BOSTON -- There are less than 24 hours before the trade deadline the White Sox reportedly have begun to get aggressive.
With a seven-game win streak in their pocket and both the .500 mark and the second-wild card in sight, the White Sox have started to pick up the pace Thursday in search of possible additions ahead of Friday’s 3 p.m. CST non-waiver trade deadline. Two names prominently featured in trade rumors include San Diego Padres outfielder Justin Upton and Detroit Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, though the White Sox have reportedly cast a wide net in search of another bat for a recently hot offense.
Despite the sudden turn around with his club’s focus shifted from sellers to buyers, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he was only concerned with his team’s final game against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.
“For us, it’s what we got inside the clubhouse,” Ventura said. “Nobody is walking in the clubhouse today that is going to help us win tonight. These guys are very good at focusing on today and getting through this and trying to win tonight’s game. You don’t look too far ahead. It’s important for the guy going to the mound. That’s where we reach to and the level where we’re at is, we have Chris Sale going tonight and guys are excited about that. They’re focused on that, not focused on if we’re trading somebody or if we’re not trading somebody, so even though they can watch the news and see everything else, their focus is on playing Boston.”
Though the White Sox have an outstanding pitching staff head by Thursday’s starter Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana, the offense hadn’t done its part all season until last week. Prior to this road trip in which they outscoring opponents 54-19 and almost everyone is hitting, the White Sox seemed like a lock to deal Samardzija ahead of Friday’s deadline. But after their recent run has brought them within 2 1/2 games of the Minnesota Twins for the second wild card, the White Sox could potentially try to augment their roster before the deadline.
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
General manager Rick Hahn has made it clear he doesn’t want to pay a heavy price for a rental player, instead preferring someone who could contribute over the next few seasons instead. But the White Sox do have an aggressive history, acquiring Ken Griffey Jr. at the deadline in 2008 and Jake Peavy a season later. They also traded for Kevin Youkilis in June 2012 and added both Francisco Liriano and Brett Myers right before the deadline.
Ventura said Wednesday the White Sox would be thorough in the type of player they would look to add to a clubhouse where chemistry hasn’t been an issue. But until any player walks through the doors, Ventura doesn’t want to have anyone distracted by trade talks.
“You address it when it happens,” Ventura said. “They all know it’s a possibility, but tonight this is the group we’re playing Boston.”
The White Sox did make a minor move on Thursday, acquiring minor-league shortstop Justin Sellers from Pittsburgh. Sellers was sent to Triple-A Charlotte, where Micah Johnson has been placed on the disabled list.