Welcome back to your weekly article covering all the happenings in the White Sox minor league system, and our first installment since the Chris Sale and Adam Eaton trades. Over the course of two days, White Sox GM Rick Hahn was able to acquire seven prospects in total, four of whom are ranked inside the top 50 prospects in baseball, and six would likely slot inside the White Sox top ten prospect list. In addition to those hauls, the White Sox acquired Dylan Covey in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. We will cover both trades and Covey in addition to Winter League results, transactions, and any notable links.
Chris Sale Trade
The first domino to fall at the Winter Meetings, and what ultimately will become a complete organizational overhaul, was dealing Chris Sale to Boston. In return, the White Sox received 3B/2B Yoan Moncada, RHP Michael Kopech, OF Alexander Luis Basabe, and RHP Victor Diaz. Before the trade I correctly identified Boston as a trade partner, but whiffed on the actual elite centerpiece. Moncada is rated as the #1 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com, Michael Kopech ranked #30, and Basabe was firmly inside Boston’s top ten and Diaz in their top 30. FutureSox provided in-depth analysis of Moncada and Kopech in one article and Basabe and Diaz in a corresponding piece by Matt Cassidy. Reaction from around the baseball world below:
- ESPN’s Keith Law called the White Sox return “prospect gold” and said Kopech is a “potential ace who could have three plus pitches.”
- MLB.com Jim Callis was a guest of South Side Sox podcast and felt the White Sox did the nearly impossible and got enough value and then some for the crazy valuable Chris Sale. He also repeated his famous comparison of Moncada as “Robinson Cano with more speed.”
- Fangraphs said the White Sox began their arduous rebuild in the best possible way.
Adam Eaton Trade
The Washington Nationals finished a close second in the Chris Sale sweepstakes, but their offer laid the groundwork for Rick Hahn to deal outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington on Wednesday. Eaton was nearly as expensive as Sale, costing the Nationals their top three pitching prospects, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning. Eaton put up an absurd 6.2 WAR (wins above replacement) in 2016 and has been touted as a quiet (super) star by Fangraphs and is signed to a very affordable five year deal. However, from a White Sox perspective, there is a lot to be excited about in their return. Giolito is the #3 ranked prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline and has a true top of the rotation ceiling. Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning, the second and third pieces of the deal, aren’t too shabby either.
Rule 5 Draft
The Rule 5 Draft ended as positively as the White Sox could of hoped, as they did not lose a single player and added an interesting arm in Dylan Covey. Covey coincidentally went one selection behind Chris Sale in the 2010 MLB draft at 14th overall, but did not sign with the Milwaukee Brewers. FutureSox’s Kim Contreras has his reasoning behind that decision and much more in a detailed write-up on Covey.
Offseason Winter Leagues
Nothing changed here. It appears these three players seasons are over.
Bourgeois is the only player still grinding in Mexico, putting up solid numbers as a 34 (!) year-old living the dream.
Wilfredo Rodriguez (.167/.265/.267 in 13 games)
The White Sox snagged catcher Wilfredo Gonzalez as a MiLB free agent and he is getting in some extra work in Puerto Rico with sparse playing time.
Rymer Liriano (.270/.365/.370 in 31 games)
Liriano is playing nearly every day but his numbers continue to slide from his hot start. Lirano’s path to playing time in Chicago took a hit with the odd decision to tender a contract to Avisail Garcia, but he still stands a good shot depending his Spring Training performance.
- Signed LHP Bryan Rafael Lara. Not a lot of information on him, but we do know (via Matt Eddy of Baseball America) that he was assigned to the Arizona League White Sox and is on the young side.
- Signed RHP Jorge Rondon. He spent 2016 in the PIT org, mostly at AAA. The 28-year old has 19 major league innings across four organizations, and got hit pretty thoroughly in each stint. Looks like Charlotte filler.
Links and Notes
- Our Brian Bilek nabbed an interview with Scouting Director Nick Hostetler. In the wide-ranging Q&A, Nick talks about the new additions to the farm, some 2016 draftees, the rebuild generally and more. Its a nice inside view of how the organization is approaching the rebuild.
- Scott Merkin of MLB.com talked with new Director of Player Development, Chris Getz, about his excitement in leading a now-more-loaded farm system.
- Adam McInturff of Baseball Prospectus tweeted links to videos of some of the new White Sox prospects, if you want to see more of those.
- With the Colorado Rockies signing of qualified free agent Ian Desmond, they lose their 1st round draft pick, so the White Sox move up one slot from 12th to 11th for the 2017 draft.
Want to know right away when we publish a new article? Type your email address in the box on the right-side bar (or at the bottom, if on a mobile device) and click the “create subscription” button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.