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3 mock trades the White Sox could explore this offseason

by Tommy Gross

The White Sox, according to reports, aren’t likely to be large spenders this offseason, keeping their payroll relatively similar to their 2022 total. Because of this, Rick Hahn and the rest of the front office will have to look to add players via trade, which Hahn has already mentioned previously in a press conference: “Yes, you have to be open to that because, look, we’re not just going to able to throw money at the problem. You might have to have to get creative, and the trade market may be a more fruitful path for us to go as opposed to free agency in the coming months….”

With the addition of Mike Clevinger a few days ago, Hahn will likely turn his focus toward improving the offense in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the 2022 campaign. Here are three potential trades Hahn and the front office can explore that improve the offense and fill team holes, all while operating on a limited budget.

White Sox acquire 2B Gavin Lux from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for RP Liam Hendriks, OF Yoelquis Cespedes, 3B Bryan Ramos, and RHP Jonathan Stiever

Now, it’s not necessarily a great idea to trade a proven talent like Liam Hendriks during a contention window. However, this improvement at second base would be tremendous and would go a long way toward making this deal worthwhile for the Sox.

Since Kenley Jansen moved on from the Dodgers, Los Angeles has struggled to find their closer. They tried to get Craig Kimbrel back to his early 2021 form, but that fell short. The addition of Liam Hendriks as their closer would tremendously improve their bullpen by giving them a stable, productive presence that they’ve been lacking. In addition, the Dodgers would be able to get Hendriks for two seasons, as his 2024 option automatically vests if he is traded. So, the Dodgers would essentially get two seasons of one of the top closers in baseball for much lower than the market price – remember, Edwin Diaz’s massive 5-year/$102 million contract is going to be something future closers reference.

On the other side, the White Sox have a solid bullpen at the moment and have the ability to trade from a strength. Pedro Grifol would be able to replace Hendriks as the closer with Reynaldo Lopez or Kendall Gravemen. At the end of the day, bullpen arms are not as valuable as quality 2nd basemen like Gavin Lux, especially because of their variability, so the White Sox would likely have to throw in a truly solid prospect (Ramos) as well as a couple of solid fliers (Cespedes, Stiever) to make something like this happen.

For the South Siders, Gavin Lux is a popular name that easily fills the need for a consistent second baseman. In a strange but true fact, the White Sox have had a different Opening Day second baseman every year since 2014 – meaning Lux would be a refreshing bit of stability at the position. At just 25 years old and under team contract through 2026, Lux’s .276/.346/.399 slash line with a 113 wRC+ in 2022 made him the sixth-best second basemen based on wRC+. Lux also had a 10% walk rate in 2022, which was fourth-best in the league among second basemen and is a skill that the White Sox sorely lack. He is also a tremendous defender, as he is in the 81st percentile in Outs Above Average at the position.

If the White Sox were able to accomplish this trade, they’d have second base locked down for quite a while with one of the better options at the position. It is tough to give up a great closer in Liam Hendriks, but the White Sox are playing to their strength while fixing a weakness in this scenario.

White Sox acquire OF Ian Happ from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for 2B Lenyn Sosa, RHP Norge Vera, and RHP Matt Thompson

The Cubs are in a bit of a rebuild right now and would love to get a solid prospect haul to help build for the future. Lenyn Sosa ranks as the Sox’s fourth-best prospect after seeing some brief MLB time in 2022 but struggling to get things going. Sosa, however, was phenomenal in the minors, though, as he slashed .315/.369/.511 between AA Birmingham and AAA Charlotte in 2022. Sosa could very much be the future second baseman for the Cubs given the question marks they still have in the middle of their infield. Norge Vera, on the other hand, is the sixth-rated prospect in the White Sox farm system. He pitched very well in Low-A Kannapolis but struggled in AA. Vera isn’t close to MLB-ready but could be a solid prospect for the Cubs down the line. Matt Thompson is the 15th-ranked prospect in the club’s system and is a nice flier in the deal.

