Active trade deadline doesn’t include White Sox

White Sox GM Rick Hahn
Rick Hahn speaks at SoxFest 2020 town hall (photo by Josh Nelson)

The trade deadline came and went without the White Sox making a deal. Instead, the only roster move the White Sox had to show for the day was replacing Ryan Goins with Yolmer Sánchez.

Sánchez figured to have an inside track back to the roster as soon as the Giants let him go, because the White Sox have used that reserve infield spot for the guy Rick Renteria trusts. Goins rated above Cheslor Cuthbert, but Sánchez, who started for long stretches at both second and third, is the most familiar to the coaching staff out of anybody.

It’s almost like Goins knew his time was up when Luis Robert walked it off Sunday.

If it’s any consolation, Lance Lynn didn’t go anywhere else. The Texas Rangers held onto the market’s top starter, with even a late reported run with the Dodgers resulting in nothing.

Lynn was one of two starters on the block worth ponying up for, and even then, the White Sox’s top-heavy farm system wasn’t all that conducive to adding deadline help. They basically need all the close-to-the-majors prospects they have in filling out rosters over the remainder of this season, and the uncertain start to next year’s.

Farm system depth ultimately helped the other No. 1 starter shake loose. Let’s start with that one as we review notable, relevant deadline deals.

Cleveland trades Mike Clevinger to San Diego

The Padres acquired more than Clevinger, and in terms of bodies, they gave up much more to get them.

Clevinger has been one of the best starters in baseball, with a 2.97 ERA and 534 strikeouts to just 175 walks over 470⅓ innings since the start of the 2017 season. He was Cleveland’s No. 1 or No. 2 starter when healthy, and when he’s not pissing off teammates by violating pandemic protocols. You don’t often see first-place teams dealing impact players, but the Indians have enough confidence in their abilities to develop pitchers to try splitting the baby.

Quantrill, a former eighth-overall pick, is probably their attempt at replacing Clevinger for the long haul. The remainder of the package is a little more confusing, as the bat-first Naylor is barely an outfielder, and Hedges, while a great defender, does nothing to upgrade their league-worst production from the position.

The Padres got a top-of-the-rotation starter without touching the top of their farm system thanks to their incredible depth. A look at Eric Longenhagen’s review of the San Diego system shows Cantillo with a 45 FV, which is good for 12th on their board. The only White Sox prospect with a 45 FV is Dane Dunning, who ranked fifth on their list. Arias’ FV of 40+ would be good for seventh or eighth with the Sox, opposed to 16th with San Diego.

The Indians have a way of replacing their best pitchers without skipping a beat, so I’ll refrain from slandering their approach when it comes to life without Clevinger. The doubt is all about their ability to find outfielders.

Blue Jays acquire Robbie Ray, Jonathan Villar

At 18-14, the Blue Jays have a two-game lead over the Detroit Tigers for the final postseason spot. FanGraphs gives them a 79.4 percent chance of advancing into October, but they’re trying to go for the kill.

With their rotation missing Matt Shoemaker, Trent Thornton and Nate Pearson, Toronto targeted starters. After adding Taijuan Walker from the Mariners last week, the Blue Jays acquired Robbie Ray from the Diamondbacks, sending lefty Travis Bergen and $300,000 to Arizona for the privilege of renting Ray.

Ray’s an inefficient strikeout guy when he’s right, but he’s been wrong this year, with 31 walks over 31 innings and a 7.84 ERA over seven starts. His track record says he’s worth a shot, especially if he only costs a fungible reliever like Bergen, but he’s also not a great bet to help in his current state.

Villar, who was non-tendered by the Orioles despite (or because of) a breakout season in 2019, hasn’t been able to duplicate the offense for Miami, and he’s leading the league in both steals and times caught stealing. That said, he’s decent depth for an infield that’s currently missing Bo Bichette at short. Griffin Conine, the son of Mr. Marlin, heads to Miami in the deal.

Marlins acquire Starling Marte

You can’t call the Marlins sellers, though, because they made the biggest deal by dealing Caleb Smith, Humberto Mejia and a player to be named later for Arizona for Starling Marte.

It’s a great price for the Marlins, who get a reliable 3-4 WAR center fielder on an affordable contract through 2021. Marte has been one of the few bright spots for Arizona, hitting .311/.384/.443 over 33 games.

That said, Smith gives the Diamondbacks an immediate replacement/upgrade for Ray, for better or for worse. They’d also previously acquired Zac Gallen from Miami, so maybe that’s more inspiration to go back to that well.

Athletics acquire Mike Minor

Officially, the A’s acquired Minor from the Texas Rangers for two players to be named later. Unofficially, the return is outfielder Marcus Smith and infielder Dustin Harris, along with $133,000 of international pool money. Minor experienced a revival for Texas last year, but he and his fastball came out of abbreviated training camp sluggish, resulting in an 0-5 record and a 5.60 ERA. The success is recent enough to remain intriguing, but his current production makes him liable to be left off a postseason roster, hence the low-level return.

Other moves:

*David Phelps, the Milwaukee reliever Josh mentioned by name on Monday’s show, ended up with the Philadelphia Phillies.

