Trades, debuts in store for Sox second half

Chicago may look to move veterans, while top prospect Moncada expected to debut

Trades, debuts in store for Sox second half

CHICAGO -- If your name isn't Tim Anderson or Carlos Rodon and you are a player on the White Sox active roster, you might do better to rent than to buy in the Chicago area.

That statement isn't meant to be glib, but simply an honest representation of the current White Sox rebuild. With the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching, general manager Rick Hahn will be listening on offers for pretty much everyone and anyone.

The White Sox started dealing Thursday, when left-handed starter Jose Quintana, who has put together four straight seasons of at least 200 innings pitched, 30 starts and an ERA of 3.51 or below, was dealt to the Cubs for a package of prospects.

Third baseman Todd Frazier and left fielder Melky Cabrera, who are free agents after the 2017 season, certainly would be prime trade candidates, The same holds true for relievers such as closer David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Anthony Swarzak.

Money could be an issue for Frazier (earns $12 million overall in '17), Cabrera ($15 million in '17) and Robertson (owed a little less than $19 million over the next two seasons). The prospective seems fairly straightforward: more high-end prospects to add to a critical mass that already includes MLBPipeline.com's top prospect in Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Robert and Lucas Giolito.

• White Sox top prospects

The time to contend lies at least two seasons away for the White Sox. Building for that contention could be greatly enhanced over these next two weeks.

Kopech on facing Moncada

WHAT ARE THEY PLAYING FOR?
Some fans would argue the White Sox are playing for the best position possible in the 2018 MLB Draft, meaning the more losses, the better. But Hahn has stated a rebuild doesn't necessarily equal tanking. The White Sox will continue to play hard, while getting a look at some of their top prospects who figure to arrive in Chicago during the second half.

THE ROAD AHEAD
The Cubs stand as the defending World Series champions while the White Sox are in rebuild mode, but their records are separated by only 4 1/2 games. So the two games at Wrigley Field on July 24-25 and two at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 26-27 should be entertaining and more competitive than many expected back in late March. The White Sox play home-and-home two-gamers with the Dodgers (July 18-19 in Chicago, August 15-16 in Los Angeles), meaning Cody Bellinger and Moncada could share the field.

KEY PLAYER
All eyes will be transfixed on Moncada, who certainly will reach the Majors this season and could be there shortly after the All-Star break. The switch-hitting second baseman consistently has shown off his wide array of skills for Triple-A Charlotte, including much improved defense at second base. As for the current big league side, the challenge for Avisail Garcia is carrying out his All-Star first half for a full season.

PROSPECTS TO WATCH
See the above answer in Moncada, and once Moncada earns the callup, look for him to play almost every day. But Moncada does not stand alone, with right-handed starters Reynaldo Lopez, Giolito and Carson Fulmer and right-handed reliever Zack Burdi in play to reach the Majors.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.