White Sox “actively seeking packages” for blockbuster Braves trade target

MLB: AUG 08 Yankees at White Sox

Coming into the season, the Braves didn’t appear to have many holes on paper. That’s changed considerably over the first two months. Mostly, because of the injuries to Spencer Strider and Ronald Acuña Jr, who are out for the season. Any club that loses its two best players is going to be left scrambling, even if the Braves are better prepared to handle it than most.

However, there has also been an issue of guys just not playing up to expectations. Outside of Marcell Ozuna, the Braves offense has been mostly lifeless, featuring a number of All-Stars that are headed towards the worst statistical years of their careers by quite a large margin. The hope is that at least some of them will turn it around, given their track records of success. But regardless, the Braves need to add offense at the trade deadline in some form or fashion.

Alex Anthopoulos could approach things very similarly to the way he did at the 2021 trade deadline, when he scooped up three outfielders on expiring contracts in Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, and Joc Pederson. At the time, they weren’t the sexiest acquisitions, and they didn’t cost much prospect capital to acquire. But damn, did that trio pay dividends, helping the Braves to their first World Series victory since 1995.

Nobody could blame Anthopoulos if he attempted to venture down that same path this time around, but if he’s thinking bigger, there is a star emerging on the trade block. Earlier this week, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the White Sox are open to moving Luis Robert Jr. 

“Yes, the White Sox are willing to deal center fielder Luis Robert Jr., who is expected to return from a hip injury this week and is signed through 2027,” Passan writes.

Robert is coming off an All-Star campaign in which he blasted 38 homers in 145 games for the White Sox. He’s under team control through 2027, and Jon Heyman took things a step further, saying Chicago is “actively seeking packages” for their star outfielder.

Trades don’t often come to fruition this far away from the trade deadline, but they do happen sometimes. Hell, Luis Arraez, the reigning batting champion in the National League, was traded a month ago after the Marlins’ abysmal start to the season. So perhaps the White Sox would be open to pulling the trigger early if the right deal comes across the desk.

About the only knock on Luis Robert Jr. is his injury history. From a talent perspective, he’s one of the unique stars in baseball that can affect games in a variety of ways. However, he’s on track to play fewer than 100 games for the third time in his four full major-league seasons.

Injuries are undoubtedly a concern, but the team-friendly contract makes it a worthwhile gamble. Luis Robert Jr. is owed $12.5 million this year, $15 million in 2025, and has two club options for 2026 and 2027 that are worth $20 million. For a guy that can potentially smack 40 homers, swipe 20 bags and play solid defense in the outfield, it has the potential to be one of the best bargains in baseball if he can stay healthy.

Whoever lands Luis Robert Jr. will have to part ways with a lot of prospect capital. That may not be something the Braves are interested in doing at this juncture, but it is possible Alex Anthopoulos views the outfield as a concern past this season. Jarred Kelenic hasn’t shown that he can be an everyday left fielder, and Ronald Acuña Jr. will be coming off his second torn ACL next season. There is really no telling what to expect from him when he returns.

Making this type of move for Luis Robert Jr. would put the Braves right back at the forefront of the World Series conversation this year and allow Acuña to ease his way back into the swing of his things in the future.

Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire


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