The White Sox dealt injured reliever Nate Jones to the Rangers for two low-level minor-league pitchers before the trade deadline Wednesday.
And with that relatively insignificant trade, the Sox stood pat.
Alex Colome is still their closer, and probably will be next season. First baseman Jose Abreu is the first baseman, and very well could be for another couple of years if he re-signs as he hopes to. Any other tradable pieces did not bring offers worth the Sox’ while, general manager Rick Hahn said, if they brought any at all.
Abreu, for one, wasn’t worried.
“During this deadline, it never passed through my mind that I would be on a different team,” he said.
And so the tailspinning Sox, in Year 3 of the rebuild with an eye on potentially fielding a more competitive team than the 46-59 unit that has lost 15 of its last 19 games after a 4-2 loss to the Mets, will move forward with what they have.
“Given where we’re at in terms of this rebuild, it made more sense to only move if there was something that made sense for the long term, and that did not present itself,” Hahn said.
“It was a matter of, were we getting what we felt made enough sense to potentially put a hole in next year’s roster and how were we going to go about filling that hole? We just didn’t get to the point where we were motivated by what was coming back to potentially weaken the 2020 roster.”
One locked-down spot on the 2020 roster will be held by All-Star Lucas Giolito, who would have had significant trade value but wasn’t going anywhere. Giolito pitched seven innings of one-run ball before 25,812 fans at Guaranteed Rate Field, an encouraging outing for the right-hander who had a combined 7.06 ERA with five homers allowed in his previous four starts.
He allowed three hits and three walks and struck out nine in a duel with fellow All-Star Jacob deGrom, who also gave up a run in seven innings.
This one had a sour finish, though. Entering a 1-1 game, Colome gave up three unearned runs in the ninth, an inning that got off to a bad start with an error on shortstop Tim Anderson. Todd Frazier’s RBI single and Michael Conforto’s two-run single knocked out Colome.
Jose Abreu’s sacrifice fly in the third and Leury Garcia’s homer in the ninth against Mets closer -Edwin Diaz accounted for the Sox’ runs.
Jones, 33, who appeared in 13 games before having forearm surgery and going on the 60-day injured list, brought right-handers Ray Castro, 22, and Joseph Jarneski, 19, who will be assigned to the Dominican Summer League Sox and the Arizona League Sox, respectively. The Rangers also received international bonus money in the trade.
His getting tagged with the loss with three unearned runs notwithstanding, the Sox need Colome now, manager Rick Renteria said, to nail down chances for victories that have been few and far between since the All-Star break.
“Keeping most of the back end of the bullpen, it allows us — as we’re scratching and clawing with what we have — to have someone we’re confident can give us a chance to win ballgames,” Renteria said. “Which, for us, is important.”
It’s also important that Giolito is the pitcher he was in the first half — and Wednesday.
“I was a little out of sync right before the break,” Giolito said, “coming out of the break, kind of fighting a few things. But after the last start [seven runs and four homers allowed against the Twins], I really slowed things down, made a nice adjustment. Just getting back into my rhythm, and tonight we showed that. So it’s good to be back on track.”