For the last two seasons, the White Sox have been in the midst of a major rebuild.
But apparently, the White Sox are ready to be buyers, according to multiple reports from last week’s GM meetings.
While there’s no chance that the White Sox trade any of their premier prospects, they’ll have to part ways with something if they want to make any trades this winter. Here are three of the top candidates to be dealt if the White Sox do indeed decide to buy:
The highest-ranking prospect out of the three, Blake Rutherford is a fringe-Top-100 prospect. However, Rutherford doesn't get nearly the same amount of attention as Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, the White Sox other, higher ranking outfield prospects.
Rutherford is also at least one more year away, which could be too late, if the White Sox decide to add an outfielder via free agency this winter.
At the age of 21, Rutherford is obviously an extremely valuable trade chip. Jimenez and Robert are untouchable, and the emergence in 2018 of Luis Basabe and Micker Adolfo could leave Rutherford as the odd man out regardless. Why not just avoid any pain and deal Rutherford for a controllable major leaguer?
Like Rutherford, Gonzalez might be victim to the surplus of outfield prospects in Chicago. Unlike Rutherford, Gonzalez isn't as highly-touted, even after putting up better numbers in 2018.
Gonzalez hit .307 with 14 home runs and 71 RBIs in 2018, his second season after being drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft out of New Mexico. The 23-year old is likely a full season away from being ready, and again, like Rutherford, might miss his shot at having the opportunity to play his way onto the White Sox major league team.
As a trending prospect on the rise, Gonzalez’ trade value might be much higher than initially anticipated. The White Sox depth of their farm system overshadows the production of Gonzalez, who would be a top-10 prospect in most systems. The White Sox could center a trade package around him for a mid-tier major leaguer.
At the age of 25, Seby Zavala is pretty old for a prospect. However, as a power-hitting catcher that has been able to stay behind the plate for his entire professional career, Zavala will have no problem finding his way onto a major league roster next season.
Unfortunately, with Zack Collins waiting in the wings, and Omar Narvaez coming off of a career year, there is no room for Zavala in the foreseeable future. There certainly isn't a surplus of catching prospects in the baseball world, and considering the fact that Zavala, who spent the second half of 2018 in Triple-A, is close to being major-league ready, Zavala would be a very valuable trade piece.
Zavala could serve as a secondary piece in a trade, as his age is the only real barrier in his trade value. The White Sox could decide to hold onto him after a big 2018, but if the deal is there, I don’t think the White Sox would be too shy to deal