White Sox deal Lynn, Kelly (Dodgers), Graveman (Astros) for prospects

Trayce returns as part of LA deal; club adds 5 to Top 30 prospects list

July 29th, 2023

CHICAGO -- Any direct message concerning the White Sox direction or focus beyond this disappointing 2023 season will come at a date in the not-too-distant future.

Presently, the White Sox have work to do. And work they did on Friday,

The White Sox added Minor League right-handers Nick Nastrini and Jordan Leasure and outfielder in a trade sending veteran hurlers Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly to the Dodgers. The White Sox also brought in catcher via a trade with Houston for right-handed reliever Kendall Graveman.

These trades came two days after right-handers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López went to the Angels for switch-hitting catcher Edgar Quero and left-handed pitcher Ky Bush. That’s five talented young players along with a strong presence in Thompson, as the White Sox move away from the struggles of the last 2 1/2 years.

White Sox get: RHPs Nick Nastrini (No. 9 prospect in LA organization), Jordan Leasure and OF Trayce Thompson
Dodgers get: RHPs Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly

White Sox get: C Korey Lee (No. 5 in Astros' organization)
Astros get: RHP Kendall Graveman

“A continuation of what we started the other day in terms of taking players that, quite frankly, we never envisioned needing to move on from when we acquired them,” said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn prior to Friday’s contest with the Guardians. “But given the type of season we [have] had, it makes sense to improve our future at the cost of the current ’23 club.

“We have mixed feelings and some disappointment involved in trading guys like Lance, Kendall and Joe. However, [there's] a great deal of excitement, certainly at our end of the building, about the prospects we received in exchange.”

Quero, who spoke to the Chicago media via Zoom on Friday, enters the White Sox Top 30 at No. 2 according to MLB Pipeline. Nastrini sits fourth, Bush at sixth, Lee at 13th and Leasure checks in at No. 26.

That’s a definite boost for a Minor League system with some solid prospects at the top but in need of depth. Nonetheless, in Year 4 of the competitive window of this most recent and much ballyhooed rebuild, it’s not what anyone expected.

“For us to be in this position, we didn't meet expectations,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “It's a question that probably has a couple of different answers. Number one, you're sad to see guys with that type of talent, that type of leadership leave. I'm also excited for those guys to go play in the postseason.”

“It’s a funny business, right?” Kelly said. “It’s baseball. You could write it all up on paper and it looks great. Ultimately, we, as players, got ourselves in the situation and that’s why we’re having this press conference -- why Lance is talking, why [Graveman] is talking, why [López is talking], why [Giolito is talking]. We just didn’t play good enough.”

Lee is the only one of the prospect group acquired who is likely to see Major League time this season. He is recovering from an oblique injury -- as is Thompson, who was originally drafted by the White Sox in the second round of the ‘09 Draft.

“Obviously we know Trayce. Between the lines, he provides us with some versatility, the ability to play all three outfield positions,” Hahn said. “Complement the left-handed hitters we have in the corners and back up Luis [Robert Jr.] in center field.

“As importantly, Trayce is a class individual. He’s a great teammate. He’s a very strong team guy and the type of guy we want in here as part of this culture.”

What’s next for the White Sox? There are still four days until Tuesday's Trade Deadline so Hahn, executive vice president Ken Williams and the front office certainly will be listening.

In the interim, young players left in the White Sox clubhouse get to show their mettle and their talent, exhibiting where they fall in the future plans.

“We’re going to keep doing the deals, if they present themselves, for the next few days and discuss them when they arise,” Hahn said. “You’re talking more like rallying cries and marketing slogans and [things] like that. I’m not focused on that right now.

“Right now, we’ve got work to do in terms of continuing to execute deals like the ones we have. Come August, September and certainly October, that’s the time to sort of reflect on the season and direction and what’s next.”