White Sox ‘actively seeking' trade packages for Luis Robert Jr.: Report

White Sox ‘actively seeking’ trade packages for Luis Robert Jr.: Report originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The White Sox appear geared for a second consecutive busy MLB trade deadline, as they are rumored to be active sellers in late July.

But this one might sting a little more.

NY Post’s Jon Heyman reported Thursday there’s a solid chance the White Sox will trade their centerpiece: Luis Robert Jr.

“The White Sox are actively seeking packages for Robert, and with two team options at a club-friendly $20 million and just $63M to go through 2027 (assuming the options are exercised), he combines control and talent like no one else out there,” Heyman wrote. “Worry over injury history is the negative heard. But many need outfielders (Dodgers, Phillies, Royals, etc.) Chances to be dealt: Good.”

For reference, Heyman laid out a key for each player’s trade chances at the top of his report. “(With chances to be dealt: good = more than 50 percent, average = 50 percent, fair = below 50 percent).” Hence, Heyman believes the chances of Robert Jr. being traded are greater than 50%.

Last trade deadline, the White Sox dismantled most of their active roster. They traded Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Jake Burger, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Keynan Middleton and Kendall Gravemen. They continued in the offseason, declining club options for Tim Anderson and Liam Hendriks.

But GM Chris Getz doesn’t appear satisfied with the foundation, yet. Not only is Robert Jr. rumored to be on the trade block, but the Padres also have reported interest in Garrett Crochet.

But trading Robert Jr. is different. Following the initial teardown, the prevailing belief was that the All-Star center fielder would likely avoid being dealt, remaining part of the core foundation through the South Side’s rebuild.

The 26-year-old is in the prime of his career, coming off a 2023 season where he earned his second All-Star nod and his first Silver Slugger award. Unfortunately, a hip flexor strain has kept him to just 10 games this season. And injuries aren’t uncommon in his career, as the 2023 season marked his first playing 100+ games.

Still, his contract situation is relatively friendly. He’s slated to make $12.5 million this year and $15 million next year. The White Sox own club options for the 2026 and 2027 seasons, too. All in all, Robert Jr.’s value as a top-tier defender, versatile hitter and base-stealer makes him an enticing asset.

I wouldn’t be so sure the White Sox send him packing so quickly, however. When the White Sox actively shopped Dylan Cease earlier this season, they were stingy with the price, not letting their ace go to another team without a hefty price.

They sent him to the Padres at the beginning of the season, receiving pitching prospects Drew Thorpe and Jairo Iriarte, who are the No. 5 and No. 8 prospects in the Padres’ system. In addition, they got 29-year-old reliever Steven Wilson and 19-year-old outfielder Samuel Zavala, the latter of which is the No. 7 prospect in the Padres’ system.

For Robert Jr., Getz should set a high price for his services. Based on the way the White Sox GM handled the Cease trade, it would make sense for the front office to be hesitant with shaking hands on a trade for inarguably their most valuable player.

The MLB trade deadline is July 30, so there is plenty of time for teams to get their ducks in a row. Stay tuned.

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