It might be April Fool’s Day, but the White Sox aren’t joking around today. Let’s review Rick Hahn’s very large news day.
First news drop of the day via the White Sox Twitter account: Prior to today’s game vs. Oakland, the White Sox made seven roster moves, optioning reliever Matt Foster, catcher Zack Collins, third baseman Jake Burger and outfielder Adam Haseley to Triple-A Charlotte and reassigning infielder Zack Remillard and outfielders Luis Basabe and Dwight Smith Jr. to minor-league camp.
With the moves, the White Sox have 35 players remaining in camp: 18 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders, and six outfielders.
A lot to digest here, but the biggest story here is that it seems as though Seby Zavala or Nick Ciuffo will be Yasmani Grandal’s backup catcher. Zavala in particular has looked promising during spring training with two runs and three hits, slashing .250/.250/.583.
However, the Burger bombs this year on the South Side might be few and far between, and that’s unfortunate.
But wait, there's more! The White Sox agreed to terms on a one-year, $7.45-million contract with right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito for the 2022 season, avoiding arbitration. While this news doesn’t bode well for a Giolito extension, he’s getting paid. We’ll just have to wait and see if he lands in Los Angeles or New York in 2024.
And somehow, this is not the end of a very wild April Fool’s news day.
The White Sox have acquired veteran outfielder AJ Pollock from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel. Yes, you read that right. The deal appears to be straight up, with no money exchanged between the teams.
Pollock has been having a great spring training thus far, with a .913 OPS in 20 plate appearances. For the 2021 season, Pollock had 21 home runs and slashed .297/.355/.536, putting up 3.1 WAR in just 117 games. He’s paid $13 million in 2022, and has a player option for $10 million in 2023, his age-35 season (with a $5 million buyout). This trade seems incredibly beneficial for the White Sox — and if Pollock can stay healthy, it’s an outright steal.
Kimbrel undoubtedly struggled for the White Sox. A lot of us had high hopes, myself included. One of his better moments was meeting 10-year old Chase Boykin, also known as “The Kimbrel Kid” after being caught on video mimicking Kimbrel’s unique pitching stance.
However, most were not big fans of Kimbrel. I asked for favorite Kimbrel moments and well, a lot of answers consisted of the word today.
What was your favorite Craig Kimbrel moment?— Chrystal O’Keefe (@chrystal_ok) April 1, 2022
That is my positive recap for the moves today. I’ll let someone else break the not-so-great news in another article.