*Brian Goodwin, a left-handed outfielder who might’ve been a good fit for the White Sox bench, ended up in Cincinnati’s pile of outfielders for left-handed A-ball starter Packy Naughton. The Reds also added Archie Bradley, who had made a successful transition to relieving in the Arizona bullpen over the last few seasons. He cost outfield prospect Stuart Fairchild and utilityman Josh VanMeter.

*The Cubs acquired some outfield depth in the form of Cameron Maybin, and some left-handed relief help in the form of Josh Osich and Andrew Chafin.

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Lynn was one of two starters on the block worth ponying up for, and even then, the White Sox’s top-heavy farm system wasn’t all that conducive to adding deadline help. They basically need all the close-to-the-majors prospects they have in filling out rosters over the remainder of this season, and the uncertain start to next year’s.

That’s the crux of it. The Sox are right to not trade Kopech or Vaughn. They also seem to have learned their lesson about trading recently acquired guys with little/no professional experience. The problem is, once you take that group out of the equation, who do they have left that would pique another team’s interest? Stiever?

Cleveland was never going to deal Clevenger within the division. Rangers sound like they were asking for a fortune for Lynn. But Marte would have been an awesome addition. Minor would have been a solid one too.


Its tough with the excitement of the first post season since 2008 on the horizon to stand totally pat. A front line starter is tough to acquire and maybe the off season is a better time to evaluate if obtaining one is more feasible via trade, what I dont understand is no lefty pen arm, no OF bench bat, no insurance at 3rd if Moncada is more hurt then they are letting on…. seems like those are moves that wouldnt do much to hurt the core or next wave of guys coming and helped for the 2020 push.


I was a little surprised that Tampa Bay stayed quiet, in part because their system is so deep that they have issues deciding who will need to be on the 40-man roster this winter. That kind of depth informed the Padres’ spree.

As Cirensica

They are a pretty efficient team that wins without having a lot. Have a great Win-Loss record, and a phenom in Wander Franco coming up very soon. I understand they didn’t see any needs to take any risk at all.


I was thinking less a risk than packaging a bunch of their productive non-phenon young talent to get either a higher-rated prospect or guy who immediately improves their major-league roster.

They trade a lot of good young talent precisely because they have so many good prospects but a limited number of roster spots. Nick Solak is a good example of a guy they dealt who would stay in a thinner system.


Disappointed they couldn’t find some bullpen help. Not disappointed they didn’t pay whatever astronomical price (given he’s still there) the Rangers wanted for Lynn. I just think this season, to use a phrase I hate.. is what it is. Going all-in for this postseason just feels not great? Ideally they just go and sign another SP/RF in the offseason, but we’ll see what happens to all that money that was supposed to be spent, especially now Jerry has a perfect excuse.

Greg Nix

Marte would have been a fantastic get.

The Blue Jays also got Ross Stripling from the Dodgers. I wish the Sox had been in on him (or a similar guy). Better than Lopez in the rotation, or can slot in as a mid-leverage reliever.

White Sox Baseball: Never Not Frustrating

Eagle Bones

Those two deals caught my eye as well. Both would have been good targets.


I’m fine with this. The Jarrod Dyson move is this year’s Geoff Blum trade. Yeah? Huh? See where I’m going?

Dyson homers in the Series against the Pirates. Okay maybe a bit of a stretch. Stretch!


Andrew Vaughn has been very impressive, per Hahn. A lot of conversations about him, both withing the organization and from other teams trying to obtain him. Hahn said nothing is certain but he could help the team this season.

I thought this tweet by Merkin was interesting


I bet he’s not up this season due to service time considerations.


Yeah I have my doubts as well. It does make it sound like he could be ready to go by early next season which I see as a positive.


If I hear service time one more time I swear LoL


im so tired of hahn so worried about mortgaging the future for a need like starting pitching. you only have 3 starters .why take the risk of trusting lopez&rodon(which i dont on either). dunning could be a keeper&possibly replace lopez&when kopech comes back he replaces rodon. but getting lynn wouldve been a good move & help solidify the rotation with lucas,dallas&cease. like they say pitching win ballgames&i totally agree. so rick dont get back on the bad side of the fan base again after your best offseason. LETS GO GO SOX PEACE!!!


I know the pieces fit…

Right Size Wrong Shape

‘Cause I watched them fall away…


Given that it’s reasonably possible for the season to just end prematurely, I’m completely fine for them to stand pat as long as they then spend in the off-season again. (That doesn’t touch on how the White Sox have managed to – yet again – find themselves with a lack of depth).
Any comments from the players on the lack of new blood? I could see them being unhappy, I guess.


Nothing yet. FWIW, here’s this from Merkin:

Yesterday, Ricky, Kenny, Rick and seven veteran players on the team had a conversation about where the team is headed and the chemistry in the clubhouse. Came away very impressed on what they heard about the team now and moving forward.

— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) August 31, 2020


I’m not saying the White Sox should have given up a lot for him, but I think the Rangers made a big mistake in not moving Lance Lynn. Texas is basically out of it for this year and likely will not contend next year either. Then Lynn becomes a free agent.