It took the Chicago White Sox two days to acquire the two best prospects in the MLB. In a trade that sent Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox they snagged the best position player possible among baseball’s elite future prospect, Yoan Moncada. Today, they sent Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals and managed to pull in Lucas Giolito, baseball’s best pitching prospect.
Perhaps it's just me but I really like the aggressiveness of the White Sox. The locker room culture has now completely changed and two of baseball's most promising players are a part of their future.
These two trades do mean the White Sox take a step back this season. However, the future looks a whole lot more promising.
It took the Chicago White Sox only two days to rebuild their farm system by adding two of the top three prospects in baseball.
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Prior to these trades the White Sox had only two prospects in the top 100. Their best was Carson Fulmer. Now, after acquiring several top minor league players and a few with MLB experience, they have the number one (Moncada) and three (Giolito) prospects in baseball. Additionally, Michael Kopech, the 30th best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com, will join the farm system along with the rest of the names mentioned and Zack Collins.
Things are looking up for the White Sox in the near future. It won’t happen tomorrow or the next day. One day soon, they’ll surely give the Chicago Cubs a run for their money.
Last year was a big one for Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann. His sophomore season could’ve been a chance to really establish himself as a big part of the roster. Instead, McCann raised plenty of questions. His poor play landed him in a platoon with veteran Jarrod Saltalamacchia whose own statistics at least helped McCann look better.
McCann’s slash line of .221/.272/.358 needs a warning for children and pregnant women. Not just a knock on him alone, McCann also only scored 31 runs. For whatever reason, even on a team like the Tigers who are pretty good on offense, McCann has been terrible at coming across the bases. I blame this on his slowness as McCann suffers from catcher’s foot. Symptoms of this include an inability to steal bases and a fear of going from first base to third base even on a deep single.
Two years of McCann is definitely not enough to make a decision. However, this upcoming year is his age 27 campaign. By this age a second round draft pick should have showcased what he will become. This is especially true of McCann who was drafted back in 2011. It’s hard to imagine he becomes anything more than we’ve seen.
Do we need to accept James McCann will never become a consistent hitter?
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The weakest part of McCann’s offensive game is also a tough one to teach. His plate discipline is horrible with an average of only 28 walks per 162 games. A career .284 OBP is the result of this. Defensively, though, McCann has been a pretty good player. In particular, McCann is throwing out runners at a rate of 41% which is far above the league average. More specific metrics like runs saved are also pluses for McCann.
McCann probably is best suited in a slight platoon with a better hitter paired with him although to do this you’re spending a lot more. Had Saltalamacchia done anything last season with the bat it would’ve been one of the better platoons in baseball. Instead, McCann’s weaknesses shined on.
The time to move on from McCann has not yet arrived. His defense is valuable enough to excuse the poor bat. In a lineup like the Tigers have, a weak bat from a potential Gold Glove catcher is something fans will just have to deal with.
Pretty much a DH exclusive player at this point in his career, the trade value of Victor Martinez isn’t much higher than mine and the last time I got a hit was when I was 16. The 2017 season will be Martinez’s age 38 season and the worst news of all for the Detroit Tigers in the attempt to trade him is that there’s still another year left after. Martinez has two years of $18 million left on the books which will make it very difficult to trade him even if he was able to take the field for more than a dozen times a season.
Apparently, some teams are showing interest in Martinez despite the negative attached to him. I think some of it is clerical error and teams really meant to ask about J.D. Martinez. With no inside sources to prove it, I’ll have to believe other franchises are interested in a 38-year-old DH with $36 million owed to him.
At the very least Martinez did rebound well in 2016 following a horrific 2015 season. Martinez, as you may remember, finished second in the MVP voting back in 2014 as he set several career highs at age 35. It was the season that won him the large contract even in his twilight years. While the numbers he posted in 2016 were not award worthy, Martinez did have a really good 123 OPS+ aided by 27 home runs and 86 RBIs.
Which teams are potential landing spots in a trade for Victor Martinez?
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
No actual teams have been listed as potential landing spots for Martinez. We can still speculate. Before the Toronto Blue Jays signed Kendrys Morales, they would’ve been a great place. Now, they’re off my list. However, the New York Yankees aren’t an insane option if they are indeed hoping to compete in 2017 and 2018. A professional hitter like Martinez would be a nice addition as the new DH. The Yankees do have the cash to afford him too. In any trade involving Martinez, it’ll come down to how little the Tigers are willing to accept in return. Hopefully it’s not much or else I see them stuck with him through at least mid-2018.
Perhaps an even better option, the Texas Rangers have no real DH on their roster. They are the best team in the American League without one too. Martinez, at his advanced age, could see himself put up career numbers in the Rangers’ lineup surrounded by professional hitters while playing in a ballpark that suits offense far more than pitching. The Rangers should have the young talent to acquire him rather easily and the roster spot to give him regular playing time. As much as I believe there are better options available for Texas, Martinez may always come as a simple salary dump player although it’s hard to believe the Tigers have completely lost all of their integrity.
Less likely is Martinez returning to the Cleveland Indians. They do need some power with the departure of Mike Napoli. Things would get tricky as Carlos Santana has pretty much become a DH exclusive player too, much like Martinez has after several years of catching then moving to first base. The Baltimore Orioles, should they see Mark Trumbo leave, are another possibility as Chris Davis can play first base and right field while allowing Martinez to take over the DH job. Let’s also not forget the Boston Red Sox during their search for a new DH.
Finding a home this offseason for Martinez other than Detroit will be tough. There are lots of similar players on the free agent market who won’t cost talent, just money. They are also younger and come with less risk. Given the choice between more expensive years of Edwin Encarnacion or Victor Martinez over two, I think most teams go with the former.