White Sox add Hernandez, Tepera before trade deadline

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cesar Hernandez catches a fly ball in Cleveland's game Saturday against Tampa. Hernandez will now be playing second base for the White Sox after Thursday's trade with the Indians.

    Cesar Hernandez catches a fly ball in Cleveland's game Saturday against Tampa. Hernandez will now be playing second base for the White Sox after Thursday's trade with the Indians. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 7/29/2021 6:37 PM

There are some splashy trades being made in advance of Friday afternoon's deadline.

The White Sox will settle for some solid ripples.

 

Filling two needs Thursday with losing any of their top prospects, the Sox acquired second baseman Cesar Hernandez in a deal with the Indians and later added relief pitcher Ryan Tepera in a crosstown trade with the Cubs.

Both players are under contract until the end of the season, although Hernandez has a $6 million club option for 2022 with no buyout.

The White Sox have had a need at second base since early June, when Nick Madrigal went down with a torn hamstring that knocked him out for the season.

The 31-year-old Hernandez hit .231/.307/.431 with 17 doubles, a career-high 18 home runs and 47 RBI in 96 games for Cleveland this year.

"Cesar Hernandez provides our club with a valuable combination of a power bat in the middle infield and Gold Glove quality defense," Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. "Adding a player like Cesar gives (manager) Tony (La Russa) a strong and proven option at second base for the stretch run of the season and hopefully into October."

The White Sox and Indians are set to open a three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field Friday night. Hernandez will be in the lineup, but he'll be wearing a different uniform.

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"I definitely think Cesar will get a lot of playing time at second," La Russa said. "I think Cesar fits our needs real well. He's having a good year and we love what he can do from both sides of the plate. He's got good athleticism. Cesar will really help us."

The switch-hitting Hernandez won a Gold Glove with the Indians last year.

In 986 career games with Cleveland and Philadelphia over nine seasons, Hernandez is a .272/.347/.388 hitter with 67 homers and 320 RBI.

The Sox sent minor-league starting pitcher Konnor Pilkington to Cleveland in the trade.

The 23-year-old Pilkington was 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts with Class AA Birmingham this season.

Tepera cost the White Sox minor-league pitcher Bailey Horn, who was 2-3 with a 5.63 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) with high Class A Winston-Salem and low A Kannapolis this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The 33-year-old Tepera is 0-2 with a 2.91 ERA, 1 save and 50 strikeouts in 43⅓ innings this season.

"Ryan has been an extremely reliable bullpen arm this season and throughout his career," Hahn said. "We are very pleased to add him to our talented and versatile group of relievers. Across his career with the Blue Jays and Cubs, Ryan has succeeded in a variety of situations and has the ability to get both lefties and righties out at very high rates."

Tepera is 12-14 with a 3.54 ERA and 11 saves over 280 career relief appearances with the Cubs (202-21) and Toronto (2015-19).

To clear a spot for Tepera on the 40-man roster, the White Sox transferred reliever Evan Marshall (strained right flexor pronator) to the 60-day injured list.

Hernandez and Tepera should both be in uniform for the Sox Friday night.

"I think it's exciting," White Sox starter Carlos Rodon said. "I'm looking forward to see what they bring to the club. I'm looking forward to watching them play."

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