Today the White Sox announced 5 new additions to the 40-Man Roster, leaving the roster at 39 with one spot for a possible addition via INTL Bonus Trade or Rule 5 Pick (Dylan Covey as a Rule 5 Example, Daniel Palka or Thyago Veiria for a trade example). I’m going to run through who the Sox added today, who they didn’t add and who they have on the 40 Man moving forward.
ROSTER MOVES: The #WhiteSox have purchased the contracts of INF Casey Gillaspie from Charlotte, OF Eloy Jiménez from Birmingham, OF Luis Alexander Basabe & RHP Ian Clarkin from Winston-Salem, & OF Micker Adolfo from Kannapolis.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) November 20, 2017
The New Guys
- Eloy Jimenez
No Brainer. The White Sox’s #1 Prospect, the Sox were clearly going to protect their Jose Quintana return as he is a future cornerstone and could easily see MLB Action in 2018.
- Casey Gillaspie
Another pretty easy call, the Dan Jennings return (It’s going to be fun referring to all these guys in the terms of who they were traded for the next few years) is likely to see MLB Action in 2018 at 1B/DH.
- Ian Clarkin
The first possible question mark. Clarkin is a young lefty who has been oft-injured and has yet to impress at High A with the Winston Salem Dash. Frankly, its hard to see how the Robertson-Kahnle-Frazier secondary piece deserved protection over fellow lefty Jordan Gurrero Then again, Dylan Covey hadn’t showed much going into last year and was pretty brutal all season, so its not a stretch to imagine a rebuilding team like the Marlins, Padres or Tigers giving him a shot as a LOOGY for a season. Their is talent here, but Clarkin definitely has a long ways to go before he is considered a 2020 World Series piece. Still, a defensible decision by Rick Hahn.
- Luis Alexander Basabe
Meh. The 3rd piece of the Chris Sale trade, Basabe is a raw, young CF who spent last year struggling mightily in Winston Salem. As you can tell from the above picture featuring damn braces, Basabe is still extremely youthful, and so their is potential here. And the San Diego Padres rostered an A-Ball OF all last season, so it’s not outrageous to suggest they would take a shot at Basabe. But boy, with how awful he was in A+ last year, it seems a bit weird to protect him over Tito Polo, who could probably do a little 4th OF role for the 2018 White Sox. Basabe definitely has the highest ceiling of their crop of current CF prospects not named Luis Robert, but that ceiling has a very muddled view right now. It’s not outrageous to suggest the Sox protected him merely to avoid losing a piece of the Chris Sale trade, as that deal will forever define the rebuild. Overall though, I can’t say I agree with Rick here. I would have given the Padres the option to play him in the Majors for an entire season.
- Micker Adolfo
Adolfo was once considered akin to Eloy Jimenez coming out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, and the Sox made him their big INTL bonus splash. I have a feeling that money may have played a factor here. Adolfo definitely showed some promise (finally) in 2017, as he showed off some power in Low A and limited the strikeouts a bit. That being said, were also talking about a kid who has never been above A- and is still striking out with regularity. The idea of the Padres or someone wasting a year of development by stashing him in the Majors seems like a hell of a stretch. Adolfo’s potential is probably Top 10 in the system, but with Robert and Jimenez firmly entrenched in the 2020 Theoretical Rosters, Adolfo doesn’t seem like a great bet to be a future piece. I get that the ceiling is high, and the investment was large, but Adolfo just doesn’t seem like a guy that needs to be on a 40 Man. Still, if I had to pick it bone with the two young OF’s it would surely be Basabe before Micker.
The Unprotected Guys
The Main Prospects left unprotected were 2B Jake Peter, LHP Jordan Guerrero, LHP Brian Clark, and OF Tito Polo. I will run through the 4 of them real quick.
- Jake Peter
Peter impressed in his AAA stint last year, and without the presence of Yoan Moncada at 2B I imagine Peter would have been a guy getting September AB’s with the parent club. Instead, he’s left on the outside looking in. The Sox certainly have no shortage of UTIL INF’s on the 40 Man (Sally, Hansen, Yolmer) but Peter sure feels like a guy who could earn Major League AB’s in 2018 in some capacity. I have no doubt Rick searched the trade market for a taker before just simply leaving him unprotected, but his loss does sting a bit. I’m not entirely sure I would rather see Alen Hansen over him in 2018 (Though Hansen’s speed and OF capability makes him a superior bench option). Still, this is a non Top 30 Prospect UTIL INF were talking about, so it could be worse. I imagine Peter is going to get picked up by somebody with an open 40 man spot and a desire to compete in 2018 with no great options for a bench INF.
- Jordan Guerrero
Before we get too hot and bothered, Guerrero’s ceiling is a 5th starter swingman type. The Sox probably didn’t leave Jose Quintana exposed here. That being said, I don’t get this at all. Guerrero showed signs in AA of being a useful MLB Arm in 2018, and the Sox current projected rotation is sure to need depth arms to soak up innings in 2018. Guerrero seems like the guy who could take some Mike Pelfrey/Chris Volstad innings for the 2018 team while we are still investigating our options for the future. Frankly, I would rather see Guerreo over multiple current 40 man options (more on this later). Anyways, Guerreo is exposed, and I expect he won’t be a member of the White Sox organization next spring. Ian Clarkin over him is meh…
- Brian Clark
He’s just a LOOGY, but he’s a LOOGY we’ve never seen that could easily be in the 2018 Bullpen. However, Aaron Bummer and Jace Fry are already on the 40 man and seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order in the LOOGY competition, so I get this one. The Sox chose Bummer and Fry over Clark, and thats a fine call. I can live with this one, and I’m not even sure he’s going to get picked up by anyway. No outrage from me here.
