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White Sox Impact Trades

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The Chicago White Sox have made some acquisitions lately, all via free agency. The fact that they may not be done adding players to help this team reach its championship aspirations does not necessarily mean there will be more free-agent signings. While the front office has yet to make a trade since the lockout was lifted, management has made impactful trades in the past. Usually, additions are made via trade to teams a piece or two away in late July before the trade deadline strikes but they can make trades now as well. Thinking about who the Sox may or may not trade for brought up the idea of the most impactful trades the Sox have made. Here is a list of the most impactful trades in recent history.

1.Chris Sale to Red Sox

Ahh yes, the Chris Sale to Boston trade that started the rebuild back in December of 2016. At the time of the trade, the White Sox were mediocre at best and Rick Hahn finally convinced Jerry Reinsdorf it was time to tear it down and rebuild from the ground up. While losing Chris Sale was hurtful to Sox fans and the organization alike, most saw the need to rebuild and they got quite a haul in return. A deal headlined by Yoan Moncada in return also included Michael Kopech, Luis Basbabe, and right-handed pitcher Victor Diaz. Basabe spent a great deal of time in the minors for the White Sox before landing in the San Francisco Giants system, while Diaz has dealt with shoulder issues and other injuries possibly derailing any sort of major league future. The two pieces the Sox were after were Mocada and Kopech and both have since reached the big league club and figure to play major roles in the Sox championship plans over the next several years.

Moncada was the number one prospect in baseball at the time of the deal and while he has been solid since making the permanent move to third base for the Sox, he has in many fans eyes, disappointed. Kopech has also dealt with injuries since coming over in the trade. The flamethrower had Tommy John surgery shortly after making his debut in 2018 costing him the 2019 season, he chose to sit out the shortened 2020 season due to fear of ramping up to quickly for a short sprint of a season. While all of this was concerning to Sox fans, what we saw from Kopech last season out of the bullpen should have been nothing short of encouraging. Kopech looked great out of the pen last year and heading into 2022, he should start the season in the starting rotation for the first time in his career. The jury is still out on this trade as the Sox championship window has just opened. Bottom line, this trade jump started the rebuild.

2. Adam Eaton to Nationals

While the Chris Sale trade jump started the rebuild, the trade sending outfielder Adam Eaton to the Nationals was probably an even bigger haul for a less impactful player from the White Sox perspective. In return for Eaton the White Sox received, three pitchers. Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning all came to the southside in return for the left-handed outfielder. While Eaton was a productive player for the Sox, when the rebuild started, Eaton became expendable.

Reynaldo Lopez has had an up and down but mostly down roller coaster of a career with the White Sox. Lopez joined the major league club in 2017 and has struggled to stay in the rotation since the White Sox have become competitive. While he has not turned into the front end starter the Sox hoped for, 2021 saw Lopez have a resurgence out of the bullpen and making some spot starts. Lopez posted a career best 3.43 earned-run average albeit over just 57.1 innings pitched. Lopez will be key for the Sox as an innings eater in 2022 and beyond. Dunning was just cracking the major league club when he was dealt to the Texas Rangers for front line starter Lance Lynn who eventually signed an extension with the Sox keeping him on the southside through 2023 with a team option for 2024.

Lucas Giolito was the headliner for the White Sox in this deal, and rightfully so. Giolito struggled to find himself on the Southside until the 2019 season when he finally became an all-star. Giolito has become without question, the ace of the White Sox staff and will start opening day in Detroit again in 2022. Lucas will need an extension soon and he deserves it. While Adam Eaton and the Nationals did win a World Series after the deal, I still think the White Sox got the better end of this deal.

3. Jose Quintana to the Cubs

In a move nobody saw coming, the White Sox and the Cubs came together to make a deal for left-handed starter Jose Quintana. While everyone knew the Sox were looking to move Quintana, nobody saw the Cubs making a deal with the Sox for him. Oh man did the White Sox fleece the hated northsiders on this one. The four players coming back to the Sox in this deal were headlined by beloved slugger Eloy Jimenez. Not only did the Sox get the top Cubs prospect in Jimenez, they also got their second ranked prospect in right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease. The two other players included in the deal were first baseman Matt Rose, and middle infielder Bryant Flete. Neither of these two players made any noise in the Sox farm system but honestly, who cares. Jimenez alone would have been a win for the White Sox, but adding Cease to the deal makes it oh so sweet.

Jimenez has tremendous power and elite hitting skills while Dylan Cease may easily have the best “stuff” on the White Sox pitching staff. If Cease can reach his potential, he may win a Cy Young or two before it’s all said and done. The potential is there for this deal to be an outright robbery for the White Sox and the Cubs could never get back to the World Series with Quintana essentially making the trade for Quintana useless for them. Another win for the White Sox! While these trades have developed a bright picture for the White Sox future, let’s take a look at a trade from the past from the southsiders.

4. Mike Cameron to Cincinnati

When the White Sox traded Mike Cameron to the Cincinnati Reds on November 11th, 1998 most had no idea what they were getting in return. Paul Konerko would make an immediate impact for the White Sox and would remain a steady force for the White Sox for 16 years. The Sox would win a World Series with Konerko in 2005. Meanwhile, Mike Cameron would only spend one season in Cincinnati before moving on to the Seattle Mariners, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, and eventually the Boston Red Sox. Konerko meanwhile would spend 16 straight years on the southside. Some were surprised by the deal in 1998 due to the fact that Cameron had finished sixth in rookie of the year voting a year prior in 1997.

Konerko would answer all their questions over the next 16 seasons becoming an all-time great White Sox player. Konerko has a statue which resides inside the ballpark at 35th and Shields on the soutrhside of Chicago. While Cameron was a solid player lasting 17 seasons, nobody is building a statue of Mike Cameron. This is the perfect trade as an example of being patient as Konerko would go on to become a six time all-star, in comparison to Cameron’s single all-star appearance. Overall, Cameron was a good player but Konerko just made his first appearance on the Hall Of Fame ballot in 2020. Overall, another win for the White Sox front office.

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