a couple more familiar names from other deals. J.B. Wendelken has surfaced in the bullpen, where he has a 0.54 ERA over 16 2/3 games. The White Sox acquired him from Boston in the Jake Peavy trade, then sent him to Oakland in the Brett Lawrie deal. His first attempt at sticking with Oakland in 2016 didn’t work. He seems to have improved his curveball, and he’s also working ahead in counts. Frankie Montas is also around, as he came from the Dodgers in the Rich Hill deal after the Sox dealt him to LA in the three-team Todd Frazier trade.

I suppose there’s also Edwin Jackson, but nearly half the damn league can claim ties to him. The A’s are his 13th organization.

Red Sox

Chris Sale will take the mound in search of his first postseason victory. He’s battled a velocity drop since coming off the DL, which he and the club attribute to a mechanical issue with his hips, not anything shoulder-related.


The White Sox helped the Yankees fortify a postseason bullpen by trading David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to them last year. Robertson’s still doing his thing, but Kahnle still hasn’t found his old fastball, and has become far more hittable as a result.


You can’t keep Melky Cabrera away from his career averages, whether it’s before, during or after his time with the White Sox.

  • Before: .286/.339/.415
  • During: .287/.331/.427
  • This year: .280/.335/.420

He’s also just as steady with his glove, in the sense that his defense makes him a replacement-level player.


Just Chris Devenski, whom the Astros acquired from the Sox as a player to be named later in the Brett Myers deal. Two awful outings at the end of July inflated his ERA before he went on the DL with a hamstring issue, and he’s been sporadically used since returning in August, so he’s not a lock for the postseason roster.

National League


Josh Hader aside, Milwaukee practically won the NL Central with the White Sox’ bullpen. They acquired Joakim Soria and Xavier Cedeno directly from the White Sox, and Dan Jennings is a part of the action, too. Matt Albers played a prominent role in the first half, but he fell victim to a relapse of his 2016 season. Look at this line over his last 10 games: 6.1 IP, 22 H, 22 R, 22 ER, 6 HR, 6 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP. That’s good for a 31.26 ERA. This time, it’s injuries. He went on the DL in June with a shoulder injury, and then back on it for a hamstring in August. Albers won’t be on the postseason roster, but Junior Guerra and Gio Gonzalez in the starting rotation make up for it.

Tyler Saladino is the lone representative on the position-player side. He’s been limited to coming off the bench since the acquisitions of Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop.


The Brewers beat the Cubs in Game 163, but nobody could blame Jose Quintana, who allowed just one run over five-plus innings. Joe Maddon went to the bullpen after 64 pitches when Quintana gave up a leadoff single to Christian Yelich in the sixth.


Hey, whaddya know, Tyler Flowers is big part of a postseason team. Flowers is hitting .227/.341/.359 with the league’s best framing numbers as part of a time-share with Kurt Suzuki. Brandon McCarthy is technically part of the organization, but he’s on the 60-day DL and will be retiring after the season.


Yency Almonte, whom the Sox acquired from the Angels for Gordon Beckham before flipping him to Colorado for Kahnle, is on the postseason roster bubble. He’s been up and down with the Rockies throughout the year, and he only pitched once over the last 15 days of the season, but his rookie numbers are decent (1.84 ERA, 2.96 FIP over 14.2 IP).


They have a Josh Fields, but not the Josh Fields.

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Josh Nelson

I think I’m prepared for Tyler Flowers, 2018 World Series MVP.

Ted Mulvey

With the rich irony coming in the form of multiple big hits off of Chris Sale.

lil jimmy

The danger here, 60 plus Tyler Flowers comments, and severe Jopf agitation.

As Cirensica

It is Jofp….not Jopf

I have long ago accepted the premise that letting Flowers go was a monumental mistake by Hahn.

In case you didn’t know…I am Jofp


I know this probably falls into the asked-and-answered file, but does Flowers get to pick whether it’s a Sox or Braves cap on his Hall-of-Fame plaque? It’s The Hall that picks, right?

If he plays another 3 years with Atlanta, he might reach a career 9 WAR, but 4.8 of that would be with our Sox (according to baseball reference). So he should be the next Sox inductee, fitting nicely between Frank Thomas and Chris Sale. 

Get over the “monumental” mistake, people. 

Trooper Galactus

It’s important to use WARP for catchers, as it’s the only wins metric that assigns value to framing. By that measure, he’s been worth 19.5 WARP in his career, with 16.8 of that coming in the last five seasons. He’s not a Hall-of-Famer, but he’s absolutely a bedrock value at a valuable position, one which the White Sox have spectacularly failed at filling since letting him walk away for nothing.

And for reference, Omar Narvaez provided a whopping 0.5 WARP this year, despite being one of the best hitters at his position, because his shit framing absolutely tanked his value.


You should be his agent. They jumped all over an extension that seems like peanuts based on the love he gets here. 

Trooper Galactus

It really is peanuts based on his actual value. The league has not placed a dollar value on framing as of yet, but there’s no denying Flowers consistently got extra strikes for our pitchers and everybody we’ve used since has routinely cost them strikes.


I disagree. I think the league – the FOs – have placed a dollar value on framing, and they incorporate that component with all the other statistics for catchers when considering monetary compensation. 

Trooper Galactus

If the league placed appropriate value on framing, then Flowers would get $10 million for one season, not two. I would have been very interested to see how he would have been treated in free agency given he is a proven commodity in that regard and the saber community has grown increasingly appreciative of the value of expanding the strike zone for your pitchers.


I’m not. (reply to Josh)


Frankie Montas has started 11 games for a playoff team. I honestly didn’t even realize he was on an MLB roster this year. Good for him.

Lurker Laura

I would totally be down with an A’s-Brewers World Series.


Their combined payroll would be less than about half the teams in the playoffs.


Even better if the local broadcast crews were allowed to call the games for a national audience.

Josh Nelson

Minnesota Twins have fired Paul Molitor

Josh Nelson

Well, maybe not fired.


Hey, Paul, wanna be a hitting coach in Chicago?


He beats out Todd Steverson.


This is incredible. Someone in the Dodgers front office kept a spreadsheet that rated how corrupt each member of it’s Latin American staff was



This sets up the potential for many plea bargains that would implicate many more people around the game. We may be entering the golden age of Sheryl Ring’s analysis.

Josh Nelson

I don’t know what the significance of this move is, but here ya go

Lurker Laura

I didn’t even know he was on the 40-man.


Eloy’s coming.Hopefully.

As Cirensica

You could have fooled us…


The stove is lit