When the White Sox picked up Tyler Clippard from the Yankees as the least future-forward part of the Tommy Kahnle trade, it looked like a convenient swap for both sides -- a little money off the books for New York, and veteran ballast for an otherwise untested White Sox bullpen.
It turns out the White Sox didn’t really care about the veteran presence, because tonight they flipped him to the Houston Astros.
The #WhiteSox have traded RHP Tyler Clippard to the Houston Astros in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 14, 2017
It unveiled itself in a funny fashion. Ken Rosenthal broke the rumor around the time Clippard updated his Twitter and Instagram accounts, calling himself a Houston Astros pitcher. The national reporters then closed in on the deal, and an hour later, the White Sox confirmed the trade.
Clippard did his job with the Sox, going 1-1 with two saves and a 1.80 ERA in 12 appearances. It resembled an improvement over his Yankees performance, and so the Sox found a taker for the $1.75 million or so remaining on his deal. That leaves Jake Petricka as the only White Sox reliever with any high-leverage experience, and he might be the least suited for it at this point. If anybody in the White Sox bullpen besides Petricka records a save, it’ll be his first.
The White Sox will replace Clippard with a corresponding move on Tuesday, and I’m guessing it’ll be a pitcher. A couple possibilities that come to mind ...
Fun option: Lucas Giolito, who has strung together four good starts and looks more or less ready for an extended audition.
Boring option: Dylan Covey, who has fared reasonably well over five rehab appearances, including a couple with Charlotte. He needs to be on the active roster for 40 more days in order for the White Sox retain the Rule 5 pick, so he’ll be back at some point over the next week, and his future likely lies in the bullpen, so the various elements line up here.
Giolito’s timing could hinge on whether the Sox trade Miguel Gonzalez. I predicted that he’d make three starts for the White Sox in August, and No. 3 is scheduled for Tuesday.