Ian Happ is an all-star switch hitter who is a very quality outfielder. He batted .271/.342/.440 with a .339 wOBA and a 120 wRC+ last season. He also posted +2 Outs Above Average in left field in 2022, so he can vastly improve the team’s outfield defense and allow Eloy Jimenez to switch over to designated hitter permanently. He also adds another switch hitter to a lineup that desperately needs some solid left-handed bats, and he slashed .260/.339/.440 with a 118 wRC+ against right-handed pitching last season.

Happ is only under contract for one season, but with the first phase of the White Sox’ contention window ending this season, it’s now or never to start making moves to capitalize on having Lance Lynn, Yasmani Grandal, Lucas Giolito, and others on the team.

White Sox acquire C Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for LHP Garrett Crochet, 1B Andrew Vaughn, and SS Jose Rodriguez

Now, this feels like a lot to give up for Sean Murphy, but given the state of the future behind the plate for the White Sox, it would definitely be worth it.

With the Clevinger signing, Crochet either turns into a bullpen arm for this team or is sent down to Triple-A/Double-A to develop as a starting pitcher. He seems to be the odd man out in this bullpen but is still very valuable to other teams that want to convert him to a starter. Andrew Vaughn is tough to let go because of his potential to be such a good player in the league and the current first base vacancy, but similar to Crochet, you have to trade good players to get good players. The Athletics like Vaughn a lot too, but Hahn was unwilling to trade him for pitcher Frankie Montas not too long ago – perhaps Murphy could be the sort of impact player that Hahn considers worthy of moving Vaughn for. Finally, Jose Rodriguez is the seventh-ranked White Sox prospect and could help Oakland in the future as they are in the midst of a rebuild.

Sean Murphy was one of the best catchers in the league last year. He slashed .250/.332/.426 with 18 HR and a 122 wRC+. Out of all qualified catchers, he ranked second in fWAR, just behind JT Realmuto. He is an elite defensive catcher as well, as he had +9 Catcher Framing Runs, ranking sixth among all catchers in this category. He also has a 1.89 pop time which is tied for second among all catchers in 2022. Murphy also won a Gold Glove in 2021 as a final polish for his extremely strong resume. With three years left of team control, Sean Murphy plays hard behind the plate and would make a phenomenal addition to this team.

Yasmani Grandal is getting older, and asking him to catch 140 games may not be possible anymore. Thus, by trading Vaughn and adding Murphy, the Sox can move Yasmani to the first base full-time with Gavin Sheets being the backup first baseman. Sean Murphy is only 27, so he is young enough to play catcher almost every day. This optimizes the offense because the White Sox wouldn’t need to play a backup catcher every few days to have Grandal rest. If Grandal falls back to his 2022 season, the team has more first base options to lean on like Burger or Sheets to pick up the slack and don’t have to rely solely on Seby Zavala to boost the team’s offense.

It would be a risk to give up a potential cornerstone in Andrew Vaughn and such an electric arm in Garrett Crochet, but with a proven commodity like Murphy at a premium position available, it would be wise for the White Sox to make sure their catching position continues to give premium results following Grandal.

With not very much money to spend during the offseason, trades will have to be will likely be the primary way the White Sox add talent to this roster. All of these trades involve players who are fairly young and don’t have any crazy long-term contracts to pay, making them more realistic for the budget-conscious White Sox. Of course, there are some potentially cheap free agent options to fill some holes like Michael Conforto or Adam Duvall, but knowing Hahn’s history and reviewing the comments he made, fans should definitely be considering what help can come from other teams.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think in the comments!

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Featured Image: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Barney Miller

Those trades all suck for the White Sox.


These trade suggestions are ridiculous. You have obviously lost your mind.


All those trades suck. Be for real!


All of these trades are one-sided to LA and Cubs. You sound more like an LA/Cubs fan than White Sox supporter. You don’t trade Vaughn “at all” with Abreu gone and not for a 250 hitting catcher….don’t care how good he is.
Also way to much for Happ, cubs almost let him go this year and now you want to give up four players for him.

Just can’t agree with your call on these but keep trying


Tommy Gross must be a cub fan

just Jimmy

no disrespect, but thank god you’re not GMing this team Tommy. Gavin Lux is NOT the answer at 2B but in general, you’re just giving away more than is needed on each trade.
Thinking that you accomplished what you meant to by drawing comments by these ludicrous offers….if so, kudos to you sir.


