White Sox

Rumor roundup: White Sox mentioned in various reports as trade deadline nears

Rumor roundup: White Sox mentioned in various reports as trade deadline nears

The trade deadline is coming. And with it comes a flood of rumors involving nearly every team in Major League Baseball.

The White Sox are not immune to those figurative waters, and they've popped up as the subject of various reports regarding possible deals.

As discussed numerous times in recent days, this year's deadline is a little different than those of years past for Rick Hahn's front office. The White Sox, thanks in no small part to their 3-11 start to the second half, are not going to be "buying" in the traditional sense in an attempt to chase down a wild-card spot. Of course, they were never going to do that, as Hahn's rebuilding plans don't involve making moves solely for one postseason appearance but rather to set his team up for perennial contention in the years to come.

But because the roster is not rife with players on expiring contracts, the White Sox don't figure to be traditional "sellers" either. While Hahn made a habit of selling off his back-end bullpen pieces in 2017 and 2018, pitchers like Alex Colome, Aaron Bummer and Jace Fry are all under team control for the 2020 season. And while the team isn't playing well right now, a positive-filled first half made it look rather realistic that the White Sox could make their transition from rebuilding mode to contending mode as soon as next season. If they plan on being contenders, a back end of the 'pen featuring Colome, Bummer and Fry would be a valuable asset to have on the South Side, making it seemingly unlikely that those hurlers would be dealt in the coming days.

Of course, there's always the possibility that Hahn could receive an offer that would tip the scales toward moving any of those players or others. Plus, there's the item Hahn has yet to cross off his rebuilding to-do list, acquiring a big-time talent from outside the organization to add to a growing and impressive young core. He tried to land Manny Machado in the offseason, but Machado chose to take his talents to San Diego. The trade deadline presents another opportunity to make such an addition, though it all depends on the players available. Hahn described those in-season opportunities as far less likely to present themselves as ones during the offseason, when free agents are available in addition to trade targets.

With all that, here's a look at some of the recent reports mentioning the White Sox.

Will someone pry a reliever away from the South Side?

Whether because relief pitching is always in high demand at this time of year, because Hahn traded so many relievers during the last two summers or simply because the White Sox have some very good pitchers at the back end of their bullpen, there's been a focus on whether they'll deal Colome, Bummer or Fry.

The Score's Bruce Levine tweeted earlier this week that multiple teams are thinking about being interested in or are interested in Colome and Bummer, specifically mentioning the Atlanta Braves as an interested party.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi added another NL East club to the mix Friday, saying the Washington Nationals are "showing active interest" in Colome.

So will the White Sox deal Colome? It is 100-percent based on what they can get for him. That might sound obvious, but in years past you've seen the White Sox trade away their closers — David Robertson in 2017 and Joakim Soria in 2018 — in attempt to get something. Robertson was part of the seven-player deal with the New York Yankees that most notably returned Blake Rutherford, still trying to work his way into the team's crowded outfield of the future, and Soria was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for pitching prospect Kodi Medeiros, who's been moved to the bullpen after posting a 6.80 ERA as a starter at Double-A Birmingham.

Those were fine pieces to acquire at the time, but neither Robertson nor Soria were lining up to serve as the closer for a contending White Sox team. That could be Colome's job in 2020 if the White Sox hang onto him now. So the question becomes whether the White Sox can get something in return that would prove equally valuable or more valuable than a dominant, All-Star caliber closer on a contending team a year from now. And given how often contenders are shopping for closers at the trade deadline every year, it would seem that would be a valuable asset indeed.

Now, contending teams have been known to part with highly rated prospects on the verge of the majors in acquiring All-Star type closers in the past. The Cubs traded Gleyber Torres, now a two-time All-Star infielder for the Yankees, to get Aroldis Chapman in 2016. The Cleveland Indians dealt highly touted catching prospect Francisco Mejia in acquiring Brad Hand from the Padres last summer. So there is precedent, and a team could call Hahn up and offer up a potential cornerstone for Colome.

Just remember that Colome could potentially have an awful lot of value to the White Sox, so they might not be eager to part with him.

The other two arms discussed, Bummer and Fry, are younger guys who could be part of this bullpen for multiple seasons to come. Bummer, in particular, has been phenomenal this season and earns high praise from the White Sox. He's a guy that could one day be given a shot at the closer's job, whether that's after Colome departs as a free agent or in the event that the White Sox are offered something big for Colome in the next few days. Either way, constructing a bullpen is not easy, even for contenders, and keeping guys like Bummer and Fry might end up being the better decision.

But, it all comes down to what Hahn could get in any such deal.

