By Bruce Levine–
GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) — With spring training now in full swing, the idea that veterans will still be traded by the White Sox remains fluid.READ MORE: Man Shot And Killed In East Garfield Park
Trying to pinpoint who goes and when is difficult for manager Rick Renteria and his coaching staff to wrap their heads around. The front office has included Renteria and his staff in the process of potential player movement. As those deals continue to be discussed, the unknown element of who will be a part of the team on Opening Day adds to an uncertainty in this camp.
Left-hander Jose Quintana and closer David Robertson are believed to be the most likely to be headed elsewhere first, as both could have a much bigger impact on a contender than they will for the rebuilding White Sox.
The beginning of spring training games usually puts most general managers in a less-active mode. In the case of the White Sox, scouts will be lining up to watch their veterans play this spring.
“This is traditionally a less active time,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “Until the games get going, the teams are self-evaluating a bit. I expect it to pick up in the next month and remain strong in terms of conversations we have throughout the season.”
Hahn and the White Sox have the most attractive pitching available on the trade market this spring. Quintana is a high-level No. 2 starter, and Robertson is a proven closer. Pitchers have already suffered injuries in other teams’ camp, and the potential of a blockbuster trade that brings back high-caliber young players for the White Sox is real.READ MORE: Ed's Tech Notes: Apple Cutting Production On iPhone 13, Twitter's New Feature, Drone Delivers Lungs For Transplant
“Certainly, part of the game is about guys getting hurt or underperforming,” Hahn said. “That has an impact of altering markets. If that happens to teams and that alters the way they look at their team, we will respond accordingly. As we sit right now, it is all about continuing the conversations we have had. We hope to build off of those.”
One of the top potential trade pieces for the White Sox was injured Monday. Third baseman Todd Frazier is being held out of practice with a left oblique strain. He injured his side swinging, though he doesn’t believe it’s serious.
“I just felt a little tightness in my left side, and that is what spring training is for,” Frazier said of being cautious with the injury. “They have been working on me the last day-and-a-half. I do not think it’s anything serious. We can take a few days off and hopefully it will get better and better.”
The burden of dealing with a rebuild and uncertainty regarding the future of some players falls into the lap of Renteria, who encountered a similar situation as manager of the rebuilding Cubs in 2014. Back then, rotation members Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were dealt midseason for star shortstop prospect Addison Russell. Both Samardzija and Hammel performed well for the Cubs that season despite knowing they were on the trading block.
“For the most part, it’s the same,” Renteria said. “I remember the conversations I had with those guys. They know there are only certain things they can control. Most of it is preparing to play the season. Other things are out of their control. Hopefully as we continue to get together as a club, it will minimize their sense of thinking about all of those things.”MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Warm Temps For The Bears Game
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.