White Sox made case to sell at trade deadline over last 3 games

White Sox pitcher Aaron Bummer
(Photo by Matt Marton/USA TODAY Sports)

Before the opener of the White Sox-Blue Jays series on Tuesday, Rick Hahn said that somebody in his position would “want to have a reason to believe that this thing’s going to get right between now and Aug. 1.”

In just three days, the situation has deteriorated in four ways:

No. 1: The White Sox lost all three games to the Blue Jays to fall to a season-worst 15 games below .500.

No. 2: The Twins won three in a row, so the Sox are now 8½ games out of first place.

No. 3: The Tigers made like the White Sox and lost two out of their last three to the A’s, yet still padded their third-place cushion to 2½ games.

No. 4: Joe Kelly went on the 15-day injured list with right elbow inflammation.

The first and second points do not require elaboration. As for the third item, I don’t think it’s been emphasized enough that the White Sox have been stuck in fourth place for the last 17 games. The Tigers have a worse run differential and more injury and personnel problems, yet it’ll take a pair of weekend sweeps for the Sox to overtake them in the standings. That’s pretty grim, so consider this doing my part to emphasize it.

As for the last item, Kelly hit the IL before the rainout on Wednesday, and while Pedro Grifol tried to downplay it

“He’s going to rest up, regroup,” Grifol said.

“But there’s nothing really that’s alarming or concerning, he’s just going to take a break.”

… there’s every reason to be suspicious when a player requires a break at a time when the team is effectively battling for its postseason life.

For argument’s sake, though, let’s take Grifol at his word. Even if it’s not alarming or concerning at an individual level, the White Sox injured list was already swollen with inflammation cases. Add Kelly to the pile, and now it’s positively tumescent:

  • Joe Kelly: Right elbow inflammation
  • Mike Clevinger: Right biceps inflammation
  • Michael Kopech: Right shoulder inflammation
  • Yoán Moncada: Lower back inflammation
  • Garrett Crochet: Left elbow inflammation
  • Liam Hendriks: Right elbow inflammation
  • Romy González: Shoulder inflammation

Basically, you’re counting on a lot of open-ended injuries resolving themselves in a positive direction and staying that way, because the White Sox already used their one decent internal move by promoting Oscar Colás.

And even if they end up restoring the bulk of their injured list by the start of the second half, they’ll be greeted by an Atlanta Braves team that is a couple breaks from having won 20 in a row.

The White Sox eliminated the case for buying, and with extreme prejudice. There’s also no reason to stand pat, if only because of the number of expiring contracts. That leaves only one option, and for my sake, I hope they wait until after the All-Star break because the draft starts on Sunday, and one can only write so many words in a day.

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I am not sure how anyone in that clubhouse has not smashed the Gatorade dispenser yet. This season is the worst in my 45 years of being a fan. Ozzie’s post game 2 comments about sending Zavala were big leaguer facts. Renisdorf needs to show up at a press conference and advise on how he fired the entire management staff.


You are right with every one of your points. Except that Reinsdorf will not show his cowardly face now. He is always hiding, especially when things are going bad, and I don’t know how they can go any worse than they are now. This organization is a 5-alarm dumpster fire. I said on Sunday that Hahn needed to be fired on the day off on Monday. Of course it didn’t happen. Then they lost 3 in a row. Only the White Sox can retire 24 straight batters, then give up 5 straight ground ball singles. How on earth does Hahn still have his job? Well I guess it’s so he can draft more first basemen/DHs and relievers this weekend. He has got to be the worst GM in sports, hands down. Get rid of him already.


Nightengale essentially saying that JR’s takeaway is rebuilds are bad means this franchise is wholly and truly F’d.
There will be no teardown. Back to the mired in mediocrity Sox of ’12-16′.
Couldn’t be happier in my decision to pop my head up once a month just to see so many getting exactly what they deserve.


From ’12 to ’16, the Sox won 85, 63, 73, 76, 78. Consistent mediocrity would be a step up. ‘Mired in just a tad below average’ is the organization’s actual achievement.

Last edited 2 months ago by JazznFunk

The thing is there’s teams that operate this way that are successful. But like Jim said in an earlier post, you need a GM that has a Jerry Dipoto-like mindset and that isn’t Rick Hahn.

If I’m Jerry, I’m reaching out to James Click or David Stearns, because they’re examples of execs that could operate under Jerry’s constraints. But unfortunately, Jerry would rather lose than admit doing thigs his way doesn’t work.

Last edited 2 months ago by BenwithVen

Those guys are too smart to work for Jerry.


