Why Todd Frazier is 'best option' for the Red Sox

Why Todd Frazier is 'best option' for the Red Sox

More trades are coming. White Sox players know it. Todd Frazier could be next.

Eager to begin the second half on Friday, White Sox players paid their respects to now former teammate Jose Quintana ahead of an afternoon workout. White Sox players described the difficulty in moving on from Quintana, one of the most popular players in the clubhouse because of his easygoing persona off the field and dogged nature on it.

They also know another popular teammate (Frazier) could be gone soon. Frazier’s stock has risen the past six weeks with improved production and a field of options thinned out by parity. Perhaps his strongest suitor is the Boston Red Sox, who are moving on from Pablo Sandoval. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced Friday morning that Sandoval had been designated for assignment. One baseball source said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Boston move quickly to fill its void at third.

“In some ways, Frazier is the best option out there,” the source said, noting “the combination of limited financial commitment and productivity.”

“Knowing Dave, it will be sooner than later.”

White Sox players expect that Quintana’s deal is only the tip of the iceberg as a number of talented individual pieces remain. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has the same feeling about some of his current teammates as the club’s rebuild has reached a cruising altitude of 32,000 feet. What began in earnest with the December trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton has only gained more elevation over the past two months. The White Sox made a bold move in May when they spent $52 million to sign 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Luis Robert. Thursday’s blockbuster with the Cubs saw the White Sox rid themselves of their last enormous chip when they dealt Quintana.

“I won’t be surprised if there are a few more moves,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “We are buying into this process and you know that’s going to be a few situations in there. But this is a process.”

It’s a process general manager Rick Hahn is eager to continue. Hahn addressed the media again on Friday and noted his club is still in the first stage of its rebuild and wants to continue accumulating talent.

“We are very much open for business,” Hahn said.

Where that leaves Frazier, David Robertson and a series of other players is in a state of limbo. Quintana told Hahn on Thursday he had been bothered by the constant trade rumors that involved him since last December. Try as they may, White Sox players will have to continue to focus on anything but the constant chatter that will surround many of them until at least July 31 and perhaps the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline.

From his own experience in Cincinnati, Frazier said on Saturday that he suspected things could be a little weird in the White Sox clubhouse when assets started to get traded. He also noted that he recently had improved at deflecting those distractions — thinking about trades or his impending free agency — and thought it helped him overall.

Since June 1, Frazier has a .923 OPS in 142 plate appearances with nine homers and 21 RBIs. The market for available third baseman has also been reduced by the recent hot play of the Kansas City Royals, who appear to no longer have interest in moving All-Star Mike Moustakas.

The Red Sox are in serious need of someone to man the hot corner with Sandoval DFA’d. Boston has a future third baseman in top-10 prospect Rafael Devers. But, Devers hasn’t yet played above Double-A and the Red Sox don’t sound as if they’re intent upon rushing him to the majors as they did last season with Yoan Moncada.

Those factors could make Frazier, who’s owed a little less than $6 million the rest of the season, extremely attractive to first-place Boston. Frazier, who told a trade knock-knock joke in his media session to “keep things light”, said he hasn’t recently spoken with Hahn about his situation.

“Now I’m like, control what you can control,” Frazier said last week. “Same thing about being traded, too. There’s nothing you can do about it until that time comes around. So just keep on working hard, keep understanding what you’re good at and keep working on the things you’re not good at even harder.

“Goodbyes are tough, but you understand it’s a business.”

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yoan Moncada can’t complain much about his first hit with the White Sox.

Given all the elements, it rates about a 9 1/ 2 out of 10. Only a homer would have been better.

Baseball’s top prospect continues to look comfortable at the plate and in the field. Two days after he made his team debut, Moncada earned his first hit when he ripped a two-out, bases-loaded triple early in Friday night’s 7-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Moncada finished 1-for-4 with four RBIs.

“Once I got that first hit, I felt relieved,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “First, because it was the first one. And second because of the situation. It was a three RBIs triple. It was a very big moment of the game. I think that from now on I’m going to feel more relaxed and comfortable.”

Moncada has put together a series of good plate appearances in his first two games. He’s looked at ease while in the box and hasn’t panicked even when he gets behind in the count. Moncada said he felt even more comfortable when he stepped in to face Royals starter Ian Kennedy in the third inning. Not only was it his second time facing Kennedy, but Moncada sat in the on-deck circle as Matt Davidson drew a 10-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs.

Hitting left-handed, Moncada fell behind 0-2 in the count but Kennedy hung a 78-mph knuckle curve and the rookie lined it deep into the left-center field gap to clear the bases. Moncada not only showed his power, he also showed off his wheels: his 11.24 seconds from home to third was the fastest time by a White Sox player this season, according to MLB Statcast.

“He's seeing the ball,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He seems pretty calm, composed out there. It's just a couple of days, but in terms of how he's carrying himself, his body language, he seems to be transitioning pretty well up to this point, first couple of days.”

Moncada said Friday was much calmer than his Wednesday debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he drew a walk and went 0-for-2. The switch-hitting second baseman had an RBI groundout in his first at-bat Friday to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Then he stood in and tracked Kennedy with Davidson at the plate.

All in all, Moncada’s happy with how he’s executed his plan at the plate thus far. He said he choked up on the 0-2 pitch and put a good swing on it.

“That at-bat gave me more time to see in real life his pitches,” Moncada said. “I’ve been feeling very comfortable. In Chicago, that first game, it was a little bit nervous. But overall I feel very comfortable hitting and with my defense.”

Is it time for the White Sox to call up Reynaldo Lopez?

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USA TODAY

Is it time for the White Sox to call up Reynaldo Lopez?

With Yoan Moncada now with the White Sox and making an early impact, White Sox fans may be wondering which highly-touted prospect is next to join the big league roster.

Reynaldo Lopez is certainly making a strong case for himself in Triple-A Charlotte. Lopez, one of the pitchers the Sox received from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade, gave up one run in six innings for the Knights on Friday night. That was the latest in a string of five strong starts for the 23-year-old.

In Friday's 2-1 loss against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, Lopez struck out six and allowed just two hits and one walk. That's five straight starts for Lopez in which he has allowed two or fewer runs while pitching six or more innings.

Here's his last five starts:

June 29 vs. Columbus: 6 2/3 innings, 1 run, 11 strikeouts, 1 walk, 6 hits

July 4 at Durham: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 5 hits

July 9 at Louisville: 6 innings, 2 runs, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, 7 hits

July 16 vs. Gwinnett: 7 innings, 1 run, 12 strikeouts, 2 walks, 2 hist

Tonight at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hits

Loepz has a 3.65 ERA on the season with 107 strikeouts in 106 innings against 40 walks and 90 hits. In a short stint in the majors last season, Lopez had a 4.91 ERA in 44 innings in six starts and five relief appearances for the Nationals.

Does Guaranteed Rate Field await the Dominican right-hander?