Thoughts On The Trade With The Yankees

Like so many White Sox fans I barely paid attention to an exciting 1-0 game with one of the best pitchers in baseball as well as Clayton Kershaw last night. I was too busy following every little update about what wound up being the trade that sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees for Blake Rutherford and other dudes.

After the trade was finally announced, my excitement only intensified with the news that Yoan Moncada was finally being called up.

Happy Yoan Moncada Day, by the way.

As for the trade itself, now that I've slept on it and spent a few more hours thinking about it, I suppose my reaction to it is still similar to how I felt last night when it all started breaking.

I'm surprised.

I'm not surprised that Frazier and Robertson were dealt. That's been expected since the winter. I'm surprised that they were packaged together along with Tommy Kahnle in one deal. I'm also surprised by the return the White Sox got.

It just feels light.

Having said that, the return for Jose Quintana first felt light to me too, though I've come around a bit on it. I think that I fell victim to the returns Rick Hahn received for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, believing life was always going to be like that.

I'm not sure I'm going to change my mind on this one, though.

Don't get me wrong, from everything I've read and heard about him, Blake Rutherford is a promising return as a prospect. He's the kind of guy that can be an above-average (and possibly better than that) starter on a good team one day. There's a reason he was the No. 30 prospect in baseball, and the No. 3 prospect in a Yankees system that was ranked better than ours before this trade went down.

After that, though, I'm kinda meh on the deal.

I just felt that Robertson alone should be worth a return like Rutherford, or at least someone similar. When you throw in Kahnle too? I'm not going to pretend Kahnle is one of the best relievers in baseball, but he's sure as shit pitched like one this year, and he's cheap and under control for a few more years.

While they may not have been Hahn's, if I had my druthers I'd have held on to Kahnle. I felt that, if he continued to pitch like this, and served as your closer next season, you could flip him for a big return next summer. He'd be another big trade chip.

Instead, he was included in this deal.

Everything I've read on Ian Clarkin suggests that he has mid-rotation potential, but that he's already dealt with some big injuries, and his health is a question. Yes, the White Sox have been good at keeping pitchers healthy, but these could be damaged goods.

Tito Polo has an excellent name and has played well this season between High A and Double-A, but he profiles as a fourth outfielder.

Then there's Tyler Clippard as salary relief. I'm fine with Clippard being in the deal, but if the Yankees were looking for relief, the White Sox should have swallowed some of the remaining salaries on Robertson and Frazier to increase the return.

So why did the White Sox get what I believe to be a lackluster return?

Well, I never expected much for Frazier. When it came to The Blockfather, I was of a mind to move him more to open up room for Moncada. The return wasn't that important to me, though obviously, I wanted as much as I could get.

I thought Robertson was more valuable than he was, I suppose. Maybe it was his contract, or maybe it was the glut of available relievers out there. I think Washington trading for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson hurt the White Sox here, as well as Baltimore suddenly making it known that Zach Britton can be had a few hours before last night's game as well.

Removing Washington from the equation took away one obvious suitor for Robertson's services, and putting Britton out there immediately made him the second-most attractive reliever at best.

But I still can't help but believe that Frazier, Robertson, and Kahnle are worth more than one top 30 prospect, a couple of fringy guys and an overpaid bullpen arm.

So, no, overall I don't really like this trade in a vacuum. If anything the only part of the deal that I like is that it signifies the end of the first phase of the rebuild for the most part. The most valuable trade assets you had are all gone now, and we're starting to see some of the prospects come up.

It's Moncada now, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Reynaldo Lopez up soon as well (and if we're honest, he should be up now).

To really move forward you have to put the past behind you, and maybe that's what Rick Hahn was attempting to do here. And maybe because of that he didn't maximize the value of the players he gave up.


  1. My gut agrees with this post and stands in solidarity with other White Sox fans who are less then excited from this trade. What I feel has been lacking in the analysis is the 26 million that the White Sox will be saving as a result. Those savings help pay off Luis Robert's contract and contract tax. As an organization you can't sell saving 26 million dollars but I have to believe that aspect of the trade is another portion that Hahn was considering when they pulled the trigger. Of all the trades made by Hahn this year this is my least favorite but I remain optimistic. Happy Moncada day.

    1. Here's my problem with the idea that saving money on Robertson and Frazier offsets Robert's deal. It definitely does, but to say that ignores the fact that the White Sox had already cleared at least $73.75 million in payroll with the Sale, Eaton and Quintana trades.

    2. Agreed. The last defense I have for Hahn is that this Robert knee injury is more serious then has been leaked. We know he has had a surgery and has been out for quite some time. If the injury is serious that would place more pressure on the front office to secure a valuable outfielder in the immediate. The hole in that logic is obviously that we will have top picks in the next draft. Time will tell.

    3. According to White Sox Robert is "almost 100 percent and should be back in the next week or two"


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