Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are apparently on the market. And one national writer thinks the White Sox could be a good fit.
Not so sure about that.
Of course anything can happen in the wheeling and dealing world of baseball transactions. But Jon Morosi’s suggestion that Rick Hahn could deal away some of his prized prospects for one of the Mets’ star arms seems to take into account only what the Mets would desire — and not at all the timeline of the rebuilding effort on the South Side.
Morosi points to the high ERA of White Sox pitchers this season and that luring a top free agent this offseason (someone like Manny Machado, perhaps) would require a more attractive rotation than the one the White Sox currently have. A fine argument if the rebuild were expected to reach its apex ahead of the 2019 season.
But the 2020 or 2021 season has always seemed more realistic as the wealth of talented young players continues to develop in the minor leagues.
Certainly the White Sox have the prospect capital to swing a deal for a player as good as deGrom or Syndergaard. But making a judgment on many of those young players would seem like jumping the gun. Why would Hahn trade away one or more of his star prospects before knowing what holes his teams of the future will have?
And, who’s to say the White Sox don’t already have the kind of starting-pitching talent that could power a World Series contending rotation? Four of the organization’s highest-rated prospects are starting pitchers, with Michael Kopech, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Dylan Cease all ranked among the top 100 prospects in the game. Wouldn’t one or more of those guys be on the Mets’ wish list? DeGrom and Syndergaard hold the always desirable description of young, controllable pitching, but so does the aforementioned quartet of White Sox pitching prospects — even more than the Mets’ studs.
Much like the rumors that linked the White Sox to a trade for Machado during the Winter Meetings back in December, this suggestion falls into the same category of those that just don’t make much sense with where the White Sox are in their rebuild. The carefully laid rebuilding plans are still in too early of a stage for Hahn to start shipping away prospects and accelerate a timeline he’s been so patient in constructing.
DeGrom and Syndergaard are terrific talents, no doubt about it. They are certainly capable of leading a starting staff to championship contention.
But the White Sox think they’ve already got more than a couple of those guys. It’s just going to take a little more time for them to reach the South Side.
The next championship White Sox team won’t be built in a day — or with one hasty trade in the middle of a developmental season.