Eduardo Escobar, presumed White Sox infield addition, heads to Milwaukee instead

Hey, Bob Nightengale can get White Sox news wrong after all.

A month and a day after tweeting that Escobar was “soon on his way from the Diamondbacks to the White Sox,” he had to relay Jeff Passan’s scoop that the Diamondbacks instead traded Escobar to the Brewers for two prospects, one old and one young. Nightengale said in a subsequent radio appearance that the Sox and Dbacks had a trade that fell apart due to health issues on both sides, but that just makes him a cautionary tale about assumptions, no matter how many things the White Sox have told him that held up in the past.

I was somewhat cool to the idea of acquiring Escobar, if only because with an OBP that’s hovered around .300 all season, he’s somebody who rounds out a lineup rather than lengthening one, and the Sox have enough guys you’d rather not have bat higher than sixth. But he’s also a switch-hitter with 22 homers who is capable of covering every infield position and has been beloved in every clubhouse he’s occupied, so I wasn’t going to complain either.

(There’s also the matter of the mild quad strain he suffered around the time of the original rumors in late June, but he’s played in most every game since, hitting .258/.330/.516 over 26 games.)

What makes it more miffing is that of the trades made this week, this is the price the White Sox theoretically could have met. The Brewers traded 26-year-old corner infielder/outfielder Cooper Hummel and 18-year-old infielder Alberto Ciprian to Arizona. The latter is a lottery ticket in the DSL, which the White Sox have. Hummel is a little different, in that he hit .254/.435/.508 for the Nashville Sounds, drawing 41 walks against 26 strikeouts over 46 games. The White Sox have older prospects having nice seasons — Gavin Sheets, Jake Burger and Micker Adolfo among them — and they’re younger by a year or two. Hummel’s having the best year of anybody mentioned, though, and he’s also played some catcher over the years, for what that’s worth.

It’s similar to Jack Suwinski, the second player in the San Diego Padres’ acquisition of Adam Frazier. The top player — Tucupita Marcano — was a better young infielder than the White Sox could have offered without trading an injured Nick Madrigal, but Suwinski is a left-handed outfielder who can cover all three positions, hitting .269/.398/.551 in Double-A as a 22-year-old.

The White Sox are short on pleasant surprises like Hummel and Suwinski. Here’s a list of all the position-player prospects with OPSes above .800 with 100 plate appearances or more:

Jake Burger25AAA/MLB.9746.124.7
Micker Adolfo24AA/AAA.8437.934.6
Romy Gonzalez24AA.83711.328.1
Gavin Sheets25AAA/MLB.8248.519.9
Luis Curbelo23A+.8037.134.0

The only issue is that Sheetsis the only one with an above-average ability to put the ball in play, and Gonzalez is the only one who can handle up-the-middle responsibilities.

In order to find more athleticism, you’ll have to head down to the next tiers in production.

  • 750-799: Harvin Mendoza, Jose Rodriguez, Luis González, Yoelqui Céspedes, Yolbert Sanchez, Ti’Quan Forbes, Luis Mieses
  • 700-749: Carlos Pérez, Bryan Ramos, Lenyn Sosa, Samil Polanco

All those names are worth monitoring, but they’re also guys every farm system has. FanGraphs’ farm system rankings, because the Future Value-based approach makes it easy to distinguish guys you like having around from guys other teams would actually want to add to their guys.

in this case, the White Sox have only one prospect with a FV above 40, and that’s Jared Kelley, whose first season in the pros has been a miserable one. I’d probably move Rodriguez and Ramos to the top tier, although they’re equally far away from the majors. Better infielders — or at least infielders who are easier to project — headlined deals for Frazier (Marcano) and the Yankees-Rangers swap for Joey Gallo (Ezquiel Duran).

The prospect cost for Escobar isn’t anywhere in the same neighborhood, which might be a sign that position-player exchanges are starting to come down toward asking prices the White Sox can meet. That is, if the White Sox are actually interested in adding an infielder. The only other report is one from Nightengale, but for all we know this summer, perhaps he only reports on White Sox deals that aren’t going anywhere.

We’ll find out in about 30 hours.

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

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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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30 hours?! But I wanna complain now!

As Cirensica

Jonathan Schoop shouldn’t command a huge asking price, and I like Josh Nelson’s idea of the surprising target of Cesar Hernandez.

I have the feeling the White Sox’s only trade will be for a reliever though. Or maybe nothing.


I’m hoping for Kimbrel


Is there a consensus on his cost? On one hand, he is a great closer but on the other he is expensive. Do people expect a Cubs trading for Chapman price (which the Sox can’t pay)?

As Cirensica

Kimbrel is salary dump for the Cubs. Chapman wasn’t.
The Cubs traded Chapman during the off season. Kimbrel is a rental.

Kimbrel should be cheaper to get if the White Sox are willing to eat up his remaining salary of around 7M plus the 1M buyout. I doubt Reinsdorf will sign off on that


You really think $8 million would keep the Sox from adding Kimbrel?

As Cirensica



I was discussing this with a disgruntled Cubs fan and he took one of the A-ball pitchers not named Kelley plus a bag of balls. Make it happen Rick.


