The bed was made for the Chicago White Sox this season. They decided to lay in it at the trade deadline. They were one of, if not, the biggest sellers at the deadline. The sale began days before the August 1st deadline when the White Sox dealt Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the Los Angeles Angels for prospects Ky Bush (a pitcher) and Edgar Quero (a catcher).
The next day, they shipped Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly to the Los Angeles Dodgers and brought back Trayce Thompson and two prospects in Nick Mastrini and Jordan Leasure (both pitchers). They also made a move with the Astros to send closer Kendall Graveman for prospect Korey Lee (a catcher).
Their firesale ended on the deadline when they traded relief pitcher Keynan Middleton to the New York Yankees for prospect Juan Carela (a pitcher) and third baseman Jake Burger to the Miami Marlins for prospect Jake Eder (a pitcher).
It was the right move. The White Sox were well below .500 at the trade deadline and are now 47-72 on the season. They're not going to make the playoffs so it made sense to send out winning pieces and bring back prospects that could be useful in trades for more competitive seasons or they could develop into winning players for the White Sox later. Things don't look great for them in 2023, but there is still time left in the season that the White Sox can use to their advantage. There are three moves, in particular, the White Sox should make for the rest of the regular season that could help them beyond the 2023 season.
3. Call-Up Korey Lee
The White Sox acquired two catcher prospects at the trade deadline in Edgar Quero and Korey Lee, but Lee is farther along in his development. He's 23 years old and at the Triple-A level, while Quero is 20 and at Double-A. Lee is also hitting .280/.321/.392/.713 in Triple-A this season so he seems ready for the big leagues. In fact, he already was called up by the Houston Astros. Lee appeared in 12 games but struggled. Regardless, the White Sox should call him up and further his development.
The White Sox's current catcher options aren't great. Seby Zavala is currently on the injured list. Yasmani Grandal is 34 years old and hitting just .242 on the season. And Carlos Perez is hitting only .190 on the season. Lee's batting average was worse while with the Astros but the White Sox should use the rest of the season to see what they have in this prospect they traded for. They don't have much to lose doing so.
2. Keep Gregory Santos as the Closer
Gregory Santos was regarded as the 32nd-best prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization a year ago and was 17th in 2021. Santos has been with the White Sox for almost all of the 2023 season though and has fared quite well. His 2.60 ERA and 1.247 WHIP have been very solid out of the bullpen. But after they traded Graveman to the Astros, Santos has been elevated as the White Sox's closer. Since they traded Graveman on July 28th, Santos has appeared in four games. He's pitched five innings, has given up only one run, has five strikeouts, and is two-for-two in save situations. Every team needs a good closer. The White Sox should see if Santos is theirs throughout the rest of the 2023 season.
1. Keep Oscar Colas as the Starting Right Fielder
Oscar Colas came into the 2023 season as a top 100 prospect in baseball by all three of Baseball America (89th), Major League Baseball (85th), and Baseball Prospectus (76th). His numbers haven't been awesome for the White Sox this season, but he lit up the minor leagues. In 165 minor league appearances, Colas hit 32 home runs, drove in 108 RBI, and scored 116 runs on .308/.367/.519/.887 hitting splits. He just needs more reps. Why not give him those now?
The White Sox aren't going anywhere in 2023. That's ok. They have a good core of players on their roster but need to develop more going forward. That's what the rest of the 2023 season should be about. Giving players like Korey Lee, Gregory Santos, and Oscar Colas more reps fits perfectly with that mind frame. That's what the White Sox should focus on to close 2023.