Do the White Sox want Nomar Mazara?

With the prospect of being a contending group in 2020, the possibility exists that the White Sox could add at this year's deadline. It would have to be someone who has value to them into the future because they obviously wouldn't be buying for a postseason run in 2019.

When discussing that possibility in the past, ideas centered around finding a big-time player who could be added to the core and have the kind of impact Machado might have had he decided to come to the South Side.

Or maybe it could be Texas Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara? According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the White Sox have been one of a couple teams "watching" Mazara, the 24-year-old outfielder in his fourth major league season.

While Mazara has upside, he's hardly of the big-time class you'd put players like Machado or Charlie Blackmon or Zack Greinke in. He'd be an addition to provide outfield depth, you'd have to assume. Mazara isn't exactly blowing the doors off the 2019 season, either, slashing .255/.307/.438 with 14 homers. Those numbers aren't the type that would excite a fan base.

That being said, right field looks like a definite need for the White Sox at the moment. Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert figure to have left field and center field spoken for for years to come. But what looked like a crowded group of prospects vying for the long-term job in right has since been dotted with question marks. The White Sox have a ton of outfield prospects, but almost all of them have had disappointing 2019 seasons due to underperformance or injury. Micker Adolfo is out for the season. Luis Basabe has a .235 batting average in only 47 games this season. Rutherford has a .656 OPS. Steele Walker's batting average is .100 points lower at Class A Winston-Salem than it was at Class A Kannapolis. Luis Gonzalez is slashing .234/.295/.334.

All those players could turn things around, sure, but it's enough to make you wonder how high acquiring a right fielder is on Hahn's to-do list ahead of the 2020 season. Depending on what he'd have to give up to get Mazara, it's possible that the current Ranger would be worth a flier for a two-month audition. We'll see.

Is there a surprise trade candidate on the White Sox roster?

Colome and the relievers have been mentioned a bunch for the various reasons described above. But what about elsewhere on the roster? The White Sox might not be particularly motivated to break up a group that manager Rick Renteria described thusly: "This group in particular, it's a pretty good group. I think they respect each other, love each other. I think they play alongside of each other very, very well."

MLB Trade Rumors took a look at whether Ivan Nova could be dealt before the deadline, mentioning an MLB.com report that teams have been "looking" at Nova. Contending teams often look to give themselves starting-rotation depth, and they've only got one shot to do it this season with the elimination of waiver deals in August. So maybe Nova could be of use to a team or two out there. The numbers would say otherwise, as Nova owns a 5.49 ERA even after his complete-game effort against the Miami Marlins on Monday night. But he's a veteran and has a track record and could be worth a flier for a contending team.

And so the same calculus pops up should a team come calling looking for a Nova trade. Nova, unlike Colome and Bummer and Fry, does not figure to be a part of the White Sox plans past the 2019 season, which could make a "get something for him" deal more likely. That being said, however, he was brought in to eat up innings and help mentor young pitchers, specifically Reynaldo Lopez. He's certainly done the latter, as he chronicled during an interview Thursday. And though his production has not been what the White Sox hoped it would be, the starting rotation has been thin all season and taking another pitcher out of it leaves a lot of innings to soak up in the remainder of the season, something that could overly tax the bullpen. So maybe Nova isn't a "trade him just to get anything" type of veteran.

Jon Jay is in a similar situation, leading to similar speculation. He's not expected to be a part of things past the end of this season. Unlike Nova, Jay has been productive in the short time since his return from a months-long stay on the injured list. Jay would figure to have value to contending teams, and perhaps it makes him the most likely to be dealt. But as for how much the White Sox could get in return, it wouldn't figure to be much.

Leury Garcia is someone who could attract the interest of clubs. But he's also under team control for next season, and his combination of defensive versatility and offensive production would figure to be mighty valuable coming off the bench for a contending White Sox team in 2020.

And then there's Jose Abreu, who I only bring up because of a seemingly constant stream of Twitter suggestions that the White Sox should exploit Abreu's love for the South Side by trading him away for a prospect package this summer only to re-sign him to a free-agent contract this winter. I bring it up also to point out it is a silly suggestion.

Abreu loves playing for the White Sox, and the White Sox love having Abreu play for them. In addition to his consistent production — he's on pace to set new career highs in homers and RBIs in this, his age-32 season — he is remarkably valuable inside the clubhouse, where he's been a guiding force to young core pieces like Yoan Moncada and Jimenez. He figures to play a similar role for his countryman Robert once the latter is called up to the big leagues. Why would the White Sox want to rob those young players of Abreu's mentorship during critical developmental time for them at the major league level?