I meant when the Cubs acquired Chapman (they never traded him). They sent Gleybor Torres + 3 other players to the Yankees for a Chapman rental

As Cirensica

Good point

Brett R. Bobysud

People are speculating the Sox got spooked on the medical with Escobar, but I’m not sure I buy that.




Can’t believe they whiffed in this one. This was the most perfect pickup for them and it would not have been cost prohibitive.

They better load up on elite relief pitching.


Having lived in Denver for his entire career, I would be thrilled with a half year of Story. As great as Nolan is, Story took front and center here during the playoff runs.


Cesar Hernandez come on down


Can the Sox really land Story without trading Madrigal? I just don’t see the farm pieces that could make that happen unless you really emptied out a significant amount of pieces. Could Burger and Sheets do it?


Jeff Passan@JeffPassan
The Chicago White Sox are finalizing a deal to acquire second baseman Cesar Hernandez from Cleveland, sources tell ESPN. White Sox have long been in the market for a second baseman. And now they get one in the 31-year-old Hernandez, who is hitting .231/.307/.431 with 18 homers.

There’s our 2nd baseman. Great pickup.


Ok, Ok! That can work.

As Cirensica

Oh wow!!!!

I am very OK with this move. I wonder what it will cost us.

As Cirensica


What a deal!! Apparently the Sox and Rays are discussing a deal that would send Fairbanks to the Sox. The Rays want a young controllable right-handed hitter. Burger, Adolfo??

As Cirensica

Why would the Rays trade a good reliever?


Sorry, I made a mistake. They have been discussing relievers, but now may back off since Fairbanks just went on the IL.


40-man roster crunch. And the Rays machine requires constant new blood to run


Nightengale can’t even spell Konnor’s name! Pilkington has been “my guy” in the minors and I am so sorry he was the one to go. I was hoping Lambert was the pitcher. Now Konnor will be my enemy.


Maybe “Conor PIlkington” is just Bennett Sousa in a Konnor mask?


“Hello, Clarise”


Bob with the impeccable spelling as always


He might be wrong more than he’s right, but at least he doesn’t need a translator, like bruce levine.


Yeah I’ll take a guy thinking Connor is spelled the normal way any day of the week over Levine and his thousand spaces between words.


content with this


Plinkerton going back, seems reasonable

Last edited 1 year ago by knoxfire30

He’s been pretty good at the plate in July according to splits.


.898 OPS in July, and he won a gold glove last year. Great move by Rick.


Added bonus: He’s probably already in Chicago (or on his way) anyway! And it removes him from the Indians lineup this weekend.


Rangers are paying all of Joey Gallo’s and their other outgoing player’s salary, just an interesting note in how they were able to get such a large prospect hall.


New twist on gaming the luxury tax

As Cirensica

New payroll parameters. Prospects are the bitcoins in baseball.


That’s a good crop of prospects in exchange for ~$3M. Gallo wasn’t making crazy money yet.


Hernandez is better than nothing. Minor improvement. Not sure that he’s worth Pilkington. Would rather have paid the price for Escobar.

However, I’m getting the feeling that the Sox just don’t have the assets to really improve the bullpen and second base.

So, I’d rather they utilize resources on the bullpen so I’m okay with this.


Hernandez has a wRC+ of 100 this year and a career 100. Escobar has 105 this year and a career 95. Both are a few runs positive on defense by whatever metric FG uses.


I agree. Stats are very similar. He should hit 8th or 9th in the Sox lineup when everyone is back.

As Cirensica

Also, Hernandez is not a minor improvement over Leury and Mendick. It frees Leury (to be a super utility) which is an added bonus, and the White Sox avoids to play both, Mendick and Leury in the same lineup. This is a good move.

Last edited 1 year ago by As Cirensica

For reference, Leury has a wRC+ of 90 (surprised it is that high) and Mendick is a putrid 70. So a decent dump in offense and defense plus it frees up Leury for better utilization.

Hernandez also has an affordable option for next year which could make his useful next year as a player or trade piece


Mendick should be on the next plane to Charlotte.


I assume they wait until after this afternoon’s game to make if official right? Given all the players they are resting, they can’t afford to not have Mendick or anyone else today. Right?


You’re right, but then he should be on his way to Charlotte tonight.


If we weren’t even willing to trade a prospect like Konnor Pilkington, not sure any trade could ever be made

MLB nor FutureSox even have him in the top 30


A random tidbit on Cesar Hernandez: his career-low BABIP is .313 and he typically runs much higher than that. This season, his BABIP is .256. And that while running a wRC+ of 100. The Sox could enjoy a nice bump in average from him.


Hernandez for Pilkington this year for the stretch run is a move that we will never regret.


” I wonder if Rick Hahn has the chutzpah to call Cleveland about Cesar Hernandez, whose expiring contract doesn’t do much to help a team that is now just one game over .500 with a 3 percent shot of making the postseason.”

Well, Jim, it looks like Hahn had the chutzpah to call Cleveland after all. Maybe he got the idea from you!!

Last edited 1 year ago by roke1960

That qualifies as a positive development in my books. Based on the feedback here, sounds like the prospect was promising but not an overpay. I can live with that.