As trade deadline approaches, will White Sox add or stand pat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has some decisions to make soon. July 30 is the deadline for nonwaiver deals.

    Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has some decisions to make soon. July 30 is the deadline for nonwaiver deals. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 7/22/2021 6:18 PM

For some reason, the MLB draft started on the final day of the first half of the season and ran right into the All-Star Game.

Talk about bad scheduling, the annual hunt for amateur talent came and went with very little notice.

 

Moving the draft ahead five weeks this year had another ramification -- the trade deadline.

"We have the amateur draft during the middle of (July), which is perhaps taking the attention of some teams, the focus of some teams, away from trades and more toward setting up their draft board," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.

July 30 is the deadline for nonwaiver deals, and the Sox could go two ways.

First, they are close to getting left fielder/DH Eloy Jimenez back from the injured list, followed by center fielder Luis Robert and catcher Yasmani Grandal.

Those are three premier players, and the Sox are going to be an even better team when the trio returns. There is no question about that.

Second, the White Sox decide they need more help and go out and get a second baseman like Pittsburgh's Adam Frazier or Arizona's Eduardo Escobar, who both played in the All-Star Game.

With Nick Madrigal (torn hamstring) out for the season, Leury Garcia and Danny Mendick are the current options at second.

Hahn is likely trying to decide if he's willing to part with a significant package of young players it would take to get Frazier, who is contractually under club control through 2022.

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Escobar, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, would undoubtedly be much cheaper.

Even though he's only played shortstop during his six years with Colorado, there has been some speculation Trevor Story and his potent bat could make the shift to second base in a move to the Sox.

Headed for free agency after the season like Escobar, Story might also come at a price Hahn is able to meet.

The White Sox have an obvious need at second base, and getting another relief pitcher or two makes sense.

Liam Hendriks is a great closer and Michael Kopech has fared very well following a two-year absence. After that, there have been issues with injuries and inconsistency in the bullpen.

"There are a number of areas we can go," Hendriks said. "I still think our bullpen is good enough where we are at and if we get a couple of guys just turned around to what they've done in the past, we'll be fine. But in saying that I wouldn't be opposed to another veteran piece that's going to be a little bit of a different personality than I am."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Hendriks is as boisterous as they come, but Hahn is more focused on adding relievers that get hitters out.

There are plenty of them available: the Cubs' Craig Kimbrell and Ryan Tepera, the Pirates' Richard Rodriguez, the Rangers' Ian Kennedy, the Nationals' Daniel Hudson and the Marlins' Yimi Garcia to name a few.

Much like potentially landing a second baseman, the price tag on premier relief help is not cheap.

The clock is running, and the trade deadline is just over a week away.

The Sox are going to be in great shape either way, but the guess here is Hahn adds some bullpen help and gets Escobar at a reasonable cost.

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