This starter would make so much sense for the Chicago White SoxTodd Welteron April 3, 2022 at 12:23 am

The Chicago White Sox might not be done making trades before Opening Day. The White Sox traded Craig Kimbrel to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for outfielder A.J. Pollock.

Pollock is a good hitter with a history of injuries as he has averaged playing 90 games over 10 seasons. If he can stay healthy, he can be an upgrade in right field (even though he has played six career games in right).

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is rumored to be pivoting his attention towards acquiring one more starting pitcher to make sure he has a World Series-winning rotation.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale has been wrong before when it comes to Chicago White Sox trade rumors. However, he thinks the White Sox could be in play for Oakland A’s starter Sean Manaea.

The Chicago #WhiteSox would also love to acquire Oakland A’s starter Sean Manaea before opening day, joining plenty of other teams who are in pursuit.

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 1, 2022

The only reason the A’s keep Manaea to start the season is with the idea they could get a better trade package before the trade deadline. Manaea is making $9.75 million and is set to be a free agent after this season.

It is just a matter of when Manaea is traded as the A’s are in rebuild mode. The A’s have already shipped out Chris Bassitt, Matt Olson, and Matt Chapman as they tear down their roster.

Do the Chicago White Sox have enough to pull off a trade for Sean Manaea?

The Oakland A’s are going to want prospects in return and the Chicago White Sox have the worst farm system in baseball according to the Athletic’s Keith Law. That has never stopped the A’s from doing business with the Chicago White Sox in the past.

The A’s for some reason like the prospects the Sox have. The problem is if the A’s demand the same type of trade return they got for Bassitt, which was two talented prospect pitchers, the White Sox currently do not have the young arms in their system to trade.

The A’s could be interested in the position players the Sox have available. The White Sox could give up one of their potential young stars on the Major League roster in Gavin Sheets and Andrew Vaughn. Sheets is a left-handed, power-hitting first baseman that could appeal to the A’s, but Vaughn has the higher ceiling.

I would not be surprised that the A’s consider outfielder Micker Adolfo or former first-round pick Jake Burger. They always seem to find value in players that the Sox undervalue or do not have room for on the roster like Marcus Semien.

I am guessing the A’s will probably ask for one or two of their top-5 prospects. The Sox would really like to have Yoelqui Cespedes eventually take over in right field.

Manaea is a known talent in the Majors. The White Sox could use another starting pitcher behind Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and Dylan Cease.

The plan right now is hoping Dallas Keuchel can bounce back from his horrid 2021 season to be the number four starter. That is not exactly the best option for a World Series contending, team.

Manaea would be the inning-eating lefty the Chicago White Sox needs. Fangraphs projects he will post a 3.71 ERA, 3.82 FIP, and three wins above replacement this season. Keuchel’s projections do not even come close to that production.

Keuchel would be better in long relief at this point of his career and start a few games that the Sox have Michael Kopech skip.

The Chicago White Sox have a glut of outfielders to trade. The Sox might think there are enough at-bats in the Majors for Vaughn and Sheets but in reality, there are just not enough to go around. Yasmani Grandal is going to eat into some designated hitter at-bats when he is not catching. Jose Abreu is going to get the majority of the work at first base.

The fear of prospects becoming systems is valid but prospects are meant to be stars on other teams. If Manaea helps the White Sox win the AL Central and starts Game 3 or 4 of the World Series, then trading Vaughn, Sheets, or Cespedes would be worth it. Although, the Sox could possibly get Manaea without giving up Vaughn or Cespedes.

The White Sox needs to worry about the present and the near future. That means doing everything they can to win the World Series. Right now, Manaea gives the Sox a better chance to win a championship. That means Hahn needs to convince the A’s to trade the lefty to the Southside before the season starts.

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