Why not give up the whole farm system for 3 guys ! Geez you must be a Cub Fan.

Thomas Moose

It’s surprising he didn’t include Colas in one of the trades. May as well trade all the White Sox top prospects for some
middle-of-the-road veterans.

Ken Smith

I joined this site hoping that the writing was smarter then fansided. Gosh with these trade ideas Vince from the other side is a genius. Dumbest trade ideas ever.


This posting is completely nuts. He advocates giving away an amazing basket of excellent prospects who are major league or near major league ready.

Tug Pullman

Being an avid Yoan Moncada tells us you eat bananas in one bite.


People like this should not be able to write articles on what the white Sox need. This guy is either 5to7 years old or this article was ment as a joke. Please educate yourself on the whitesox


After letting Abreu walk if they trade Vaughn I would be furious and shocked

Silver Black

You are some kind of wack job

J maus

Buddy stick to math
U obviously know nothing about baseball


This 3rd suggestion as a trade possibility for the Sox “White Sox acquire C Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for LHP Garrett Crochet, 1B Andrew Vaughn, and SS Jose Rodriguez” I find INSANE . Murphy is good , not a star but good. Why give up on Vaughn who likely will be a guy who can in the HIGH .290s , hit 25-30 homers , 30 doubles and knock in 75-90 RBIs and play solid defense at first ? And he might be MICH better than that . Also Crochet ? Two highly touted number one draft picks for a better than average catcher ? No thanks and I hope Rick Hahn is not READING that portion of the article .

Grab some bench

I was thinking the same thing


I agreed with all comments regarding the trade imbalance to acquire, but several responses crossed the line into personal.

John Smith

Why are people over rating Lux this much? Last year was his career high WAR at 2.5. That’s decent, but about half what you’d get from someone like Semien in a typical year. Lux has little power and therefore little upside. The Sox were 25 games behind Houston. They need players with big upside, not someone like Lux even if he has some good attributes. Gleyber Torres is a way better idea for a trade target.

I won’t even comment on the other two trade ideas, others have done so well enough that there is no need.


These are all compelling trade ideas…but, at the same time, you’re giving up an awful lot to get your targeted players. I can, maybe, see the Sean Murphy deal (giving up Vaughn), but Hendricks AND Cespedes AND Ramos AND Stiever…for Gavin Lux? Uh-uh. Our need isn’t as pressing to replace a field-first second baseman — which we already have in Romy or Sosa (and did have in Mendick, who was a runner up to a Gold Glove Award a couple of years ago) — as it is offense-minded options for the outfield.

So you’re going to get Sean Murphy you trade him f

So you’re going to get Sean Murphy you trade him for Andrew Vaughn that’s why you let José Abreu go so van could play first now you don’t have a first baseman not a very good trade at all actually it’s horrible and you’re gonna throw in crochet enough

just Jimmy

actually with that scenario we’d still have Sheets to play 1B. But i would never trade Vaugh for Murphy.

Edward James Newell

1). How is it the White Sox have a window of three to four years to win while, Atlanta, Houston, and Los Angeles do not as per each teams long run owning their respective division. 2).When I read of teams with deep minor leagues, it reads the big free agent spenders who have gigantic payroll always seem to have twinkling stars in waiting. 3). I am frustrated with signing or trading for another teams declining athlete. I am applaud Tampa for two decades of competing with the players they draft and develope on low budget. Same too Oakland and Minnesota.

John Smith

Amazing that the Dodgers have like the 5th or 6th ranked farm system after having won 90 games each of the past 10 years. They haven’t had a top 20 pick in a decade, and still have a highly ranked farm system. Their org and Tampa just have way, way smarter people working in their scouting and player development than the Sox, obviously. Acknowledging that obvious fact, it makes sense that a cheap team like the Sox should poach a couple people from each organization to see what they are doing right, and what the Sox people are not doing. It would be a hell of a lot cheaper to poach scouting or mior league development people from those two teams than sign even cheap free agents, and the benefit could be enormous in time. The only chance a team like the Sox has that won’t sign any good free agents is to get enormously smarter.


I concur, poach for other teams scouting and development personnel to better ours, thus improving our feeder system. It will cost $s to entice.

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