The White Sox have been too right-handed, too defensively limited, and too aggressive, so it was always going to take some subtraction from the 26-man roster in order to back out of the mess.
Unfortunately, they had to subtract one of the more enjoyable developments from their 26-man roster in order to make it happen.
The White Sox traded Jake Burger to the Miami Marlins for Double-A left-handed starter Jake Eder in a trade that looks like a pretty good value in Burger’s present form — 25 homers, but also a .279 OBP.
The question is what Burger’s final form is actually going to be. It’s an open question given his stunted development course after two ruptured Achilles, and given the different shapes his production has taken. He came into July with just 11 walks to his name, including a walkless May, only to walk 11 times over the course of 23 games to double his total.
If Burger is indeed limited as a lefty-mashing bat who can fake it at a couple of positions, then Eder is a fine prospect to receive in return.
Eder, a fourth-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2020, missed all of 2022 with Tommy John surgery, but he returned to minor-league action in June, and it looks like the rust is breaking off with every passing week. He’s averaged five innings a start his last five outings, and he’s struck out seven, eight and 10 batters in his last three starts.
Eder ranked as the Marlins’ No. 2 prospect in Baseball America’s top 30, and No. 4 on the MLB Pipeline list. Both have his fastball in the mid-90s with good life and a slider with upside. The changeup is a project, but nobody’s pushing him to the bullpen yet. Keith Law had Eder in his top 100 before Eder returned from Tommy John surgery, so the upside has been there the whole time.
Burger also has some upside himself, especially since he’s been running with speed nobody thought he had. It wouldn’t be surprising if he continued surprising, but if he does, White Sox fans will have to watch from afar.
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