When everyone starts making a trade connection — like, every MLB analyst under the sun — you sort of just have to sit back and wait for the disappointment. Unlike the Yankees and Joey Gallo, the latest Chicago White Sox fit seemingly has legs, which could block the Bombers from making a maneuver.
Following in the unfortunate footsteps of Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez, Nick Madrigal became the latest Chicago top prospect-turned-big leaguer to hit the IL for an extended period of time.
Even Jimenez, thought to be out between five and six months, might actually return before Madrigal, who hit the 60-day IL on Thursday with a hamstring tear, and may need season-ending surgery to ultimately resolve his problem.
So the Sox lost a contact specialist who plays second base, huh? Yeah, the Pirates have one of those.
Based on every tweet that emerged following the diagnosis, you’d think Adam Frazier — hitting .329 with a league-leading 21 doubles — would be a natural fit.
If so, that might stop Brian Cashman’s extremely similar pursuit right in its tracks.
The White Sox might get Adam Frazier instead of the Yankees.
Before the season, Frazier didn’t seem like a trade target with the value commensurate with his skills. Since then, he’s raised his level of skill and the Yankees have developed clear and presently dangerous holes in center field, at first base, and in left field, too.
Frazier has gotten better and the Yankees’ depth has gotten far less secure. When the calendar turned to June, it seemed like the Bombers might link up with the Pirates yet again after the Jameson Taillon trade this summer — and could even add Bryan Reynolds to the package, along with his 2.4 WAR and 145 OPS+.
The Yankees’ only hope here, though, is that Chicago chooses to search internally first. The White Sox got lucky the last time they suffered an injury like this, plugging Jimenez’s hole with Yermin Mercedes, who likes to homer in any count. Would they roll the dice again, or finally surrender assets for a longer-term fit?
Do the Yankees have alternatives if the White Sox finish this off? Sure. They could keep barking up Gallo’s tree; he’s one of the very few All-Star-type options who could be cheap enough to also fit under the luxury tax threshold.
If the Bombers get so bold, they could also pay up and plug their center field spot with the Marlins’ Starling Marte. There’s nothing standing in their way there.
Left-handed versatility feels like the name of the game for the Yanks, though, and Frazier would’ve probably been a helpful name to settle on. Chicago might be just a little more desperate as we approach mid-June, though. Another reason to learn about acting fast.