Spoiler alert: the Chicago White Sox are still searching for suitors to dump three veteran pitchers, and I’m sure you could name the trio without much sleuthing.
Jon Heyman reported that the South Siders would still like to deal Derek Holland, Miguel Gonzalez and Tyler Clippard before the August waiver period expires. All three will be free agents at the end of the season, although it might be hard to find buyers for the set given their performance.
Heyman believes Clippard might have the most value to other clubs given his status as a reliever and the six-game scoreless streak he is riding. Still, Clippard has played for three teams this season and carries a 4.43 earned run average over 49 appearances. Perhaps the White Sox know something the Yankees and Blue Jays don’t, however, considering the reliever is 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA since joining the South Siders.
It’s not always pretty but Clippard hasn’t been that bad in his brief stint with the White Sox. Rick Hahn agreed to swap for Clippard to balance the salary burden in the Todd Frazier deal. He is still owed roughly $2.5 million and most teams in need of bullpen help will likely push their search deeper into August to thin out the salary hit while taking a deeper look at how Clippard develops.
Holland and Gonzalez are tougher deals to make. Gonzalez could draw interest after posting excellent numbers in July. After a brief foray onto the D.L., Gonzalez logged a 2.33 ERA in July over three starts. The right-hander followed that up with a dismal August debut lasting 1 2/3 innings against the Boston Red Sox. Yet, Gonzalez regained his footing with his second start of the month on Wednesday, firing eight innings of one-run baseball. Four out of his last five outings have been quality starts and teams will certainly kick the tires on Gonzalez as the month wears on.
Holland is the most puzzling of the three pitchers. He hasn’t been able to bottle the magic he once had and it seems he’s destined for an unceremonious exit from baseball. Before he signed with the White Sox other teams made better offers, but after back-to-back sour seasons, other clubs will be slow to grab a 31-year-old project.
The southpaw owns a foul 6-11 record with a 5.25 ERA. His velocity is trending down and he has had trouble locating his sinker. But, Dutch Oven seems to be a good clubhouse-guy and teams might find another role for him in the bullpen. Rick Renteria dangled Holland in a relieving role against the Red Sox as an ostensible teaser for other ball clubs.
Holland’s latest outing was one of his best, dealing 5 2/3 innings and avoiding disaster with seven walks and three earned runs. Many hoped Holland was the lottery ticket that netted the South Siders a pitcher like Jake Arrieta but rest assured, this will not happen. It’s time to tear up this lottery ticket and take what you can get.
Avisail Garcia was also named in Heyman’s report on the Americal League. Heyman writes that Hahn was noncommittal on the topic of Garcia’s future in Chicago. Avi is having a breakout season — one that fans have patiently waited for years to see — but the stable of prospects could nudge Garcia from the lineup.
Daryl Van Schouwen had the full story and quoted Rick Hahn as saying,
“He’s having a fine year and he’s young enough to reasonably project him having an important role on this club going forward,” Hahn said. “At the same time you’re dealing with a player who has only two years of control left so you have to make a determination what does the cost of control look like to control him through when we’re likely to be competitive over an extended period of time versus some alternatives.”
Hahn may elect to hold onto Garcia through the season to see what kind of value he has in the offseason trade market.
Eloy Jimenez, Blake Rutherford and Luis Robert appear to be the future outfield band and Hahn would be wise to strike while Avi’s value is highest. Garcia still has two years of arbitration left and the slugger will indeed receive a hefty raise considering the All-Star year he’s had.
The state of affairs remains in flux on the south side of Chicago. Hahn is keeping a close eye on the waiver wire and he won’t be afraid to pull the trigger when the time comes.