White Sox: A Frankie Montas trade that doesn’t involve Andrew Vaughn

Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics

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The Chicago White Sox need pitching — that much is very clear. While Oakland A’s ace Frankie Montas is available, he’ll come at a high cost.

The White Sox do not seem intent on trading Andrew Vaughn — at least not for Montas. Oakland has been unwilling to part with their staff ace so far, as they’re willing to wait until the trade deadline to do so at an upgraded cost.

Chicago believes they can tread water until the return of Lance Lynn, thus making a need for pitching irrelevant. Overspending for Montas would’ve made some sense had Rick Hahn jumped at the opportunity to do so when the likes of Lynn and Giolito went down with injuries. Instead, he remained patient, unwilling to part with 24-year-old former top prospect Andrew Vaughn and others in Chicago’s system.

In 28 games this year, Vaughn is slashing .292/.349/.500 with an .849 OPS and 146 OPS+.

Are White Sox-A’s trade talks for Frankie Montas dead without Andrew Vaughn?

For now, the Sox are monitoring Montas’ hand injury, and what it means for any potential trade down the road. If a deal were to happen, it would likely be a little closer to the trade deadline.

But, for the sake of making a trade, let’s not rule this one out entirely. There’s a reason it’s been rumored for quite some time, dating back to spring training and the Oakland fire sale. But if Vaughn were not involved in said trade, what would it look like?

White Sox Get

Frankie Montas

Athletics Get

Jose Rodriguez

Jared Kelley

Emilio Vargas

Without Vaughn, Chicago would have to throw in one of its top-3 prospects to land a value like Montas, who has a remaining arbitration year after this one.

Rodriguez is the team’s No. 3 prospect, and is likely a year away from making the majors. Still, Chicago’s top prospect, Colson Montgomery, is also a shortstop like Rodriguez, so he is blocked to some extent. Oscar Colas, the team’s No. 2 prospect, has been deemed the ‘Cuban Ohtani’ by some prospect analysts, so that feels like a no-go from the jump.

Kelley is a 20-year-old pitching prospect. He was selected as a prep arm fresh out of high school, and he’s still in his early development stages. Consider Emilio Vargas, ranked No. 26 in Chicago’s system, a throw-in for Oakland to sweeten the pot.

It’s expensive, but it’s what any trade will cost to avoid dealing Vaughn and his promising future away from the South Side of Chicago for Montas.

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