CHICAGO -- Rick Renteria is perfectly happy sticking with the current White Sox squad through the rest of the 2020 regular season and potentially into the postseason.
But with something special possibly to be achieved in '20, marking only the start of the franchise’s planned contention window, the White Sox manager also understands more moves could come to enhance the overall product prior to Monday’s Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. CT.
“Any organization or any club is always trying to improve, and I think we're no different than anybody else,” Renteria said. “I'm sure [general manager] Rick [Hahn] and [executive vice president] Kenny [Williams] and the front office are not going to limit themselves on any possibilities. But we're sitting in a good place right now with the men that we have. The possibility of action, it always remains.”
The White Sox brought in outfielder Jarrod Dyson in a trade with the Pirates on Friday. It gives Chicago a playoff-ready depth, with the veteran able to steal big bases in tight games as well as play solid defense across the outfield. Adding a pitcher or two seems to be the next target for Hahn and Williams.
Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel form a solid top two in the rotation, and Dylan Cease is finishing a strong month of August. There seems to be a little less certainty after these three, with names such as Lance Lynn and Dylan Bundy being mentioned in the rumor mill.
For the White Sox to give up any of their prime core players, they would have to get a player in return with significant contractual control. While Renteria has an open line of communication with his bosses, he leaves the trade work to them.
“I try to stay away from consuming my mind in any of the possibilities. I deal with what I have in front of me, honestly,” Renteria said. “That would be just alternative noise, and there's enough of a concern of me taking care of what I've got to care of with the guys that I have.”
Dyson made his White Sox debut in Friday’s victory as a ninth-inning defensive replacement for Eloy Jiménez. The fleet-footed outfielder was with Pittsburgh in Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday, traveled with the team to a doubleheader in St. Louis on Thursday and then flew to Milwaukee before driving to Chicago.
“Skip [Pirates manager Derek Shelton] pulled me to the side in the first game of the DH, and he let me know there was something in the works,” Dyson said. “The White Sox didn’t want me to play. So I had to sit that one out.”
Going from last place in the National League Central to a tie for first place in the American League Central represents a pretty nice change for Dyson. But even before the trade, he noticed something special about the White Sox watching from across the field.
“I watched them take BP, take ground balls, and [I] saw a team that was loose and full of confidence,” Dyson said. “You can tell when they take the field, when they took the field against us when I was with Pittsburgh, they came out swinging the bat, playing defense, pitching, and you're like, 'Wow, this team here has really developed an environment over here and a culture.’
“Because I played against these guys when I was with the Royals, and it was a little different. You see the difference now, and it's a big difference … . Right now, they are together.”
Third to first
• Jorge Soler’s two-run home run off right-handed reliever Matt Foster on Friday night ended the rookie’s career-opening scoreless innings streak at 14 1/3.
• Entering Saturday's game, José Abreu led the AL with 11 home runs and 27 RBIs in August. He ranks second in OPS and third in slugging percentage.
• Carlos Rodón is scheduled to throw three innings and 60 pitches at the team’s alternate training site in Schaumburg, Ill., on Sunday, per Renteria. Rodón has been on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder soreness. Aaron Bummer (left biceps strain) is playing catch, according to Renteria.
He said it
“Hey, have fun, man. When you have fun, you are winning. Winning kind of takes care of a lot of stuff. Once you play for the guy next to you, you don’t worry about that selfish act. It goes out the window when you have something to fight for.” -- Dyson, on advice he can share from past playoff experience