The White Sox were expected to add bullpen help before the trade deadline Tuesday, and they checked off a specific need Monday, acquiring left-hander Jake Diekman from the Red Sox for catcher Reese McGuire and a player to be named or cash considerations.
That, apparently, was the only addition the 51-51 underachieving organization made. The deadline passed at 5 p.m. CT with general manager Rick Hahn speaking to the media soon after.
While AL Central leading Twins and numerous other teams made multiple moves to improve their roster on a busy trading day, the Sox could have upgraded theirs as well by adding another reliever, a left-handed hitter and possibly another starting pitcher. But the Sox stood pat with no more additions.
Diekman, 35, is 5-1 with a 4.23 ERA, 51 strikeouts and 30 walks in a team-high 44 appearances covering 38„ innings this season.
‘My goal is to pitch as much as possible,” Diekman said in the Sox clubhouse Tuesday. “I feel you earn your paycheck that way.”
The Red Sox were looking to shed salary, and the White Sox were carrying three catchers — McGuire, Yasmani Grandal and Seby Zavala — and were super-thin in the bullpen with only one lefty, rookie Tanner Banks.
Diekman’s contract includes salaries of $3.5 million this season and next, with a club option for $4 million in 2024. He has a 3.77 ERA and 15 saves over 11 major-league seasons with Philadelphia, Texas, Arizona, Kansas City, Oakland and Boston (2022). He ranks fourth in appearances among active lefties.
McGuire, 27, is batting .225/.261/.285 and was arguably the team’s best defensive catcher in his first season with the Sox, who traded catcher Zack Collins for him at the end of spring training.
Zavala has swung a more productive bat with a .296/.340/.439 hitting line and two home runs in 30 games.
Robert unlikely to play in series
Center fielder Luis Robert is “unlikely” to play in the series that runs through Wednesday, manager Tony La Russa said.
Robert has been sidelined since leaving a game against the Twins on July 15 and subsequently going on the injured list with light-headedness and blurred vision. He went to Triple-A Charlotte for a rehab assignment and got five at-bats as a designated hitter Friday, then was out with cold symptoms and returned to Chicago.
Robert was in the Sox’ clubhouse Monday and played catch on the field but declined a request through media relations to be interviewed.
“He was feeling better yesterday; he still gets some symptoms,” La Russa said. “Being careful with him. He is getting better, so our fingers remain crossed.”
La Russa said Robert is experiencing cold symptoms. He declined to discuss the light-headedness and blurred vision.
“If they’re asking about the lineup that’s up there, I’m the guy you should ask,” La Russa said. “But if they ask about what’s happening on the health side, I’m more likely to make a mistake than say something that makes sense.”
Asked if Robert is light-headed and dealing with blurred vision, La Russa said, “That’s an area that we’re not exactly sure it’s tied together. I just know he was better yesterday.”
This and that
Right-hander Vince Velasquez, on the injured list since July 6 with a blister on his index finger, left for a rehab assignment at Charlotte. Velasquez said he expects to be there a week.
† NBC Sports Chicago Plus aired the first of four Sox Spanish-language broadcasts Monday, with Hector Lozano and Ozzie Guillen on the call.
Additional broadcasts are scheduled for Aug. 15 vs. Houston, Sept. 2 vs. Minnesota and Sept. 14 vs. Colorado.