Jarrod Dyson can help White Sox after years of tormenting them

On Monday’s show, Josh and I laid out our trade deadline shopping lists. An outfielder was at the top of mine, and I guess I’m getting my wish, as the White Sox are acquiring Jarrod Dyson from the Pittsburgh Pirates for international money.

Jeff Passan broke the story, and Bob Nightengale has the White Sox’s financial obligations, albeit incorrectly framed.

The White Sox again traded international money, and there’s not a positive association with those moves, but it’s benign this time. The money applies for the current signing period that was extended into January, not the next one, so the White Sox are not hamstringing Marco Paddy here. The Sox just needed to give the Pirates something for Dyson’s services.

Dyson did cross my radar when scanning the depth charts of potential sellers, but considering he’s hitting .157/.218/.375 over 21 games with the Pirates, giving him a .584 OPS since the start of the 2018 season, I didn’t really have any inspiration to stump for him by name.

That said, if there’s room for Luis González on the White Sox’s 28-man roster, there’s a spot for Dyson as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch runner. González doesn’t really fit the bill of either. Sure, González has adequate speed, and he’s a better outfielder than Eloy Jiménez, but he also dropped the first fly ball hit to him in center. He’s not yet a major-league player, so he’s not a guy you call off the bench to trust with anything in particular during a major-league game, especially situations where his job is to simply not make mistakes.

Dyson patches that particular hole. There’s no greater ambition to it, but as long as Jiménez and Luis Robert are healthy, and as long as you aren’t hoping for a true challenger to Nomar Mazara’s playing time, there doesn’t have to be. The hope is that the White Sox will have leads for Dyson to protect, because an outfield with him and Adam Engel flanking Robert is death to flying things.

Hopes for any kind of Dyson revival at the plate rest on more speculative and specious elements, like the idea that maybe he’ll get up for a contender that wants him. He sounded resigned to signing with the Pirates before the season.

There’s also the dream that Dyson might have it in his heart to help the White Sox raise some hell after he tormented White Sox pitchers during his time in Kansas City. He hit .308/.434/.440 against the Sox during his time in the AL, and that OBP is 100 points higher than the next-best American League team (.333 against a few clubs).

Dyson benefited from sitting against the White Sox’s tough left-handed starters of those days, but he found ways to get into games after they left. As evidence, he also dominated the Sox in the steals column, going 26-for-31 against them despite starting just 31 games. Here’s that leaderboard, with starts in parentheses:

  1. White Sox, 26-for-31 (31 starts)
  2. Twins, 24-for-29 (52 starts)
  3. Indians, 23-for-27 (67 starts)
  4. Tigers, 20-for-23 (58 starts)

Dyson was 4-for-4 in the basestealing department this year, and while his Statcast page shows a slowing sprint speed, his defensive metrics suggest he’s still using his legs well. That’s about all the White Sox can expect, and now we’ll see if White Sox fans can expect any other additions, as modest as they may be.

(Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire)

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Perfect headline as my first reaction when hearing seeing his name in my morning notifications was PTSD before then realizing oh he’s with us now. Here’s to the continued theme this year of the shoe being on the other foot in a good way for us now.

Brett R. Bobysud

Dyson being in the picture means that the Sox have a defensive outfield replacement available against both righties and lefties.

Engel is the starter in right field against lefties, which means that the outfielders on the bench were Mazara, Delmonico, and Gonzalez, none of whom are particularly enticing prospects as a late inning defensive replacement for Eloy in left. Dyson is certainly an upgrade in this regard.

Side note, I don’t know that the Sox make this move if Leury is healthy.

Josh Nelson

I agree with you in that I don’t think they make this move if Leury is healthy.


He won’t have to face Lucas Giolito’s changeup again, and the Sox can field a pretty impressive late-inning outfield defense of Dyson-Robert-Engel if they so choose.

What the international slot money means for the purported J2 signings is a good question we will not hear answered until the calendar flips.


Giolito has a no-no going into the 9th. Hahn looks out in left field and sees Eloy chewing on his glove.

2 days later…


Props for the Bob Ferguson allusion!


This hopefully means we’ve seen the last of “Ryan Goins — Professional Pinch Runner”. Dyson was still 30/34 in SB attempts last year. Wow.

It’s been awhile since we’ve needed to go get talent for the back end of the bench to gear up for a playoff run. Is anyone else getting excited?


Looks like Zack Collins was optioned to Schaumburg. He wasn’t getting any at-bats anyway, so it’s probably better for him to get practice reps behind the plate.

I’m assuming Gonzalez and Goins move back down when Dunning and Madrigal come back up. Or maybe Moncada finally gets some rest on the IL.


I wonder if this impacts DH’ing Grandal/McCann

Eagle Bones

This is the one reason I don’t like this. Especially with Encarnacion still not all the way back to normal. Why not just remove Goins with Madrigal coming back?


Moncada hit the ball hard four times on Wednesday with two doubles.


He also looked like jogging into 2nd base was the most miserable experience of his life. If he feels he’s healthy enough to play, so be it; but I think he’s gritting through the pain only because Goins is the only backup. Once Madrigal is back, they might feel more comfortable playing him at 2nd and Mendick at 3rd while trying to give Moncada a few days rest.

(Of course an injured Moncada is still probably better than a healthy Madrigal/Mendick, by a wide margin)


Injured Moncada might be better than healthy Mendick but the question is: is 30 games of injured Moncada > or < that 10 games of Mendick + 20 games of healthy(ier) Moncada ?

Eagle Bones

Misread your comment above (thought you mentioned Madrigal coming back). He actually is back as of today (just reported on MLBTR). Also Delmonico DFA’d which has to set a record for the shortest time between a guy hitting 2nd in a playoff contender’s lineup and being DFA’d.


Greg Nix

Maybe we can also pick up some of Kansas City’s old lights out bullpen. You know, a guy like Kelvin Herrera to help close out games…


He is available again after the Cubs cut him!


Have we had much of an update on the status’s of Madrigal, Bummer, Rodon… anyone know?


They just announced Madrigal has returned to the roster. Collins and Luis Gonzalez to Schaumburg.


just saw that ok, 1 down 2 to go, team is finally getting most of their pieces in place


Is my understanding correct that when you give up international pool money, you don’t actually send money, just the opportunity for the other team to spend money? Or do you actually transfer cash?

I don’t think picking up Dyson moves the needle, but I don’t mind adding a veteran OF to the team who can be a resource to the young OF core. And the limited post-season experience he has won’t hurt.


Dyson’s exactly the guy you want available on your bench if you’re in an extra-inning game. He’s the perfect guy to put on second to start the inning.

Or, he’s also a great defensive replacement if we have a lead in the late innings. And if we’re down a run in the late innings, he’s the ideal pinch-runner to steal a base if a slow runner gets on.

The only thing I question about today’s moves is sending down Collins. There might come a time when we need that third catcher. With Madrigal back, do we really need Goins?

As Cirensica

I think you give up both, part of the pool, and the money.

karkovice squad

Just trading cap space in return for the player contract. If real money was also changing hands they’d call it cash considerations.

As Cirensica

I understand why Reinsdorf loves it. Paying cash without using actual cash seems like a dream for him.

karkovice squad

Trading something that exists only within MLB, has no value outside MLB’s economy, is generated through no effort other than having bought a team 40 years ago, renews annually, and yet is worth 3x its nominal dollar value.




Is this like when we signed Ryan Raburn so he could no longer put up Ruthian stats against the Sox (and only the Sox)?