AL Central trade roundup: White Sox, Tigers come out ahead

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AL Central trade roundup: White Sox, Tigers come out ahead

For the White Sox and Tigers, the last month or so of baseball's summer trading season was fairly busy and, potentially, fairly successful. Neither Minnesota nor Kansas City did much selling, while Cleveland stood pat. A complete team-by-team recap of how the AL Central landscape changed -- or remained the same -- leading up to Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline follows:

Chicago White Sox

Added: 3B Kevin Youkilis, RP Brett Myers, SP Francisco Liriano
Subtracted: INFOF Brent Lillibridge, INF Eduardo Escobar, SP Zach Stewart, SP Matt Heidenreich, SP Blair Walters, SP Pedro Hernandez

The verdict: Kenny Williams and the White Sox front office came away as one of baseball's biggest winners at the deadline, as the Sox were able to address three needs by giving up a pair of utility players and four pitchers who, while at various stages of their careers, were expendable. Most analysts don't see the White Sox farm system as having a ton of talent, but Williams added three good players without subtracting from whatever talent is in the minors. That's impressive.

Detroit Tigers

Added: 2B Omar Infante, SP Anibal Sanchez, No. 37 pick in 2013 draft
Subracted: SP Jacob Turner, C Rob Brantly, SP Brian Flynn, No. 73 pick in 2013 draft

The verdict: Detroit may regret trading the 21-year-old Turner, who entered the year as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. But Sanchez is an upgrade for their rotation in the short-term, and with the fast-improving Doug Fister the Tigers' top three starters (including Justin Verlander) look very solid. Infante is another upgrade, as Detroit got little offensive production out of their second baseman prior to the deal. He also adds a plus glove to an infield that features plenty of questionable defenders.

Cleveland Indians

Added: INFOF Brent Lillibridge, 1BOF Lars Anderson
Subtracted: RP Jose De La Torre, SP Steven Wright

Nothing much to see here. Lillibridge is hitting .170.213.182, while Anderson -- once a top prospect in the Red Sox system -- had a .774 OPS in his third go-around with Triple-A Pawtucket. Cleveland was rumored to be listening to offers on outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, but hung on to him as the deadline passed Tuesday afternoon. Entering Tuesday, the Indians were 50-52 and five games out of first place. Nobody really knows if they're contenders or not, and by standing pat, they kept with that theme.

Kansas City Royals

Added: SP Jeremy Guthrie, RP Donnie Joseph, SP J.C. Sulbaran
Subtracted: SP Jonathan Sanchez, RP Jonathan Broxton

The verdict: Joseph and Sulbaran are a decent enough return for the Royals, who needed a few more arms in their minor-league system. Joseph is the prize here, as the lefty has struck out 68 with 17 walks in 52 13 relief innings between Cincinnati's Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. The Guthrie-for-Sanchez swap was a junk-for-junk deal. Kansas City also didn't deal away Jeff Francouer, meaning top prospect Wil Myers -- who just belted his 32nd homer of the season -- is still blocked in the majors.

Minnesota Twins

Added: INF Eduardo Escobar, SP Pedro Hernandez,
Subtracted: SP Francisco Liriano

The verdict: The Twins hung on to all their valuable pieces -- Josh Willingham, Denard Span, Justin Morneau, Glen Perkins -- except Liriano, the return for whom was fairly low. The Reds were reportedly interested in Span, and the Dodgers apparently made a late run at Perkins, but ultimately the Twins barely did anything. And while that may seem odd for a team in last place, Minnesota's played good baseball since mid-May -- not good enough to jump back into the playoff race, but maybe good enough to offer hope for 2013.

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

The White Sox agreed to one-year contracts with five players on Friday, including a $12-million deal for Todd Frazier.

Frazier established a franchise record for home runs by a third baseman in 2016 when he blasted 40 in his first season with the White Sox. A free agent after the 2017 season, Frazier hit .225/.302/.464 in 666 plate appearances, drove in a career high 98 runs and produced 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. 

Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is set to earn $5.9 million this season. The team also agreed to deals with relievers Dan Jennings ($1.4 million), Zach Putnam ($1.1175 million) and Jake Petricka ($825,000).

The White Sox acquired Frazier in a three-player trade from the Cincinnati Reds in December 2015. It's expected they would try to trade Frazier, who has hit 104 homers since 2014 and participated in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby three consecutive years, before the Aug 1 non-waiver trade deadline as part of the club's rebuilding efforts. 

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Gonzalez went 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) after he was signed to a minor-league deal in early April. 

Jennings posted a 2.08 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. 

Putnam had a 2.30 ERA in 27 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts before he had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. 

Petricka was limited to nine appearances before his season was ended by hip surgery.

Both Petricka and Putnam are expected to be ready for spring training.

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

It was a limited look, but Yoan Moncada made a strong first impression on the White Sox this week.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada arrived in Glendale, Ariz., earlier this week with the franchise hopeful he'd offer a glimpse of the skills that earned him the designation as baseball's top prospect.

Moncada didn't disappoint, either, as he had White Sox evaluators excited throughout a three-day hitters camp. Whether it's his physicality, how he carried himself or his baseball IQ, White Sox staffers couldn't have been happier about their first experience with their new prized possession.

"(Moncada) looks like a linebacker, but he moves like a wide receiver," player development director Chris Getz said. "He's got good actions. He's obviously a switch hitter. He's got power. He can hit. He's got a good smile. He seems to be enjoying himself out here, he interacts well with his teammates.

"So far it has been very impressive, and we look forward to seeing more."

Hitting coach Todd Steverson said Moncada, 21, looked every bit the part when he first observed him from across the hall at the team's facility. Steverson spoke to friends in the scouting community and wasn't the least bit surprised when he encountered the 6-foot-2, 205-pound second baseman. Moncada was just as impressive on the field with his skills and effort, Steverson said.

"This is a large specimen right here," Steverson said. "He's put together pretty well.

"On defense it looks like he has some really good hands.

"He got in the box and he hadn't swung for a while. But still, you could tell he had good hands going through the zone, has a nice approach and wants to work real hard."

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Moncada's fancy tools have been well publicized since he received a $31.5-million signing bonus from the Red Sox in March 2015.

MLB.com graded Moncada's hit tool at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale while his base running is 65 and arm is 60. Moncada's power received a 55 grade, and his fielding is 50. Moncada received an overall grade of 65, which suggests he has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and worth 4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com.

But the White Sox weren't just impressed with Moncada's physical ability.

One of manager Rick Renteria's top objectives for the camp was to emphasize fundamentals and what's important to the team. Renteria wanted to identify specific game situations and how players are expected to handle them so they're well prepared for the future. Moncada handled that area well, too.

"Yoan is a very knowledgeable baseball player who has experience on a multitude of levels," amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "In the brief time we had with him this week, he showed a tremendous ability to drive the ball the opposite way as well as drive balls to the gap and out of the ball park from both sides of the plate. That ability will help him handle and any all situations that Ricky asks him to do at the plate. Defensively his hands and feet are very good and will have no problem there. He's a bright hard-working kid that is part of a bright future for the organization."