The White Sox are posed to become sellers at the deadline, seeing the sizable gap in the division.
MLB Network's Jon Morosi reports the White Sox may already have a suitor.
Trade Deadline update: The Reds have inquired to multiple teams regarding available starting pitchers, sources say. They’ve checked with the White Sox, who have Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and (less likely) Dylan Cease. @mlb @670thescore @mlbnetworkradio @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 14, 2023
The White Sox are 8.5 games out of the AL Central division lead, as of this writing, 17 games under .500. With the Aug. 1 MLB trade deadline nearing, their best bet is to sell expiring contracts -- maybe more -- and reload the roster/farm.
Their starting rotation is filled with trade candidates. Lucas Giolito's name has made multiple trips around the rumor mill, including an attachment to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is undergoing his last year in arbitration, making him a free agent this winter. The Sox would be inclined to retrieve assets for Giolito if they have no plans to re-sign him.
Lance Lynn is another viable trade candidate. He has one more season left on his contract that's a club option. He makes for a solid rental with a fairly favorable contract, despite the price of that option in 2024 ($18 million). Lynn's ERA (6.03) might scare off some teams, but he's had a handful of elite performances, including a 16-strikeout outing in June against the Seattle Mariners.
Mike Clevinger is another tradeable asset. His injuries have hampered his season; he's endured two separate stints on the injured list for right wrist and bicep inflammation. But when he's on the bump, he's been relatively solid, holding a 3.88 ERA in 12 starts this season. He could make for a rental option on the back end for a contender's starting rotation.
Cease, while enduring a generally underwhelming season this year, is reportedly off-limits from trade. The NY Post's Jon Heyman reported the White Sox plan to protect Cease, Luis Robert Jr., Andrew Vaughn and Eloy Jiménez from being traded near the deadline.
The Reds are an ideal trade partner for the White Sox, seeing as their team is loaded with young talent. They have multiple, valuable skill players 26 years old and under, including Spencer Steer, Matt McClain, Jonathan India, etc. They also have five prospects in MLB.com's top-100 rankings, including Noelvi Marte, the No. 16 overall-ranked prospect.
Should the White Sox partner up with the Reds, they would aim to extract as much young talent as possible from the NL Central leaders.