Tommy Pham expects White Sox to trade him, 'but I have to play better,' he says

“You’re not going to get traded if you’re under-performing,” Pham told the Sun-Times. “I’m not playing to the best of my capabilities.”

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Chicago White Sox outfielder Tommy Pham

Tommy Pham will likely be traded before the July 30 deadline for deals.

Griffin Quinn/Getty

DETROIT — White Sox outfielder Tommy Pham fully expects to be dealt before the trade deadline July 30.

‘‘Yes, I do,’’ Pham told the Sun-Times on Sunday. ‘‘But, you know, you have to play a little better to get traded. You’re not going to get traded if you’re underperforming. I’m not playing to the best of my capabilities, but I’m close. I’m close to turning it around.’’

Since being signed to a minor-league deal for $3.5 million (plus incentives) in April after missing all of spring training when he didn’t get a deal to his liking, Pham is batting .268/.337/.390 with four home runs after going 0-for-3 in the Sox’ 11-2 loss Sunday to the Tigers. He has reached base safely in eight of his last nine games but is 9-for-57 (.158) with one homer in his last 15.

‘‘There’s still a lot of time,’’ Pham said. ‘‘I need to play better to make an impact on this team and help out this organization.’’

Pham, 36, hit a combined .256/.328/.446 with 16 homers last season for the Mets and Diamondbacks, whom he helped reach the World Series. But no one signed him in the offseason, and the Sox reeled him in for one year, knowing they could flip him before the deadline.

Pham, who is known for his edge, ‘‘has been a great teammate and a leader in this clubhouse and would be in any clubhouse,’’ manager Pedro Grifol said.

‘‘His preparation and work ethic are second to none, and so is his will to win,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘Tommy Pham is a winner.’’

Pham wants to play for a winner but said he’s not hating playing for the 21-58 Sox, who are close to the pace of the 1962 Mets, who finished 40-120 for the most losses in the modern era.

‘‘I don’t mind playing for this team,’’ Pham said. ‘‘It’s really not that far off from being a winning team. Believe it or not, there are pieces in place, man. [Left-hander Garrett] Crochet is under control, very cheap in terms of his value. And [center fielder Luis] Robert is one of the best young outfielders in the game.

‘‘We started 3-22, and I didn’t get to see all that. But we’ve been in a lot of ballgames. . . . We’re just not finishing, and that’s just a piece or two away. This team historically has always had a pretty high payroll — or competitive payroll, I should say. They’re not far off from getting those pieces to turn this record around.’’

A couple of hours after Pham said, ‘‘We’re not getting blown to pieces,’’ Sox rookie right-hander Jonathan Cannon was shelled for eight runs and seven hits in one-plus innings.

While Grifol has come under some fire, as any manager of a team with this record would, Pham said he is far from the top of the reasons for the Sox’ struggles.

‘‘I don’t think it’s fair to criticize him,’’ Pham said of Grifol. ‘‘There were so many injuries of important pieces [Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada] to this team, and the team is so young. You can’t blame that on the manager.’’

While Pham mentioned Crochet and Robert as building blocks for the organization, it’s possible one or both will be traded, too, depending on what general manager Chris Getz is offered in return. Right-hander Erick Fedde, shortstop Paul DeJong and closer Michael Kopech also might be moved, not to mention any number of veterans.

‘‘I haven’t heard anything. but I’m just going to go about my business and forget about the talk from outside,’’ said Jimenez, who came off the injured list Sunday. ‘‘Just concentrate and play hard every single day.’’

As the deadline draws nearer, that’s all anyone — Pham included — can do.

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