With less than a couple of hours before the deadline to add players to the active 40-man roster to protect them from the December 13 Rule 5 Draft, the Chicago White Sox made a series of moves.
Let’s start with who was added to the roster, and thus protected from Draft eligibility.
Added to the 40-man:
Dylan Cease: This was a no-brainer. The White Sox third-ranked prospect, 2018 Pitcher of the Year, and potential future ace, there was a 100% chance that Cease was added to the roster prior to the deadline.
Kodi Medeiros: Also pretty predictable; Medeiros was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in last July’s Joakim Soria trade. Although he struggled in his half-season with Double-A, Medeiros possesses serious upside in the White Sox bullpen as a young lefty.
Jordan Stephens: Another Top-30 prospect, Stephens made the jump to Triple-A in 2018, and put up solid numbers. Stephens is a candidate to be the White Sox fifth starter in 2019, and is protected for that reason.
Seby Zavala: A top-30, power-hitting catcher, Zavala will certainly spend a large chunk of time in the major leagues next season. He remains a trade candidate given the fact that Zack Collins is the catcher of the future, but Zavala’s value made him an easy choice.
Left off of the 40-man:
Spencer Adams: 2014 second-rounder had a solid season between Double-A and Triple-A. The White Sox chose Stephens over him, however Adams possesses higher upside, and is a Top-30 prospect. Adams isn't major league ready just yet, but his potential will probably get him selected.
Zach Thompson: A former top-30 prospect, Thompson had a productive season in Double-A out of the bullpen. The White Sox clearly didn't see enough out of Thompson during his AFL stint, but there’s still a solid chance that he doesn't get picked, as he has yet to pitch in Triple-A.
Claimed off waivers:
Ian Clarkin (to CHC): It makes sense that someone was traded, but the fact that it was Clarkin is pretty puzzling. For one, the White Sox have two open spots on their 40-man, and could've fit Adams and Clarkin. Secondly, the team was high on him as recently as a couple years ago when he was acquired in the 2017 Todd Frazier trade.