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.
- Padres acquire: RHP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen, PTBNL
- Indians acquire: RHP Cal Quantrill, OF/1B Josh Naylor, C Austin Hedges, SS Gabriel Arias, LHP Joey Cantillo and IF Owen Miller
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
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.
*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.