The Chicago White Sox have made a huge splash this week, unloading two veteran mainstays and receiving a stunning haul of prospects in return. In just two days, executives Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams have turned one of baseball’s worst farm systems into the home of a bevy of top prospects. It has been a stunning turnaround that will almost certainly catapult the team’s rebuilding process miles ahead.
On Tuesday, the Chicago shipped ace lefty Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for a prospect package centered around Yoan Moncada and hard-throwing righty Michael Kopech. While Sale is a dominant starter, Moncada and Kopech immediately became the top prospects in the White Sox system. They remained there for about 24 hours.
On Wednesday, the White Sox sent center fielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals in exchange for pitchers Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and Reynaldo Lopez. Again, this was a massive haul in exchange for Eaton, a 28-year-old outfielder who will likely never repeat his 6.2 WAR performance from 2016.
For context: Moncada is the top prospect in baseball on MLB.com and Giolito is No. 3. There is no doubt Moncada is a perennial All-Star in the making, while the 22-year-old Giolito has top-of-the-rotation stuff. Meanwhile, Kopech is listed at No. 30 on MLB’s prospect ranking, Lopez is 38th and Dunning was Washington’s first-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Florida.
So the White Sox have gone from having two prospects in MLB’s top 100 (No. 58, Carson Fulmer and No. 80, Zack Collins) to having six in the span of a day. That’s how you kickstart a rebuild.
It’s worth noting that Moncada, Giolito, Fulmer and Lopez could all open the 2016 season on the big league level.