Miami Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm is a twenty-four-year-old left-handed hitter with plus defense, enormous power, and over four more years of team control. He also is one of the most exciting young players in baseball and is the face of the Marlins. When reports surface that his team is unhappy with him off the field, it is easy for fans of other teams to dream about trading for him, especially if off-field concerns reduce his value to even a minuscule degree.
Before going further, it is important to note that the “off-field concerns” with Chisholm are, at least according to all public reports, trivial issues such as the way he dresses and carries himself, rather than any sort of illegal activity. The absurdity of the situation speaks to how Chisholm (at least to an outsider) may not be a fit for the Marlins’ culture, which —consistent with old-school baseball standards — appears to discourage attention to specific individuals over the team as a whole.
In the Jon Heyman article linked in the first paragraph, one of Heyman’s sources suggests that Chisholm’s teammates are simply jealous of the attention Chisholm has received this year, and that despite the accusations of off-field issues, Chisholm is a hard worker. Kim Ng, the Marlins’ general manager (and former White Sox assistant baseball operations director) was also quoted in the article:
Marlins GM Kim Ng declined to elaborate further: “Reluctant to provide further detail — happy everyone is responding.”
Ng had a simple explanation for Chisholm’s recent exploits: “He’s good.”“Red-hot Marlins keeping ‘lightning rod’ Jazz Chisholm in check” — Jon Heyman
While Ng’s quotes are harmless on the surface, it is at least somewhat surprising that neither she nor the Marlins organization issued a stronger statement in support of Chisholm. Many expected a response more along the lines of, “While we cannot provide specific details about the team meeting, we support Jazz Chisholm and are proud that he is a member of the Miami Marlins.” A stronger statement also would have been more effective at protecting Chisholm from future speculation, as having off-field question marks arise around a young player is not ideal, especially when they are seemingly unwarranted and easily preventable.
Where does he fit on the White Sox, and what would they need to acquire him?
Chisholm’s “off-field concerns” appear to be much ado about nothing, and the organization’s lukewarm response to his name being questioned across baseball media warrants discussions about his trade value. Chisholm is hitting .246/.301/.535 with 13 home runs, 41 runs batted in, 10 stolen bases, an .832 OPS, and 132 wRC+. While his on-base skills are slightly below-average, Chisholm is still quite young and has massive power, especially for a second baseman.
From a White Sox-centric view, Chisholm may be one of the best roster fits around. The White Sox would benefit from left-handed power, improved defense, and a mainstay at second base — Chisholm would address all three of these needs. He also has a comparatively low ground ball rate against most White Sox hitters, which would add further versatility to the lineup beyond handedness. Other potential left-handed bats on the trade market are not second basemen, and even those that would still make sense are either riskier outfielders (Jesse Winker, Joey Gallo), low-power bats (Andrew Benintendi), or just underwhelming (David Peralta, Tony Kemp).
As mentioned, Chisholm has over four years of team control remaining. In normal circumstances, a trade for Chisholm at this juncture would require a very compelling headliner such as Andrew Vaughn or Dylan Cease. The White Sox would not trade either player for Chisholm (or anybody), so the only way this hypothetical works is if the Marlins truly are willing to move Chisholm in part due to being a poor fit for the team’s culture.
Even in such an event, Chisholm would still require a very strong trade package. For example, shortstop prospect Colson Montgomery would need to headline from the White Sox. The 2021 first-round draft pick is hitting .301/.408/.476 at just twenty years old for Single-A Kannapolis. There are very few players that the White Sox should consider trading Montgomery for, but Chisholm is one of them.
While Montgomery would be a fine start, the White Sox would probably need to send Miami at least two other significant pieces to even come close to Chisholm’s value. A potential second piece is Lenyn Sosa, a twenty-two-year-old shortstop hitting .341/.392/.565 with a .957 OPS for AA Birmingham. Montgomery and Sosa are the two best trade chips the White Sox have right now, and while it is unlikely that both are traded at the deadline, Chisholm is one of the only players potentially on the market that would command both (and then some) given his years of team control.
Montgomery and Sosa would likely not be enough, however, to secure Chisholm. Miami would certainly have interest from other teams with deeper farm systems, so it would be difficult for the White Sox to pull the move off without a significant third piece and/or subtracting from the MLB roster. Such a maneuver requires creativity and further knowledge of exactly what Miami is looking for in the long run, but somebody like Garrett Crochet or Jake Burger could make sense as an addition to a package with Montgomery and Sosa.
Montgomery, Sosa, and Crochet may seem like a steep price for the White Sox to pay in any trade, but in normal circumstances, it would still likely not be enough for Jazz Chisholm. Even after their recent events, the Marlins still may not be looking to trade Chisholm, whether at a slightly discounted rate or at all. Frankly, he should be viewed as a player to build around in an organization that is extremely pitcher-heavy in terms of talent.
However, the Marlins’ team meeting and ambivalent comments thereafter make it easy to dream about a Tim Anderson-Jazz Chisholm double-play combination. If Chisholm does end up becoming available, the White Sox should pursue him aggressively, as a left-handed, power-hitting, above-average defense second baseman could not be a more perfect fit for the roster.
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