And Hahn is too stupid to work for anyone.


Not only that, but Garfien added at the end about how much the Mets and Padres spent and how poorly their seasons are going, so it appears that Jerry’s takeaways are:

  1. Rebuilds are bad
  2. Spending money is bad

What comes next? I have no idea. Probably more of the “Let’s do the same thing and hope for a different result.”


3.Owner should handpick the manager


What could go wrong with that, GarPax?


This team has obvious flaws. But in terms of whatever is going on in the clubhouse, Nightengale doesn’t say much. In ’21 this team won 93. During that season, Lynn signed a contract extension and said glowing things about the organization and the chance to win a championship. This is pretty much the same group. What changed?

Last edited 2 months ago by JazznFunk

Injuries and poor leadership are my guess. As a group, they’ve been pulling in a bunch of different directions since the 2021 ASB and don’t really seem playing as a unit.

The big question heading into the season is who was going to take the leadership mantle from Abreu and the responses were basically a lot of shrugged shoulders.

Not to mention that they’re on their 3rd manager in 4 years.


Injuries and poor leadership is a great guess and likely correct, BUT, the lack of depth to overcome injuries is what is most frustrating. The lack of a contingency plan is killing them.


They can’t half-ass this thing. Only Robert Jr. and Cease are “untouchable”. I put “untouchable” in quotes because if I was blown away by an offer for Cease I’d highly consider it. Sadly, they have to start all over again. This roster isn’t good enough to just retool it. It has to be blown up. It hurts to say it. Our most expensive free agent signing ever is tied with Nick Madrigal with ONE home run this year. Hahn couldn’t have seen that coming, but it’s reality. Reality sucks and has to be dealt with.


A handful of decades back in the last century, one of the members of my band yelled the lyric “we would sell out, but no one would buy.”

I think of that in relation to the position players on the 2023 White Sox.


Thanks for posting this. I did not expect this link to make me want to read Kelly’s book but now I do. It surprisingly sounds interesting to me.

Alfornia Jones

On May 1st they could have given the fans Hahn’s head, made a couple necessary trades and possibly turned this thing around. In the history of baseball, believe it or not, firings and trades change the tenor of seasons. Instead, they did nothing other than shuffle some deck chairs, and the same team that started horribly is still here mired in the same spot. It was Code Blue time on May 1st and they chose a feeding tube and ventilator instead of drastic surgery.

Give the fans what they want, and send Kenny/Hahn on their way.


I get that firing the front office midseason is tricky, but I’ve wondered if they just fired Grifol could they have gotten more than a dead-cat bounce in May?


After the GM has a process to interview and hire whomever he wants to manage the team it’s decided that the manager needs to be fired after one month of the season, then that GM needs to be fired as well.


Oh, I get that. Don’t get me wrong, everyone in the front office should go. I was just saying that I understand how gutting the front-office midseason would be difficult to execute. Changing managers should be much easier.


No way Hahn will do that. That would just show what a failure he is at choosing a manager.


I was down on Lance Lynn but after the Seattle series, he has pitched better and the fact the offense cant support him or any other solid to decent pitching performances, is a travesty. The lineup was billed as an offensive machine in the rebuild, the pitching was deemed championship caliber from starters to bullpen(particularly with money invested in BP) and we fans bought in to it, because we didnt have a choice. Fully prepared for nothing to change and the few trades that are made will end up looking bad down the road


BP’s WAR lost to injury metric is interesting. The White Sox have lost the 5th LEAST value to injury. The other in the bottom-5 are BAL/AZ/TOR as well as KC. The top-5 in WAR lost to injury include NYY/HOU/LAD/TB. So generally good teams have gotten unlucky with injuries and the White Sox and Royals have had well above average injury luck.

As Cirensica

The White Sox have lost the 5th LEAST value to injury. 

1) Robert has been healthy
2) You need to have value to lose value


No value and no replacement depth afterwards.


No replacement depth? This whole team is nothing but replacement depth.

Joliet Orange Sox

How is this metric calculated?

Since Hendriks was expected to be out, does his absence count as lost value?

Injuries do not excuse the Sox poor play but I am skeptical that the Sox are a very healthy team.

King Joffrey

Hahn’s strong selling point with rival GMs will be, ‘You know [insert name here] will perform much better once he’s out of this godawful organization.’


He won’t say it because he’s too incompetent to realize that, but you know that’s what other GMs will be thinking.


Diekman 2023 ERA with Sox: 7.94. Diekman ERA with Rays: 2.45 on 18.1 innings pitched. TA 2023 BA with Sox: .231 Prediction TA’s BA with LAD: .320

Augusto Barojas

And the Sox are PAYING Diekman – to pitch for Tampa.

