MLB insider Jon Heyman believes the White Sox could entertain a trade for Lucas Giolito and Mike Clevinger. He added that the team could get a significant return if they shopped Dylan Cease.
During an appearance on MLB Network, Heyman was asked if the White Sox would field offers from Cease.
Despite having a 4.88 ERA in 12 starts this season, Heyman believes that Cease would bring in the largest haul given that he still has two years left on his contract and every contending team needs starting pitching. However, he does not believe the White Sox would pull the trigger on a deal.
“I don’t think it’s likely he’ll be traded because he still has two years after this year where he avoids free agency,” Heyman told MLB Network. “They have some other trade candidates I think are more likely. Giolito, I think. Clevinger, if he’s healthy, is more likely to get dealt than Cease. But I think teams will be asking about him if they’re not in the race. And it’s gonna take a haul.”
The White Sox have not indicated that they will be sellers at the deadline just yet. They are only seven games back of the American League Central lead despite a 23-35 record.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters earlier this week that he has not made a decision to tear things down and head in the direction of another rebuild just yet. He wants to wait and see if his team can claw their way back to contention.
“There will come a point where that becomes apparent that is not very likely to happen,” Hahn said. “At that point, we’ll have to make the final decision about direction. It’s not a decision we have to make on Memorial Day.”
Of the names that Heyman mentioned, Lucas Giolito is the most likely trade candidate.
Giolito is in the final year of his deal, and rumors from Bob Nightengale surfaced that the White Sox will not be bringing him back next season. It’s the perfect storm to get traded at the deadline.
Plenty of teams are in the market for pitching during the trade deadline, and only a few will have as good a resume as Giolito.
He is one of just six White Sox pitchers to have multiple seasons of 200-plus strikeouts. In 2019 he was named an All-Star and finished seventh in the AL Cy Young voting. In 2020 he threw a no-hitter, ranked second in strikeouts and innings pitched, and allowed just one run on two hits through seven innings in his first-ever playoff start.
After a disappointing 2022 campaign, he has rebounded to have the lowest ERA in the White Sox rotation. He has had an up-and-down season but has posted respectable numbers overall. His six quality starts are tied for the 15th most in the MLB this season.
Pairing Giolito in a trade package with Mike Clevinger might make sense. Clevinger is essentially a one-year rental after inking a deal with the White Sox for $12 million this winter.
Clevinger has a 4.56 ERA and 1.458 WHIP through nine starts this season, with 40 strikeouts and 22 walks. His numbers have continued to disappoint after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020.
He also comes with the added baggage of a domestic violence and child abuse investigation over the winter. The MLB found nothing from their investigation, and Clevinger was not punished. However, the public perception many have of him after those allegations may scare some teams away.
However, he has shown flashes this season that his stuff can still be effective. Any team looking for pitching depth may be interested in taking a flier. If the White Sox were to trade him separately, the return would not be very good.