Get Chicago's Best Sports Content In Your Inbox!

Become a smarter Chicago sports fan with the latest game recaps, analysis and exclusive content from CHGO’s writers and podcasters!

Just drop your email below!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate Chicago White Sox Community!

Robbie Grossman deal has White Sox open for business as baseball's trade season arrives early

Vinnie Duber Avatar
May 8, 2024
Robbie Grossman

Trade season is underway on the South Side.

With nearly three months till baseball’s trade deadline, Chris Getz is already dealing, the first-year general manager sending Robbie Grossman to the Rangers on Wednesday in exchange for a minor league pitcher.

This is hardly a blockbuster, and unless Getz decides to part ways with franchise centerpiece Luis Robert Jr., or someone like Tommy Pham has an unexpectedly awesome summer, there isn’t expected to be a blockbuster for these White Sox, not this year.

But there figure to be as many trades as Getz can get other baseball bosses across the game to agree to.

Grossman fits the profile of many of his now former White Sox teammates, a veteran in on an inexpensive deal who has no part to play in the long term for a franchise in the early days of a rebuilding project that Getz admitted to not being “a quick fix by any stretch” just last month.

It was a wonder why Grossman — and all those other White Sox who fit a similar description — was here at all, really, and there was plenty of fan curiosity, bordering on downright frustration, as to why Grossman and his ilk were and remain to take opportunity away from young players who at least have a chance to be something for the next contending White Sox team.

Well, this is why.

It’s going to take time to figure out whether Getz struck gold or merely got a living, breathing minor leaguer in this deal. The return, 23-year-old right-handed reliever Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa, is having a dandy of a season so far in Double-A. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in a dozen appearances. This after he posted a 3.09 ERA pitching at Class A last season. He’s intriguing, for sure.

But that Getz got anything is of note.

The White Sox brought Grossman in on a minor league deal during spring camp, and no matter how well he performed, he wasn’t expected to make it past 2024 as a South Sider. And truth be told, he didn’t play all that well, at least from a statistical standpoint. He leaves the White Sox having hit .211 with a .329 on-base percentage and four extra-base hits, all of them doubles. He played in 25 games and scored six runs. His OPS-plus mark of 74 made him 26 percent worse than the average big league hitter.

But even that turned into Hoopii-Tuionetoa, someone who has a chance of making some sort of long-term impact. Maybe he won’t, but he has a chance, something Grossman never had. And so the strategy paid off for Getz. The answer to why the team was and continues to play veterans over young guys in a season where they’re just as many games away from 30 losses as they are from 10 wins couldn’t be clearer now.

Considering so many players on this roster fall into the same bucket as Grossman did, expect a lot more of this type of thing throughout the rest of the summer.

The White Sox are open for business.

Who goes next remains to be seen, obviously. Early May is a rare time for baseball trades, though the White Sox have now jumped into that end of the pool, joining a selling Marlins team that surprisingly shipped away Luis Arráez the other day. Getz might not end up dangling any assets as tantalizing as the former batting champ, but there doesn’t figure to be much that he won’t put out in his yard sale.

The biggest question, perhaps, is whether an offer will come along that pries away Robert, the team’s best player still under control for three seasons after this one. Getz showed no interest in dealing Robert during the offseason, but there’s no doubt that the All-Star center fielder presents the best chance to infuse significant talent into the organization, as opposed to a potential parade of lottery-ticket types acquired in deals for veterans on one-year deals, no offense meant to Hoopii-Tuionetoa and his stellar stats so far this year.

But whether Robert stays or goes, there figures to be plenty of activity. Veterans who aren’t expected to be with the White Sox past the end of this season include the aforementioned Pham, fellow new arrival Mike Clevinger and even mainstays like Yoán Moncada and Eloy Jiménez, whose expensive club options for 2025 seem to make their days on the South Side numbered. Erick Fedde is interesting, signed to a two-year free-agent deal during the winter but performing very well right now. Garrett Crochet and Michael Kopech are young but also under control for two and one years, respectively, and their eye-popping talent could fetch something of greater (or longer-term, at least) value.

Recognize, though, that anyone could be moved. A list of the most likely trade candidates written yesterday probably didn’t include Grossman, and yet he was the first to go.

Likely the first of many.

Get Our Best Sox Content In Your Inbox!

Become a smarter Chicago White Sox fan with Vinnie Duber's Sox Newsletter!

Just drop your email below!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

The Comment section is only for diehard members

Open comments +

Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?