We’re putting the final knife in the back of August, which means that today is the postseason-eligible waiver trade deadline. After the normal trade deadline on July 31st, teams can place players on waivers; if they aren’t claimed by any team, the player can then be traded. After today, though, any players acquired in a trade can’t be on their team’s postseason roster.
It’s always interesting seeing who gets traded in August. It’s harder to pull off blockbusters because teams don’t have the freedom to trade with whoever they want until after the player has cleared waivers. This is tough because all 30 teams have a chance, in reverse order of record, to claim any placed player. Sometimes GMs have to get creative (or lucky; sometimes it’s hard to tell).
For example, this year, the Sox traded for Tyler Clippard in July, before waivers are necessary. Then, about three weeks later, they made a waiver trade with the Astros, sending Clippard their way in return for the famous and influential Cash Considerations. Clippard hasn’t had a very good year and was acquired as a throw-in in the Frazier/Kahnle/Robertson trade, so it didn’t cost much to give him up (literally: the Astros are paying for most of his remaining salary for the year).
With that all in mind, it’s time for PASTSOX, Sox things that have happened in the past. Here are the most recent Sox waiver trades and where those prospects are today. Mega shout-out to baseball-reference.com.
Turner has bounced between Charlotte and Birmingham a couple of times this season, with much better results in Double-A. He’s used almost exclusively as a bullpen arm and has a combined ERA of 4.33 in 54 innings this season. Turner is 26.
August 21, 2014: Traded Gordon Beckham to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Received a player to be named later. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sent Yency Almonte (minors) (February 4, 2015) to the Chicago White Sox to complete the trade.
RIP to the dreams of Gordon Beckham being a franchise second baseman. Almonte had a good year between Winston-Salem and Kannapolis in 2015, and was traded after the season to the Rockies for Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle, of course, recently metamorphosed into Blake Rutherford, Tito Polo, Ian Clarkin, and Tyler Clippard. Almonte does remain a notable prospect with the Rockies, and our prospect analysts thought enough of him they even wrote detailed reports from live looks at him two times.
Blackmar didn’t have a terrible year in Birmingham in 2015 if you just go by ERA, which was 3.63. He did, however, strike out only 65 over 151.1 IP, while walking 55. He was released during spring training in 2016 and was most recently released, also from Double-A, by the Washington Nationals.
Chalas, the other prospect, had a decent 2015 and missed most of 2016 with an injury. He pitched in the Mexican League for a little while and then returned to the Barons in 2017. He was released in May.
This all seems about right when you remember that time when de Aza was doubled off first base on a foul pop-up with less than two outs.
A true deadline deal! Since it happened so late in the minor league season, Sanburn didn’t get a chance to pitch in the Sox system until 2015, where he had an injury-marred year. He put up better numbers in 2016 but didn’t truly bounce back, and was released during spring training in 2017. He was signed by the Nationals and released again this August. Baseball doesn’t care about you.
Rios himself was a waiver claim — not a trade, as the Blue Jays allowed the Sox to take on his sizable salary. It did not go especially well, as Rios bounced between terrible years and good ones, but at least some good came out of it. Leury Garcia stuck with the team and, when not injured, has been starting in the outfield. It’s hard to say what his future is in the rebuild, but he’s supplied the Sox with versatility, defense, and a passable bat.
Orlando was the prospect in this deal; Ramirez was already an experienced major league starter, although he only ever threw 13 innings for the Sox before being granted free agency. He’s still pitching in the Mexican League at age 37, where he has a 4.06 ERA and 25 strikeouts over 62 IP.
Orlando joined the Sox system as an international free agent from Brazil three years before the trade. Since then, he’s been grinding in the Royals’ minor leagues, finally getting regular major league playing time in 2015 and 2016. After a slow start to 2017, he was demoted to Triple-A, where he’s dealt with injury but is batting .306.
August 5, 2004: Traded a player to be named later to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Received Roberto Alomar. The Chicago White Sox sent Brad Murray (minors) (February 18, 2005) to the Arizona Diamondbacks to complete the trade.
This did not work out for anyone. Alomar hit .180 with one double and one home run during his 18 games back with the Sox that year. Meanwhile, Murray apparently never pitched again after the 2004 season. A true lose-lose.
It’s interesting looking back at these; the frequency becomes more spread out the further back in time we go. In the last 13 years, only one player received has had any major league value (Garcia, although Turner still has an outside shot, as does Almonte with a different team), with most seeing their release before long. The August trade landscape certainly looks different from the blockbusters in July, but surprises can happen at any time. That’s why they’re surprises.
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