By: Will Farlow
The Chicago White Sox entered the final week prior to the trade deadline with an eight game lead in first place in the AL Central. The Southsiders prior to the deadline had key needs at second base and in the bullpen. GM Rick Hahn as usual kept things quiet and surprised the White Sox fanbase with three season changing trades. I feel the special excitement and energy that this White Sox team can show fans for many years to come. These are my views of each trade made at the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline , and the grade I give the White Sox.
Trade #1: Chicago White Sox trade LHP Konnor Pilkington to the Cleveland Indians for 2B Cesar Hernandez
I love this unexpected trade between two division rivals just nine games separated in the standings. The White Sox surprise fans by trading for the power hitting, defensive pro in Cesar Hernandez. It seems like Rick Hahn almost had Nick Madrigal ready in a future trade idea by getting a second baseman with a team option for 2022. This trade gives the White Sox improved defense and power hitting at second base helping their lineup in a big way. The Southsiders send a talented young left hander to the Indians making this a fair swap for both sides. Hernandez brings his bat and positive clubhouse prescense to this already tight knit White Sox squad.
Trade #2: Chicago White Sox trade LHP Bailey Horn to the Chicago Cubs for RHP Ryan Tepera
The Chicago White Sox pull a surprise crosstown trade with rivals from the Northside of town to fill a big need for bullpen help. I think Tepera is a good reliever to bring to a White Sox bullpen in need of more pitchers good in game situations. Tepera did just that for one Chicago team, and GM Rick Hahn hopes the reliever will continue that on the Southside. Good simple swap here for the White Sox as they just give up left hander Bailey Horn to a future rebuilding Cubs team.
Trade #3: Chicago White Sox trade 2B Nick Madrigal and RHP Codi Heuer to the Chicago Cubs for RHP Craig Kimbrel
I don’t think this is a final trade White Sox fans expected when they woke up this morning. The Southsiders make a blockbuster trade with the rival Chicago Cubs for NL All Star closer Craig Kimbrel. I love this move for Chicago as the White Sox now feature one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. The price is steep, however, as they send their 2018 first round pick Nick Madrigal and young Codi Heuer to the Cubs. You have to pay for top talent, and Rick Hahn does that here sending a message to other teams that the White Sox are all in for a possible World Series title.
I definitely have to give the White Sox an A+ here filling their team needs and putting this team in an even better spot to contend for a World Series Championship. The White Sox can feel ensured that Kimbrel and Hernandez can be on the Southside next year in 2022 also. The Southsiders face questions of more offensive consistency, and the return of Luis Robert and Yasmani Grandal. GM Rick Hahn followed his instincts that now can bring this team to future postseason success , and maybe a parade at the end.
Will Farlow. View all the blog posts from Will Farlow on this webpage.