- Tito Polo
A piece of the Kahnle-Robertson-Frazier deal, Polo is a 4th OF type for sure. That being said, there should be AB’s available in CF for the White Sox in 2018, and I don’t really want to see Jacob May getting those AB’s (he was no better in AAA for those who already forgot his disaster April). Polo has hit a little in AA, got some AFL reps, and hasn’t got a crack at the Majors. I’m not confident he’s getting picked up by anyone, there isn’t a big ceiling here, but I don’t really agree with Basabe over him. That being said, not worth getting worked up over. Hopefully Tilson or Engel make us forget about him as a 4th OF in 2018 (Engel’s speed and defense make him an easy keep over him, and Tilson has a higher ceiling as an actual starter).
The Guy Who Was Dropped
Tyler Danish, RHP
In the course of all these moves, the White Sox also said goodbye to Chris Beck and Tyler Danish, two RHP’s who have seen MLB time. Beck was absolutely terrible in 2017, so I’m not going to mull over his demotion much. However, injury pending (Danish was in a nasty car crash), I would have rather seen Danish than multiple current 40 man members. The White Sox have stayed committed to Danish as a starter, and he wasn’t bad in his only MLB start this year. However, most scouts like Danish as a reliever, and I would have liked to see him get some chances out of the bullpen this year, as the departure of D-Rob and Kanhle are going to leave plenty of bullpen innings available. Danish has a hard sinker and a weird arm angle, so he could emerge as a nice 6th/7th inning guy. Maybe the Sox know something we don’t, but I think Danish should have stayed protected. Instead, the Sox gave him the boot.
The 39 Who Remain
I have a few bones to pick here. No need to discuss most these 39, but a few stuck out to me as possible outright’s, and instead they remain. The men in question are
- Alen Hansen
Hansen was acquired last year when the Pirates had seen enough and DFA’d him in June, and while he stuck with the White Sox the entire season Hansen didn’t do much to inspire confidence he’s an MLB player long term. Hansen can play pretty much anywhere (He even played some CF) and has speed for days, but his plate approach stinks and he doesn’t drive the ball at all, a pretty underwhelming profile. I’m ok with Hansen for another year, but I definitely wouldn’t have been angry if he got the boot.
- Al Alburquerque
A September bullpen piece, Al doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table long term besides a fun name. He’s 31 and has never been particularly good, so I’m not sure what the desire to keep him was. We’re going to need bullpen innings for sure, but I would rather see Danish get a chance than Al again in 2018. There’s plenty of Al Alburquerque’s out there, if the Sox need a guy to soak up Bullpen Innings in June I’m sure they could find one in Free Agency.
- Jacob May
Mike Trout didn’t light the world on fire in his first MLB stink, and hey neither has Yoan Moncada. That being said, May was atrocious in April last year, and Adam Engel offers a better speed/defense profile than May. Oh and May went back to AAA and was still a total mess. I really don’t know why he wasn’t exposed, I just severely doubt this anything other than a Terrance Gore September call-up every season for pure speed (He is nowhere near the base stealer Gore is either).
- Jake Petricka
Petricka has been good before, and he has been around for a long time. Its time though. The injury bug has invaded Jake’s right arm (elbow) and it just doesn’t appear to be going away. Petricka was complete toast last year on the mound, and he doesn’t look like a guy who’s going to recovering to his old form. I would rather see a bunch of Thyago Vieria’s get a shot than more #dingerz being served up from 52. Thanks for the service Jake, but I think Rick should have moved on.
The White Sox 40 Man currently sits at 39, so the possibility for a Dylan Covey in 2018 is out there. I am not a professional scout, and I’m sure Rick and co. will do their homework, but here’s a couple notable names a wouldn’t hate seeing the Sox pay $100,000 for the right to see if they suck or not.
- Nick Burdi, RHP, Minnesota Twins
- Lewin Diaz, 1B, Minnesota Twins
- Travis Demeritte, 2B/3B, Atlanta Braves
- Ryan O’Hearn, 1B, Kansas City Royals
- Max Pentecost, C, Toronto Blue Jays
I’m not Jim Calis so I’ll save you fake scouting on these guys, but, here’s some quick thoughts.
Burdi is the brother of Zack, and he can pump it. That being said, he’s coming off Tommy John himself (some fun brother bonding!) so getting the required 90 Days of Service next year would be tough. At the same time, that same injury means he probably wouldn’t need to soak up a Bullpen spot for 6 months, so it’s give and take. I would be cool with a Burdi acquisition.
Lewin Diaz just finished up his first year at A+ so this a Padres stretch. But, Diaz is a skinny young 1B who showed some pop, and I wouldn’t hate adding him to the system. But, with guys like Gillaspie ahead of him, I would struggle seeing him in Chicago all season. Its a stretch
Same can be said about Max Pentecost, who was a 1st round pick at C, a position the Sox desperately need. Giving him MLB reps would be no disservice to anyone in the system, but its hard to imagine striking out everytime up would be great for his development. Then again, Omar Narvaez came to the majors without much MLiB success, and he has held his own. I could see it.
O’Hearn is probably once again not necessary with Gillaspie taking his AB’s, but he showed some pop and is at the point where he needs to prove it in the big leagues. Still, doubtful.
And finally Demeritte, who has shown some pop and could definitely take 3B AB’s for the Big League club next year. Then again, this smells like D.J Petersen, which didn’t last long. Still, I would be happy with him taking the 40th spot and competing with Yolmer for 3B reps.