ATLANTA — The question is not whether, but how many White Sox will be traded before the August 1 deadline.
At least the players made the decision easy for the front office. With a 38-55 record going into Saturday night's game against the Braves, sunk by six losses in the last seven games, eight of 10 and 19 of 28, sending the veteran for a prospect might make sense.
Lucas Giolito's contract expired after the season ended. Lance Lynn, who faces the Braves Saturday, has an $18 million club option with a $1 million buyout for 2024. Kendall Graveman is in the second year of a three-year, $24 million deal, a figure that should make him attractive to rivals. . Other people can also be on the block.
“I've been there before,” said Graveman, who traded from the Mariners to the Astros on July 27, 2021. “A few of us have been there.”
Players chat among themselves and with friends about the possibilities. But Graveman insists he is staying focused.
“Nothing has changed from day to day,” he said. “You know it and you hear it and people communicate it to you whether you want to hear it or not. Outside sources or friends will always mention it, but at the end of the day we are here, trying to win a baseball game.”
Giolito said he wanted to stay but the players wanted to win. Graveman knew he was going to a competitor, so there was that.
“You will think,” he said. “Try not to think about that and look too far ahead. We will see what the next two weeks bring for us as a team, and as an organization.”
Manager Pedro Grifol says the trade deadline is not a topic of conversation with his players.
“What will I tell them? I'd say, hey focus on the game? said Grifoll. “They know they have to focus on the game. That's something I think everyone here is a pro at. They've been through it. They know that's part of it. And until that happens, there is nothing to talk about or think about.
“There's really nothing we can do about that, right? There are still 15 days left. We can't predict what will happen. Things may happen. It may not happen. We just have to keep playing our game.”
And be a professional, says Graveman, whether that's performing or helping a struggling teammate.
“These are the moments when you really get to know people and about yourself,” says Graveman. “We didn't perform as a group as we expected. So it's a good study time for everyone. We have to keep trying to win baseball games.
“Just know where your feet are, do your best as an individual and try to help your team win.”
This and that
Going back, Giolito, Touki Toussaint and Michael Kopech will start against the Mets Tuesday through Thursday in New York, with the Sox having Monday off.
*Grifol will be inducted into the Florida State University Athletics Hall of Fame in September. Grifol helped the Seminoles reach the College World Series in 1989 and '91.