White Sox

White Sox pull off another king-sized trade, shipping Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to Yankees

White Sox pull off another king-sized trade, shipping Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to Yankees

Rick Hahn keeps rolling.

The White Sox made another huge move Tuesday night, shipping third baseman Todd Frazier and relief pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the New York Yankees in exchange for a four-player package highlighted by outfielder Blake Rutherford, who's ranked as the No. 30 prospect in baseball.

In addition to Rutherford, the White Sox landed big league relief pitcher Tyler Clippard, minor league pitcher Ian Clarkin (No. 19 prospect in Yankees' system) and minor league outfielder Tito Polo.

“We made the determination that bundling these three players together was the best way to maximize our return on any transaction,” Hahn said in the announcement. “We felt this trade with the Yankees brought back the most quality as opposed to spreading our assets across multiple deals.

“Blake Rutherford is a player who has been high on our evaluation list since he was taken as a first-round choice by the Yankees as an amateur. Clarkin gives us another highly rated first-round selection (33rd overall) from the draft, Polo is a Class-AA outfielder who has shown he can get on base, and Clippard provides us with a veteran bullpen option for the remainder of this season.”

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The multi-player swap follows last week's blockbuster trade of starting pitcher Jose Quintana to the Cubs, a deal that brought back that organization's top two prospects. Rutherford was ranked as the third-best prospect in the Yankees' organization.

Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle were all expected to be trade candidates this July as the last-place White Sox were believed to further bolster their farm system as their rebuild rolls on.

The move, while not as rewarding as previous trades for Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and Quintana, echoes those deals and adds yet another highly ranked prospect to what is now a jaw-dropping list. With the addition of Rutherford, the White Sox now own six of the top 30 prospects on MLB Pipeline's list and 10 of the top 68.

While Hahn has pulled off two massive midseason trades in six days, he still might not be finished. Relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak and outfielder Melky Cabrera could still be used as trade chips to further bolster the system.

Tim Anderson celebrated his birthday in style

Tim Anderson celebrated his birthday in style

Tim Anderson turned 24 on Saturday and celebrated the occasion with a bang.

Anderson smashed a three-run home run in the first inning against the A's. It was actually his first swing on his birthday. Anderson took the first two pitches before launching the 1-1 pitch over the right field fence.

That home run, Anderson's 13th of the year, gave the White Sox a 5-0 lead. Things took an ugly turn later in the game with Oakland winning 7-6. Dylan Covey left in the fifth with a hip injury, which manager Rick Renteria said will be evaluated tomorrow to determine the severity of the injury.

Anderson finished 2-for-4 on his birthday. He later added a single, a stolen base and a run in the sixth inning.

Anderon's power surge this year has him on pace to blow past his 17 homers from a year ago. He is four shy of last year's total and has done so in just under half as many plate appearances.

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

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USA TODAY

It's only one start, but that's the Lucas Giolito that White Sox fans expected to see this season

The preseason expectations and the results have been drastically different for Lucas Giolito.

Expected to be the best pitcher on the White Sox starting staff, Giolito hasn’t come too close to that title, instead heading into Friday’s doubleheader with the most earned runs allowed of any pitcher in baseball. His walk total has been among the highest in the game all year long, too. And the calls from social media to send him down to Triple-A haven’t been at all infrequent.

But Friday, White Sox fans got a glimpse at what they expected, a look at the guy who earned so much hype with a strong September last season and a dominant spring training.

It wasn’t a performance that would make any reasonable baseball person’s jaw drop. But it was the best Giolito has looked this season. He still allowed four runs on seven hits — as mentioned, not a Cy Young type outing — but he struck out a season-high eight batters. Prior to giving up the back-to-back singles to start the eighth inning that brought an end to his evening, he’d surrendered just two runs.

Most importantly he walked just two guys and didn’t seem to struggle with his command at all. That’s a big deal for a pitcher who had 45 walks to his name prior to Friday.

“You know it was a tough eighth inning, but throughout the whole game, I felt in sync,” Giolito said. “(Catcher Omar Narvaez) and I were working really well, finally commanding the fastball the way I should. Definitely the best I felt out there this year, for sure. Velocity was up a tick. Just felt right, felt in sync. Just competed from there.”

Confidence has never left Giolito throughout the poor results, and he’s talked after every start about getting back on the horse and giving it another try. Consistently working in between starts, things finally seemed to click Friday night.

“It all worked today,” manager Rick Renteria said. “(Pitching coach Don Cooper) says that every bullpen has gotten better, from the beginning to this point. He sees progress. The velocity that he showed today was something that Coop was seeing in his work. You can see that his delivery is continuing to improve. He was trusting himself, really attacking the strike zone, trusted his breaking ball today when he need to and just tried to command as much as he could. Did a nice job.”

Giolito went through this kind of thing last year, when he started off poorly at Triple-A Charlotte with a 5.40 ERA through his first 16 starts. But then things got better, with Giolito posting a 2.78 ERA over his final eight starts with the Knights before getting called up to the big leagues.

This was just one start, of course, but perhaps he can follow a similar formula this year, too, going from a rough beginning to figuring things out.

“I’m not trying to tinker or think about mechanics anymore,” he said. “It’s about flow, getting out there and making pitches. We were able to do that for the most part.

“I’ll watch video and see certain things, and I have little cues here and there. But I’m not going to go and overanalyze things and nitpick at certain stuff anymore. It’s about going there and having fun and competing.”

Maybe that’s the secret. Or maybe this is simply a brief flash of brilliance in the middle of a tough first full season in the bigs.

Whatever it was, it was the best we’ve seen of Giolito during the 2018 campaign. And it was far more like what was expected back before that campaign got going.