As Cirensica

How does Hahn still have a job?


These guys are just not very good MLB players, except for Luis when he’s interested. Preseason the take on the Sox was they might be in the mix for the division if they avoided injuries and if Colas was MLB ready. But they haven’t and he wasn’t, plus down years from Cease and TA, the fade out of Grandal and Lynn, a horribly inconsistent bullpen, and what do you have? One of the worst MLB teams.

The new schedule totally exposed the Sox’ roster building strategy, which was, to beat the rest of the AL Central as cheaply as possible in those 76 games that used to be played against MN, KC, DET and CLE, get the fans excited, and hope for lighting to strike in the playoffs.

A consultant from McKinsey wouldn’t know where to start turning this around. There are so many problems, top to bottom.


They have avoided injuries though. They’ve lost the 5th least value due to injuries per BP’s metric. If the White Sox had the same injury luck as the Twins the Twins’ lead would be 2 wins greater.


McKinsey: *looks at owner* Our final conclusions are: You should spend money on the bullpen, not sign long contracts, and leak things to Bob Nightengale

Right Size Wrong Shape

OT: Jim, I’ve really enjoyed the soxmachine presence on Bernstein & Holmes this season. Not to be too disparaging, but it seems to me that Dan doesn’t really follow the Sox very closely based on his questions (Laurence seems more plugged in), so it’s nice to have you guys come on and provide some informed content for Sox fans. Today’s spot hit all of the important points.

As Cirensica

Yes. It was a good listen (Today). Good show. For those interested listen here (1 PM Central time mark)


Augusto Barojas

I wonder if Grifol is downplaying Kelly’s injury knowing that they plan to trade him. He has been ok at times, but teams can’t be beating down Hahn’s door for a guy on the DL (and Kelly’s recent history) with less than half the season left. Graveman on the other hand should certainly bring something.


The Dodgers are desperate for starting pitching. https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2023-07-06/dodgers-starting-rotation

Offer them Giolito AND Lynn AND Cease in exchange for their top ten minor leaguers — but only if they’ll take Williams, Hahn and Getz.

As Cirensica

If Hahn is able to pry Cartaya and Busch that would be fantastic. It might solve two problems: catcher and 2B. The Dodgers has a plethora of catchers in the minors league that project well.


To get either of those guys I’d think Cease would have to be involved. I’d be surprised if Gio could pry either. MAYBE Gio + a reliever gets one.


Gio+Graveman. Let’s go.


That columnist writes “amid the chatter that management is increasingly resigned to viewing this as a rebuilding season.” I haven’t been following the Dodgers closely, but it is possible they are taking a step back this season and possibly hoping for Ohtani in the offseason. If so, they won’t be looking to give up much


I was in the make some minor adjustments and win this godforsaken division. Most of the players you would want to trade weren’t going to return much. Might as well hope for some rebounds and hope for the best.

I also believe a good management team could retool and improve a lot next year and beyond. We do not have a good management team.

I fantasized that Hahn would be fired, and the new GM could lay out his vision to Giolito and convince him to sign a market-value extension. If Kenny and Rick remain in charge, Lucas is too intelligent to re-up with this shitshow.

After this week, I’m convinced every expiring contract should be moved. Timmy should be traded this winter or sooner if anything approximating value can be found. I believe it can. The roster is a collection of people who wear baseball uniforms. The pieces don’t fit together. Reconfigure it. Find people who want to play and can stay on the field. Find players whose skills complement each other.

I’m ready to move on from Timmy. I have no idea what kind of player Moncada can be from here on out. He could win an MVP on the Dodgers. With the money he’s owed, I can’t see trading him unless we eat salary or give him away for nothing. We’d miss his D on the days he’s available.

Oh, and I was enthusiastic about the Grifol hire. I’m tired of his lifeless husk doing pressers, but saying nothing meaningful. And which version of The Invisible Man did Charlie Montoyo star in? Could any of you pick him out of a police lineup? I couldn’t. Can them both. Let Boston manage. I don’t even care. At least it would get him off first base where he does nothing useful.

I’m tired. I could go on, but it’s slow typing with one hand. I want to see an intelligent restructuring rather than a complete teardown. That starts with dealing the expiring contracts. If that means Hahn has to do it or it won’t get done, so be it. Come October, though, there damn well better be a new management team in place.

As Cirensica

I couldn’t say it better. Agree in all points.


