'All 30 teams want Garrett Crochet': All-Star ace faces trade rumors

July 9th, 2024

CHICAGO -- These are the best of times for White Sox southpaw .

Even with his team dropping an 8-6 decision in 11 innings to the Twins Monday, falling a season-worst 41 games under .500 at 26-67, Crochet has been a starting pitching revelation. He’s also an American League All-Star for the first time, potentially pitching Friday before making the journey to Texas.

Crochet spoke about this honor and his success prior to the homestand opener at Guaranteed Rate Field, after talking postgame Sunday. Trade rumors concerning the White Sox ace made their way into Monday’s media session, which could be the only distraction for what has otherwise been a tremendous season.

There didn’t seem to be a distraction for Crochet.

“Obviously, I pay attention to it. I see it. I hear it all the time,” Crochet told the media. “But I’ve still got to perform. A wise person told me, ‘Every time you take the mound, you’re playing for every team in the league.’

“That’s just the fact of the matter. You never know what can happen in this business. What I try and focus on is playing for my teammates and playing the game hard.”

Mission accomplished for Crochet, who leads the Majors with 146 strikeouts. He has the third-highest first-half strikeout total in White Sox history, trailing only Chris Sale (157 in 2015) and Dylan Cease (150 in ‘22).

It’s a story of self-belief, with Crochet pushing for this opportunity despite having only 73 innings of relief on his resume over three previous seasons. It’s a story of makeup, according to White Sox manager Pedro Grifol.

“This is an indication for the game, everybody in the game, to take note on what makeup is all about. Makeup is a huge part of greatness and success,” Grifol said. “You can have all the tools in the world, but you gotta have good makeup and that will and that drive and those intangibles that are going to make you great.

“He’s got talent and he’s got 80 makeup. I’ve done this for a long time. I’ve scouted a lot of players and you don’t come across these types of kids every single day. These guys are rare. He’s put the work in and he believes in himself and bets on himself and he’s there.”

So, why not keep him? The White Sox have two more years of contractual control over Crochet, who is earning $800,000 in ‘24. They have what looks to be a true ace in place, where trading him simply might bring back a lottery ticket in exchange for a more polished version.

Nobody is untradeable, as general manager Chris Getz has said numerous times. If an extremely high ask is met on Crochet, then the White Sox have to listen.

“All 30 teams want Garrett Crochet, including the Chicago White Sox,” Grifol said. “There’s a business side to all this, and I don’t think it’s good business to never check in.

“If anybody had Garrett Crochet, all 30 teams, including us, want to be able to keep him and build around him. But that’s not good business to shut those doors. It’s good business to open them. You have to see what it is, but that’s not my job. My job is here and I’ll let those guys up there do that job.”

Monday’s loss dropped the White Sox to 0-8 against the Twins (52-39) this season, and they are now 0-11 in Chris Flexen’s last 11 starts with the right-hander only losing four of those. There haven’t been many true bright spots for this team in ‘24.

Erick Fedde, who pitches Tuesday against the Twins, would be in the small group of White Sox success. Crochet is at the top, with his All-Star status and numerous teams pursuing his services via trade validating his decision and the White Sox decision to move into the rotation.

“Definitely. The work I put in in the offseason, that was before expectations began because I was just hoping to break with the team,” Crochet said. “But having the work I put in the last six months come to fruition is really cool.”

“It was really a collective decision and it was driven by him,” Grifol said. “And we were all in it because … you want to do this? Show us what you got. That’s what it’s about … The sky is the limit with him. I’m actually excited to watch him pitch in the All-Star Game.”