By Kevin Powell
Clayton Kershaw may have been pitching in the series opener between the White Sox and Dodgers, but it was #hugwatch that was trending on Twitter Tuesday night. Yes, #hugwatch was trending. After Todd Frazier was listed as a healthy scratch the obvious assumption was that a trade was coming. So we waited and waited, staring at the Sox dugout looking for hugs.
Turns out those hugs and goodbyes wouldn’t come until after the game when it was made official that Frazier, along with relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle were headed to New York in exchange for four players including prospect Blake Rutherford.
“This deals a little bit different from the other one’s we’ve done,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said, “But it accomplishes the same goal that we set out from that start and that is to add as much potentially impact talent to this organization.”
First, it was Chris Sale. Then Adam Eaton. Then Jose Quintana. And now Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle. Considering there were reports the Sox would only get a fringe prospect in a Frazier deal, the Sox have to be pleased to have received a top 30 prospect in Rutherford.
“Blake Rutherford is a player who has been high on our evaluation list since he was taken as a first-round choice by the Yankees as an amateur,” Hahn said.
The 20-year-old outfielder is batting .281 with 20 doubles and two home runs, 30 RBI and 41 runs scored in 71 game with Class A Charleston. He’s another piece to the puzzle for the Sox who now possess ten of the Top 100 prospects in baseball, according to mlb.com. That’s insane. And all of them have been added to the organization over the span of one year.
As if the blockbuster trade wasn’t enough, Hahn dropped this during his postgame presser: “I supposed I buried the lead when I failed to mention in this that Yoan Moncada will be in uniform (on Wednesday).”
It comes full circle for Hahn and the Sox when minutes after announcing your fourth major deal in less than a year, the key player acquired in the first trade that kick started the rebuild gets the call to the majors.
They may be in last place but the baseball world will be watching to see what happens at 35th and Shields Wednesday night when the 2016 Minor League Player of the Year makes his debut with the White Sox.
Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7p. Follow on twitter @kpowell720