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White Sox trade rumors: 'Complicated' deal involving Jesse Crain possible

Injury and a third team add obstacles in dealing reliever


Thanks to an annoying shoulder issue, Jesse Crain's trade stock had cooled considerably. That said, it may not prevent him from being moved before the trade deadline. In fact, according to Bruce Levine, he may be the next one to go:

The Chicago White Sox are close to trading All-Star reliever Jesse Crain in a "complicated" deal involving two teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.[...]

The third interested team is unknown. Crain was seen handing out envelopes to clubhouse workers at U.S. Cellular Field after Sunday's final home game before the non-waiver trading deadline on Wednesday afternoon. Players typically tip home clubhouse workers at the end of the season.

A conditional trade like this could have a lot of moving parts, usually taking the form of the ol' player(s) to be named later. It could be an pass/fail scenario based on an appearance marker, or it could be similar to a video game, in which the Sox are able to pick from certain names if Crain can unlock them based on his accomplishments, or even something like Crain's new team making the postseason.

Either way, since the deal involves a third team and an injured pitcher, "close" may not be anything imminent, as these things have a way of falling apart more frequently than the typical one-on-one trade. For instance, what Jeff Passan says:

If it does happen, it wouldn't provide the kind of return that seemed possible when Crain was a healthy All-Star candidate with a zero-point-something ERA. Still, it'd be better than crossing fingers during the waiver period. With his relatively low cost, he would stand no chance of getting through waivers unclaimed, and whichever team won the claim might only be interested in blocking somebody else.