The White Sox seem to hold Abreu in a similar esteem to the players with retired numbers and statues at Guaranteed Rate Field. Would fans make this same suggestion about Paul Konerko or Mark Buehrle?

You can hardly ever say "never" in baseball, and perhaps it's risky to do so here, too, but it seems there's a near zero-percent chance of the White Sox parting with Abreu in the coming days, particularly as he's constantly talking about how much he wants to stick around past the end of the 2019 season, which seems like something that is likely to happen.

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Remember That Guy: Herbert Perry – a LegenDairy Third Baseman


Remember That Guy: Herbert Perry – a LegenDairy Third Baseman

Over the last 20 years, the White Sox employed both a “Melkman” and a “Milkman.” Melky Cabrera received his nickname due to his first name. But then there was the “Milkman” Herbert Perry, who actually ran a dairy farm.

Herbert Edward Perry Jr. was born on September 15, 1969, in Live Oak, Florida. His father, Herbert Sr. (who went by Ed) ran a family dairy farm in Mayo, Florida located up where the panhandle meets the peninsula. You can’t make this up: the town briefly renamed itself Miracle Whip in 2018 as part of a marketing deal with Kraft, in exchange for funds to beautify the town.

In any event, Perry was an excellent athlete; he threw multiple no-hitters in high school and played quarterback for the football team at Lafayette High School, eventually earning a football scholarship at the University of Florida. Perry backed up Gators QB Kerwin Bell, who amazingly was also from Mayo (a town of only about 1,200) and was a teammate of future Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith. In addition to backup QB duties, Perry punted the pigskin as well.

But it was on the diamond where Perry was most successful, and he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the second round in 1991.

Herbert worked his way through the minors playing first & third base with some pop and patience at the plate leading to a Major League debut for the Tribe on May 3, 1994, at New Comiskey Park.

Perry entered the game in the bottom of the 8th inning as a defensive replacement for future Hall of Famer Jim Thome at third base and drew a walk in the top of the 9th. He earned his first Major League hit a few weeks later off Al Leiter and after a brief four-game trial was sent back to the Indians Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte, where he hit .327/.397/.505 with 13 home runs in 102 games.

Perry returned to the Indians in mid-June 1995 when Dave Winfield went to the DL and performed well in limited duty, spending most of his time at first base and hitting .315/.376/.463 in 52 games. He even saw some postseason action going 0 for 14 with a walk as the Indians eventually lost the World Series to the Braves.

When Julio Franco won the first base job for 1996 (Jim Thome was entrenched at third), Perry was shuffled back to the minors where he eventually suffered a knee injury which kept him sidelined all the way through the 1997 season. He never played another game for the Indians.

While Perry didn’t play a game in 1997, it was an eventful year. He and his brother Chan (who played 18 games over two MLB seasons with the Indians & Royals) purchased cows of their own to continue the family dairy business. Also in November, Herbert got married and later that month, he was the 34th of 35 picks by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the expansion draft.

Other notables selected by the Rays in that draft: Bobby Abreu (immediately traded to the Phillies), Dmitri Young (immediately traded back to the Reds), Esteban Yan (who allowed Konerko’s inside-the-park home run at Tropicana Field AND a home run to Jon Garland in Cincinnati) & White Sox legend Jose Paniagua.

After a year in the minors where he missed a chunk of time due to a broken hand, Perry got the call back to the Majors in May 1999. After not appearing in a Major League game since June 19, 1996, Perry had a wonderful return by collecting 8 hits and 6 RBI in his first three games back. Perry went on to play 66 games for the Devil Rays in 1999. The retiring Wade Boggs opened up the third base spot for Tampa for 2000 but the Devil (since exorcised) Rays instead acquired Vinny Castilla in a trade from the Rockies. However, Perry DID end up the Rays 2000 opening day starter at third base, but only because Castilla was nursing a rib-cage muscle injury. The Rays won that game 7-0 (Perry went 2-4 with a double), and after 7 games with the Rays he ended up on waivers at the end of April. Then the White Sox came calling.

On April 21, the White Sox skimmed the waiver wire and selected Perry from the Rays. On April 22, the White Sox & Tigers got into an infamous brawl, the aftermath of which left 16 players suspended for a total of 82 games. The following day, McKay Christensen was sent down to Charlotte (which was by now the White Sox triple-A affiliate) to make room for Perry.

