The Chicago White Sox are in the midst of putting the final finishing touches on their strong off-season rebuilding effort that included the signing of catcher Yasmani Grandal and re-signing of Jose Abreu. With young players in tow like Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech, and Luis Robert, the club appears poised to make a run in the AL Central.
Moreover, they still have money to spend and have reportedly been analyzing the market for top pitching like Zack Wheeler, while making pitches to Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.
One missing piece could be a power-hitting outfielder. Now, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Chicago has inquired on Joc Pederson of the Dodgers for the second winter in a row.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 3, 2019
Here is the excerpt linking Pederson to the White Sox from Nightengale’s article:
Even with Eloy Jimenez – who hit 31 homers in 122 games – and Luis Robert in the mix, the White Sox are seeking more power. They have inquired about free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos, but Joc Pederson would come much cheaper. Pederson, who hit a career-high 36 homers with 74 RBI last season, is projected to receive $8.5 million in his final year of arbitration according to MLB Trade Rumors’ estimates. The White Sox also had trade talks with the Dodgers about Pederson last winter until talks broke off in January.
ESPN recently identified Pederson as a piece likely to be traded by LA this winter.
In trade talks, the White Sox do have some bullpen pieces and other young players who could be of interest to the Dodgers. For example, left-hander Aaron Bummer was a name being mentioned in trade rumors as recently as last season. Bummer is coming off a fantastic season where he posted a 2.13 ERA and 2.99 DRA. He is just 26 years old and has the look and feel of a potential bullpen building block for the Dodgers.
As MLBTR writer Steve Adams notes in a column, “Chicago’s need for a right fielder is evident just by looking up and down the roster.” Thankfully for the Dodgers, after a very much failed trial run for Joc at first base, as established himself as a viable option in right field for most of the second half of the season.
Nevertheless, these rumors should be taken with a grain of salt. Pederson to the South Side rumors have been evergreen for quite some time. Where there is smoke, there is fire, but this might be plentiful in terms of smoke.