The Chicago White Sox dealt all of their assets, right? Why would the Milwaukee Brewers look to deal for spare parts? While the White Sox have parted ways with several of their best, they still have a few assets. One of them could even help the Brew Crew at second base.
The Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers managed to work out a deal as recently as last summer. The Brewers sent outfielder Ryan Cordell to Chicago in exchange for reliever Anthony Swarzak. Rumors were swirling around the trade deadline that the Brewers were inquiring about Jose Quintana. It’s clear that Rick Hahn and David Stearns have each other’s phone number. Why can’t they come together again during the off season?
What would a deal between the White Sox and Brewers look like?
Why would this make sense for the White Sox?
The White Sox lack catching depth throughout their system, and rebuilding a team requires arms. Lots of arms.
Payton Henry is a 20-year old catching prospect who was selected in the 6th round of the 2016 draft. He hasn’t played past Rookie-ball, but his bat projects well and his defense is developing. He posted a .242/.344/.435 slash line at Helena, and has the body to fit a catcher.
Phil Bickford was drafted 18th overall in 2015, but not by the Milwaukee Brewers. He came to Milwaukee, along with catcher Andrew Susac, from the Giants for Will Smith in 2016. He started the 2017 season suspended for his second positive drug test. After missing time with the suspension, he was struck in the hand with a line drive. He needed a few months to recover from broken bones in his throwing hand. He did recover in time for a couple rehab appearances with the Brewers’ instructional team in Arizona.
Bickford tossed only 17 innings, but struck out 16 while walking 10. He managed a 2.12 ERA, and flashed the stuff that once had him rated as a top prospect. He’s a reclamation project with a lot of upside. If the White Sox can keep him focused on development, they could have a high-leverage arm to add to their bullpen.
Why would this make sense for the Brewers?
Yolmer Sanchez, formerly Carlos, has enough pop and speed to work in everyday lineup, but his real strength is his glove. He can handle three infield positions, but looked best at second base. Until Yoan Moncada moves to third, Sanchez is going to have to fight for playing time. Matt Davidson‘s bat is on the White Sox roster, and the team drafted Jake Burger in the first round.
Sanchez managed to rack up 534 at bats for the Tank Sox. He posted a .267/.319/.413 slash line with 12 homers and eight steals. He is a switch-hitter, but he’s much best used against righties as a lefty. 11 of his 12 homers came from the left side against right-handers.
However his true value is in his glove. He showed impressive range and a very accurate arm from second base last year. Sanchez wouldn’t solve the Milwaukee Brewers problem at the top of the order, but he will solidify the infield. Pairing Sanchez with Orlando Arcia would make for one of the top defensive middle infields in the National League.
Sanchez won’t turn 26 until next June. This is his first year in arbitration and he won’t become a free agent until 2022.
While Sanchez is a quality player, he’s not the long term answer at third or second for the White Sox. Rick Hahn has shown that if a player isn’t going to help the team when they’re ready to contend, they’re gone. If the Milwaukee Brewers are willing to flip a fringe catching prospect and a project with upside, they could solve their concerns at second base for a few seasons.