White Sox

White Sox players grateful for quiet trade deadline: 'Kind of nice that it's over'

White Sox players grateful for quiet trade deadline: 'Kind of nice that it's over'

The trade deadline passed on Monday and all was quiet in the White Sox clubhouse.

While nearly every other team in baseball furiously attempted to make last-minute deals before the 3 p.m. (CST) nonwaiver trade deadline, the White Sox remained silent. Though there had been a few rumblings of possible moves the past few days, none surfaced involving White Sox players on Monday.

And for the first time since the All-Star break there was a relative sense of calm within the clubhouse. Monday’s tranquility was not the byproduct of a decision by the White Sox front office to stand pat but rather because of the flurry of trades Rick Hahn completed the previous 17 days. Those five deals removed involved seven members of the White Sox 25-man roster and has had players living with their heads on a swivel for almost a month. After one final trade sent Melky Cabrera’s trade to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, the remaining group was admittedly happy to see the deadline pass.

“It was tough,” third baseman Matt Davidson said. “Just everybody. You didn’t know what was going to happen any day. It was so random.

“It’s kind of nice that it’s over and for the most part this is going to be the clubhouse for the rest of the year.”

In all likelihood, this will be the White Sox roster the rest of the season.

There could be a few additions in the way of Triple-A players who are promoted. Rick Renteria reiterated on Monday that some of the club’s top pitching prospects are close to arriving in the majors. There also could be a few more subtractions if a contending club found one of the team’s veteran pitchers to their liking.

But the bulk of the White Sox roster has already been systematically ripped apart through a series of trades.

“It always happens so fast,” infielder Tyler Saladino said. “(Sunday) Melky was just walking through giving people hugs. Blink of an eye, something else happens. But you’re five minutes away from team stretch so you don’t really have time to think about it. You just say your goodbyes and your well-wishes and move forward.”

“You process it, but it’s not a lengthy process.

“Everything happens pretty fast around here.”

The upheaval of the 25-man roster began July 13 with a five-player deal that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs. Five days later, the White Sox packaged Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson in a deal to the New York Yankees. Anthony Swarzak followed them on Wednesday when he was traded to Milwaukee. Dan Jennings was traded on Thursday to the Tampa Bay Rays and finally Cabrera was dealt to Kansas City on Sunday.

Now the White Sox are left with a roster full of inexperienced parts, including a bullpen that includes only one pitch from the Opening Day roster (Jake Petricka). The loss of so many key players will unquestionably lead to some trying times over the final two months of the regular season.

“It’s a good chance for those guys to get some experience,” Saladino said. “But it can be challenging because we’re very young at a level of game that requires a lot of experience.”

Once surrounded by a veteran crew, Petricka and newcomer Tyler Clippard are the only relievers with more than one year of service time. Petricka likened the massive turnover as something similar to when a series of moves is in made concurrently in the minor leagues. But, he also contends that the last two weeks has been different.

“I haven’t been a part of something like this,” Petricka said. “We’ve just got to prove it. It is a great opportunity for everyone. We’ve just got to go out and do our job and show we all belong and we all know we do.”

Rick Renteria approaching 2020 season like White Sox already in first place

Rick Renteria approaching 2020 season like White Sox already in first place

Rick Renteria's strategy for getting his team off to a fast start in baseball's 60-game sprint to the postseason?

Act like the season's already two-thirds of the way over — and that his White Sox are the team to beat in the AL Central.

"We've got a 60-game schedule. I'm going to assume we've already played 102 games and we're in first place and we're trying to hold on to that slot," the White Sox skipper said Monday. "It is important for a club to get off to a good start because obviously the schedule is waning, it's short. So I'm going to approach it that way and put us in a position where we are creative, try to have a good eye on what everybody's doing and see if we can kind of maintain ourselves through the whole schedule."

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

Indeed, when the White Sox regular-season schedule begins later this month, they will be in first place. As part of a five-team tie, but in first place nonetheless.

If they want to be there when the regular season comes to a close just two months later, they'll need to topple the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians, the two teams who fought it out for the AL Central crown last season. And with every game carrying twice or thrice as much weight as in a normal season, getting off to a good start is paramount. There's no time to dig out of a hole.

The White Sox appear capable of competing alongside their division foes, thanks to their young core breaking out in a big way last season and Rick Hahn's front office going to work to add impact veterans with winning experience over the winter. In fact, should everything go right for the White Sox, they could find themselves the most balanced of the three teams.

The Twins have a thunderous lineup that added perennial MVP candidate Josh Donaldson in the offseason, but will their pitching staff, past ace José Berríos at the top of the rotation, be able to match the impact of the bats? The Indians, meanwhile, might boast baseball's best starting rotation, but after Francisco Lindor and José Ramírez, two MVP types on the left side of the infield, how will their lineup perform?

RELATED: White Sox rookie Luis Robert confident in 'pretty hot' start to his '20 season

The White Sox have their own questions that need answering — specifically in the starting rotation, though the months-long layoff has allowed them to build some depth in that department — but should a revamped lineup and a talented collection of young arms meet the high expectations the team has set for itself, things could get very interesting as this brief season approaches October.

It's not at all outlandish to suggest that how Renteria will approach the season, as if the White Sox are in first place, is how it could end.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE WHITE SOX TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.

Richest MLB contract: When Chicago White Sox, Albert Belle made history

Richest MLB contract: When Chicago White Sox, Albert Belle made history

The Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes rocked the sports world on Monday when it was reported the two agreed on a 10-year extension worth $450 million. According to Adam Schefter the deal will be the richest in American sports history.

Which got us thinking… remember when it was the White Sox making these headlines?

In 1996, less than 25 years ago, Jerry Reinsdorf and the White Sox signed Belle to the richest contract in baseball history, a (what is now measly) five-year, $55 million deal. That deal also made Belle the first baseball player to average over $10 million per season.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

While Belle only played two seasons on the South Side, the Sox certainly got their money’s worth for his services. He slugged 79 homers, drove in 268 runs and slashed .301/.366/.571.

Now, that record has been shattered of course. Mike Trout was previously the highest paid American athlete after he signed a 12-year contract extension worth $426.5 million in March of 2019. That number is still good for highest in baseball.

But if you’re looking for the most-expensive free agent signing in baseball, that award goes to Bryce Harper who signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019.


RELATED: Luis Robert crushes baseballs at White Sox Summer Camp batting practice

SUBSCRIBE TO THE WHITE SOX TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.