By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — The White Sox have done a quality job of garnering blue-chip prospects for three high-profile players they’ve traded over the last eight months.
Looking ahead, it’s going to be a difficult process obtaining more top talent in any trade. Some of the veteran White Sox players looking over their shoulder after the trade of left-hander Jose Quintana to the Cubs last Thursday struggled over the weekend as the Mariners completed a sweep.
On Sunday, left-hander Derek Holland allowed six runs, five earned, in 5 2/3 innings on seven hits and a walk. Holland’s trade value has plummeted over the past six or so weeks, as he had a 9.55 ERA in June and a 10.20 ERA this month, and he’s allowed seven homers in his past five outings. Holland was signed to a one-year deal last offseason with the thought that he could provide solid innings in the first half of the season — which he did for two months — and then be a trade chip in late July. That looks more unlikely now.
“One pitch is what really killed me,” Holland said after Chicago’s extra-inning loss to Seattle on Sunday, referencing a three-run homer Danny Valencia hit in the fifth inning. “Narvie (catcher Omar Narvaez) said maybe we should have gone somewhere else with it. At the same time, if I make that pitch, everyone is saying what a great pitch. So I am not going to beat myself up over it. One thing took me out of it, and that is it.”
On the same day the White Sox were swept, the Cubs finished off a sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore behind seven shutout innings from the newly acquired Quintana. White Sox manager Rick Renteria was asked if there was an emotional effect that distracted the White Sox after the trade of Quintana.
“That is a good question,” Renteria said. “I have not sensed that the guys are down. Their friend, their teammate who threw very well in Baltimore — they are pulling for. They all know the game of baseball has elements that not everybody likes. Changes always occur. They are pulling for him, but from what I observed that has nothing to do with how we played this weekend. They have been able to separate that action. This was simply having to play better baseball.”
Another possible trade candidate for the White Sox is third baseman Todd Frazier, who went 1-of-12 in the three-game set. He could be a fit for the Red Sox.
For now, all players like Holland and Frazier can do is wait and play their hardest.
“We wish Q the best,” Holland said. “We saw he pitched very well today. Hats off to him. At the same time, we cannot get caught up in those types of things. We still have to play the game whether we lose a guy or gain a guy. We still have to show up and play every single day. To get caught up in that would not be right. It would show we are not focused. We were definitely focused and battled back. Seattle is a very good team. You have to give them credit. The outcomes didn’t happen the way we wanted them to. All the games were close. We just can’t get caught up in that kind of stuff.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.