Report: White Sox veterans want out, who could the Braves target?

MLB: MAY 04 Twins at White Sox

When looking around the league, there aren’t a lot of clear sellers. And even the ones that are–Royals, A’s, Nationals, and Rockies–aren’t exactly ripe with elite players competitive teams will have much interest in. The expanded playoffs, along with the Central divisions in both leagues being terrible, has most everyone believing they have a shot at October baseball.

However, there will be some teams that take a look at their club, even if they are still within reaching distance, and decide to punt. One of the teams I’ll be watching closely is the White Sox, who Bob Nightengale believes could be sellers at the trade deadline.

“Several veterans in the Chicago White Sox organization have privately expressed that they would welcome a trade, and considering the way they are playing, may soon get their wish,” Nightengale writes.

“None of the players, however, have formally asked the White Sox front office to trade them.”

The White Sox may be 32-44, but because of how weak the AL Central is, they are only currently 5.5 games back of first place. They’ve severely underperformed, given their talent, but it might be time for their organization to take a look in the mirror. There are issues throughout the entire White Sox organization, and even if they do somehow make the playoffs, they aren’t serious contenders. Their best course of action would be to sell off their spare parts, and there are several the Braves could target at the trade deadline.

Lucas Giolito

Giolito isn’t quite at the level he was at from 2019-2021, when he was a legitimate Cy Young candidate, but he has posted a 3.54 ERA this season. His 4.29 FIP and 9.3 K/9–down significantly from his peak–suggest regression could be in line. However, he’s still a viable mid-rotation starter that could really help ease the Braves starting pitching woes, especially if they suffer more bad injury news. Giolito is also in the final year of his contract, so he shouldn’t cost a ton of prospect capital.

Lance Lynn

Lynn isn’t technically a rental, but he has an $18 million club option for next season that will be tough for anybody to pick up if he doesn’t turn his season around. Lynn is currently sporting an unsightly 6.51 ERA, 4.95 FIP, and 1.506 WHIP. That’s terrible, but perhaps a change of scenery will do him a lot of good. I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on his upside.

Mike Clevinger

I’m not sure the Braves would risk a personality like Clevinger coming into their clubhouse and messing things up, but he’s been pretty good this season for the White Sox and is on a one-year deal. He could probably be had at the trade deadline for very little. Still, I don’t see the Braves making this kind of move on someone like Clevinger.

Reynaldo López

López was a fantastic reliever last season, posting a 2.76 ERA. This season, however, hasn’t been pretty. He owns a 5.52 ERA and 5.31 FIP, thanks to way too many walks and homers allowed. However, he is a high-powered arm that’s striking out 11 batters per nine innings. Given López will likely cost pennies at the trade deadline, the Braves could be interested.

Keynan Middleton

Middleton is having a breakout season for the White Sox out of the bullpen, posting a 2.52 ERA and 11.5 K/9. His Baseball Savant page also suggests it is sustainable, featuring a high-90s fastball and two solid secondary offerings. Middleton will likely be a high-valued target at the trade deadline, given he will also be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Joe Kelly

Kelly hasn’t been great this season and has a tendency to be erratic at times, but he also has a ton of big moments and experience in playoff games. That can’t be understated. Kelly has a club option for next season as well, which could make him more enticing, depending on how he performs the rest of the season.

Kendall Graveman

Unless the Braves suffer another injury to the rotation, or Max Fried experiences a setback in his return, Graveman is the guy I would want the Braves to acquire most on this list. He’s been one of the better relievers in baseball over the last three years and has playoff experience. This season, he boasts a 2.51 ERA over 32.1 innings. Graveman also comes with one extra year of control, as he’s under contract for $8 million in 2024.


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