At age 30, the ”Milkman” finally played in 100 games in a season (7 for the Rays, 109 for the White Sox). Initially backing up Greg Norton, he played himself into a starting role while with the Southsiders, hitting .308/.356/.483 with 12 home runs & 61 RBI. In his first start with the Sox, third baseman Perry homered in an 11-6 win over the Orioles. His .308 batting average was the best by a White Sox third baseman (minimum 50% of games at third) with at least 400 plate appearances in a season since George Kell hit .312 in 1955. Only Yoán Moncada (.315 in 2019) has done it since. From July 25-27, Perry homered in 3 straight games, which is roughly 2% of a 162-game schedule. The White Sox learned that Milkman does a lineup well.

Perry got a chance to play in the ALDS in 2000, and he milked it for all it was worth with a strong 4-for-9 (with 2 walks) performance against the Mariners even though the White Sox were swept in the series. At the team level, it was a big disappointment; the White Sox led the Majors with 978 runs scored and led the AL with a 95-67 record. For Perry, 2001 was a disappointment. He battled a strained Achilles tendon and struggled to remain on the field.

Rather than crying over spilled milk(man), in November the White Sox dealt Perry to Texas for a player to be named later (pitcher Corey Lee). Besides, Joe Crede was waiting in the wings to take over at third base, which he eventually did for good in 2003.

Perry flourished in the Lone Star State in 2002, as he hit .276/.333/.480 with career highs in games (132), home runs (22 – finishing 3rd on the Rangers behind Alex Rodriguez’s 57 and Rafael Palmeiro’s 43) and RBI (77). Unfortunately, the Milkman was at the wrong place at the wrong time. By 2003, Hank Blalock took over at the hot corner and Perry’s playing time was condensed (partially due to another injury). He saw his last MLB action in 2004.

The family dairy farm was sold shortly after Herbert’s father died in December 2004. Perry moved on to running a company in Mayo where he molds and delivers septic tanks throughout Lafayette County.

Herbert Perry was a solid player who could really hit when he was healthy. It’s a shame we never got a chance to see him deliver for an extended period of time. But we remember the Milkman fondly!


Holy Cow: A Season Worth Milking

Written by Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune, October 1, 2000


SABR BioProject: Herbert Perry

Written by Jay Hurd


No Longer The ‘Milkman,’ Perry Tries a Pre-Cast Side to Life

Written by George Castle, chicagobaseballmuseum.org August 29, 2016




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White Sox free agent focus: Taking advantage of the Cuban connection with Yasiel Puig

White Sox free agent focus: Taking advantage of the Cuban connection with Yasiel Puig

Baseball free agency is heating up as the weather gets colder. This week we are breaking down 10 potential free-agent targets for the White Sox ahead of the Winter Meetings.

Yasiel Puig, OF, Indians

Age: 28 (turns 29 on Dec. 7)

2019 salary: $9,700,000

2019 stats: .267 BA, .327 OBP, .458 SLG, .785 OPS, 24 HR, 84 RBI, 76 R, 19/26 SB 

What Puig would bring to the White Sox

A playoff-experienced, veteran bat still in his 20s who is fun to watch. Puig would also join Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal and eventually Luis Robert to give the White Sox five Cubans in the same lineup.

Puig isn't the premier bat some thought he was/would be after his first two years in the majors. Puig had a .925 OPS as a 22-year-old rookie in 2013. He backed that up with a solid .863 OPS a year later. He hasn't had an OPS above .840 since.

That said, he's still a solid bat and would be a major upgrade from what the White Sox had in right field in 2019. He's been up and down since his first two years, but has still been above average offensively over the past five seasons (109 OPS+ over that span).

Puig draws a decent amount of walks (something lacking in the White Sox lineup) and is a solid fielder with a strong arm. He wouldn't slide into the middle part of a White Sox order that features Abreu, Moncada, Grandal and Eloy Jimenez, but he would go a long way toward filling out the lineup with solid bats 1-9.

He's also played in 58 playoff games thanks to his six years with the Dodgers. Puig has a .780 OPS in the postseason.

What it would take to get him

Puig's age should make him attractive to teams in need of an outfielder, but he hasn't been trending positively offensively.

Jay Bruce got three years at $13 million per year from the Mets heading into 2018 when he was two years older than Puig is now. That seems like a reasonable comparison with Puig's age making him more likely to get a fourth year.

Why it's a fit for the White Sox

He's not out of their price range, he fills a positional need and he might be enticed to join the ever-growing Cuban contingent on the White Sox.

Puig isn't going to turn the South Siders into contenders by himself, but he would make them a better team. With Yasmani Grandal already on board, Puig would be a nice second addition to the lineup. On top of that, it's easy to see him becoming a fan favorite because of his boisterous personality.