Earlier today, minor league #HugWatch revealed Andy Wilkins bidding farewell to his teammates in Charlotte.
A couple of hours later, we found out a potential reason for the embraces -- the White Sox traded Alejandro De Aza to the Baltimore Orioles for two minor-league right-handed pitchers, and Miguel Chalas.
De Aza did the Sox the favor of creating some trade value by being an affordable option with a little bit of team control and skills teams can use -- a respectable bat against right-handed pitching (.279/.347/.410) who can play center in a pinch and hit at the top of the order if needed.
It's not certain that Wilkins will replace De Aza, because they play different positions, and there's only one game remaining in August. so it could be just all preparation for September (or there could be another move coming). But the trade clears a spot on the 40-man roster (which Wilkins is not yet on), and it saves the Sox a month of a $4.25 million salary. When September rolls around, you'll probably see some combination of Jordan Danks, Marcus Semien and/or Jared Mitchell get the outfield time. I guess Dayan Viciedo benefits, too.
(Update: I also forgot about the injured Moises Sierra, who still has to rehab his injury that is very much an injury.)
Regarding the players the Orioles traded to the Sox, Blackmar was a 16th-round pick in the 2011 draft who is having a nice year at High-A Frederick:
The pedestrian strikeout rate is offset by a 63 percent groundball rate.
The White Sox organization has seen plenty of Blackmar this year, as he's pitched against the Winston-Salem Dash five times -- three starts and two relief appearances, including a three-inning save. Those numbers are in line with his season stats.
Chalas also claims a Carolina League connection, although unlike Blackmar, he's not a groundballer (around 43 percent), he's pitched exclusively in relief this season.
|2013||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-A||2||4||3.48||35||0||88.0||87||8||21||58||1.227|
|2014||22||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-AAA||3||4||4.48||30||0||76.1||78||8||26||54||1.362|
The promotion to Norfolk happened this past week, so that looks like late-season seat-filling. He faced the Dash on four occasions, and allowed five runs on 12 hits and three walks over nine innings, striking out four.
Camden Chat likes the deal on Baltimore's side, as De Aza gives Buck Showalter an outfield option against right-handed pitching that isn't Delmon Young. CC's assessment of the pitchers Baltimore traded:
Chalas and Blackmar are basically the definition of minor league organizational depth that probably will never matter. Chalas was pitching in relief in Frederick, putting up a 4.48 ERA. Blackmar, in his fourth season in the organization, had a 3.18 ERA in 26 games for the Keys, 18 of which were starts. If they turn into something, congratulations to Chicago. The Orioles have a division to win this year.