If there was any doubt the White Sox were selling after the Chris Sale trade, those doubts were alleviated once the White Sox obtained yet another impressive haul of prospects in exchange for Adam Eaton. With those deals, the White Sox have unofficially announced they are willing to trade away anyone if they can get back a significant haul in return.
What is surprising is that a White Sox team that was under .500 last season still has a number of good pieces remaining even after trading Sale and Eaton. In fact, they have a number of pieces that would be quite enticing for the New York Mets.
For starters, the White Sox have David Robertson. Robertson is enticing not just because he is a good closer, and the Mets face the possibility of losing Jeurys Familia to a lengthy suspension in 2017. He is also enticing because he pitched very well for Yankees, and has pitched well for the Yankees in the postseason too. A pitcher who can pitch well in pressure situations in New York should always be of interest to the Mets.
The White Sox also have a very good left-handed reliever in Dan Jennings. In 2016, left-handed batters only hit .217/.316/.337 off of him. Overall, Jennings was 4-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 64 appearances. He’s even more attractive as a trade target when you consider he’s under team control until 2020.
Perhaps the most impressive reliever in the White Sox bullpen last year was Nate Jones. Jones made 71 appearances in 2016 going 5-3 with a 2.29 ERA, 0.892 WHIP, and a 10.2 K/9. He is a sinker/slider pitcher that can throw the ball over 97 MPH that would thrive in the Mets organization. He has a reasonable contract going forward with provisions in the deal that protects his team against arm injuries. Overall, he will make $3.95 million in 2017, and he is under contract until 2021.
Because everyone is interested in the Toms River, NJ native, the White Sox also have Todd Frazier. On a positive note, Frazier has proven that he is able to hit for power away from the Great American Ballpark. In fact, Frazier’s 40 home runs this season were a career high. These home run totals to mask the fact that Frazier is a career .250/.317/.464 hitter who has seen a steady decline in his batting average and OBP over the past three seasons.
Defensively, Frazier has been a good third baseman, but he did have a slight dropoff this season as per UZR and DRS. In addition to third base, Frazier has played some first making him a versatile infielder. That would be important for a Mets team that arguably has injury concerns at every position in the infield. Frazier is third year arbitration eligible, and he will be a free agent in 2018.
Another name that will arise in trade rumors will be Jose Abreu. The soon to be 30-year old Abreu is a classic clean-up hitter who has hit .299/.360/.515 while averaging 30 homers and 103 RBI in his brief major league career. However, there are some issues with Abreu. For a team looking to reduce payroll, Abreu is coming off a season where he made over $11 million, and he will likely earn a raise in his first year of arbitration. Second, Abreu really is best suited to DH. Finally, Abreu has seen his power and OPS+ numbers go down each season in the majors.
Finally, there is Brett Lawrie, who is a versatile infielder the Mets could add to the equation. In his major league career, Lawrie has played both second and third. While he has rated as a poor defender at both positions, he versatility would be welcome on a Mets team that has injury concerns all across the infield. However, there should be concern that Lawrie is unnecessarily on a Mets team that already has Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes.
Additionally, Lawrie has largely been disappointing in his major league career with him hitting .261/.315/.419 while averaging just 12 homers and 42 RBI. Still, Lawrie might be worth a gamble as he will be free agent after this season, and he is entering the prime years of his career.
Understandably, Mets fans covet one if not all of these players. The issue becomes what are you going to be willing to give up for anyone of these players who not only suits a need for the Mets, but is also cost controlled? Judging from the haul the White Sox obtained in the Sale trade, the team is wisely extracting the most possible value for its players.
While nothing has been reported, it is likely the White Sox would look to obtain young controllable players like Michael Conforto, Justin Dunn, Robert Gsellman, Steven Matz, Tomas Nido, Dominic Smith in exchange for any combination of the aforementioned White Sox players.
And who could blame the White Sox from asking for players like that considering the impressive hauls they have received for their two biggest trade assets?