I also agree with everything you said. But none of it matters if Hahn is still calling the shots. He does not have one ounce of creativity in him. And this roster needs a complete creative overhaul to have any future success. He clearly is not the man for the job. And the good thing about Hahn going is Grifol will be right behind.


The outbreak of inflammation-related injuries amonst the pitching staff, as Jim has identified, seems like a real red flag of sorts-whether as to physical conditioning, game preparation, or misuse by coaching staff. It really jumps off the page, and raises real credibility issues when Sox employees try to explain it all away, Maybe they are all members of the Matt Eberflus “Don’t give the opponents secret information” club, or maybe they’re just dissembling.


Just announced, the front office has been shitcanned and the new GM is…wait for it…


Assistant GM – Pedro Grifol.

At todays press conference, Tony said, “Pedro and I have been talking all season and I have a lot of respect for the way he follows orders.”


Autopsying the rebuild, there’s some distinct points of organizational failure.

  1. The owner is supposedly in principle willing to go for a nine figure superstar contract. In practice he exemplifies Andrew Friedman’s quote: “If you’re rational about every free agent, you’ll finish third on every free agent.” It’s possible for a FO to overcome owner-inflicted restrictions, but it puts a ton more pressure on draft and dev systems.
  2. The development system is quite old-school, though supposedly updated somewhat the last 2 years. They’re pretty decent at developing hitters with innate hit tools. They’re bad at changing swings for loft and changing approaches.
  3. This means suboptimal power generation for polished hitters who need to add loft like Vaughn or Sheets or Eloy.
  4. It also means very few successful three-true-outcome type hitters (Moncada, Collins, Basabe, etc).
  5. Similarly, they’re pretty decent at developing talented but raw pitchers who already have high-octane stuff (Cease, Santos, Giolito, etc). They’re not good at improving the stuff of relatively advanced pitchers who don’t have electric stuff.
  6. The amateur talent acquisition has been horrifically out of step with the development strengths and weaknesses. I think Marco Paddy adjusted quicker, since he saw Adolfo and similar guys fail. The international strategy since ’18 or so has apparently been:
  7. snagging whatever big name is coming out of Cuba at the time and
  8. prioritizing bat-to-ball knack over anything for lower-bonus DR/VZ guys.
  9. The Cuban connection is inherently random: they’re sorta at the mercy of whatever quality of talent makes it off the island in a given year, but Sosa, J-Rod, and a few others are looking like successes of (ii).
  10. Hostetler was outright horrific at matching draft picks to dev strengths/weaknesses. He loved ‘safe’, polished college guys, who frequently just weren’t talented enough (and the Sox couldn’t improve approach/loft/stuff enough) to be everyday major leaguers. His first draft as director of amateur scouting was 2016, and his last was 2019.
  11. In those five years, just 7 of his 41 picks in the first 10 rounds were HS kids.
  12. The 5 HS hitters all had severe hit tool questions pre-draft (Curbelo, Weaver, Beard, etc)
  13. The 2 HS pitchers were also polished-not-electric types (Thompson, Dalquist)
  14. Highly talented AND polished college players are simply not available outside of the top ~15 picks in the draft. If you want high-end talent from college after then, either they’re quite raw for college (Burke) or have injury concerns (Pallete w TJS etc)

It seems like draft and dev has been much better the past two years, although it’s still very early to evaluate that. It’s definitely not soon enough to rescue this rebuild. I’d actually genuinely like to see an effort to retool. Robert, Cease, and Kopech stay for sure as pillars. Benintendi, the various rookies, and Zavala stay by default. Vaughn, Burger, and Eloy stay for the moment unless someone really wants em. TA and Moncada should be traded, but right now is really not looking like anywhere near their best values. The other 3/5 of the rotation, Grandal, and entire bullpen besides Santos should certainly be traded.


Yeah. While sulking yesterday, I was thinking about why the rebuild failed. For me, it comes down to two things:

  1. The most important drafts for this rebuild were the four between 2016 – 2019 and they were awful. Several years later, those four drafts produced four players on the current roster: Remillard, Burger, Sheets, and Vaughn (combined 1.4 career WAR, thanks to the boost from Remillard!). Precisely no drafted players were flipped for useful players (unless you want to count Kimbrel as useful…I don’t). That’s a terrible outcome for an absolutely critical stretch of drafts.
  2. They refused to sign premium talent. It’s a dead horse. But it deserves every whack. Shopping in the bargain bin with so. many. free agents. that would have helped simply hampered this roster.

Just brutal.


You and HoF really nailed it.


White Sox baseball: inflammatory!