Following Nick Madrigal’s season-ending injury in early June, the Chicago White Sox have been looking for reinforcements at second base. General manager Rick Hahn addressed that need today by completing a trade with the Cleveland Indians to acquire César Hernández, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Hernández is a consistent veteran option at second base, which will allow Leury García to return to more of a utility role. Hernández has accumulated 1.8 fWAR in 2021 with a slash line of .231/.307/.431 in addition to 18 home runs and 47 RBIs. He owns a career slash line of .272/.347/.388, which shows the 31-year-old’s willingness to get on base.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the White Sox are sending left-handed pitcher Konnor Pilkington to Cleveland in exchange for Hernandez.
The White Sox originally drafted Pilkington with the 81st overall pick in the third round of the 2018 MLB Draft. He owns a 9-14 record, 4.13 ERA, and 1.20 WHIP in 205 innings across 47 games (46 starts) in the White Sox minor league system.
Pilkington is a small price to pay for the immediate impact Hernandez will provide for the White Sox. Entering play today, Hernandez is tied with Jose Abreu for the White Sox team lead in home runs with 18. Hernandez’s contract also carries a club option worth $6 million for the 2022 season.
Now that second base has been addressed, Hahn and Co. will likely turn their attention to acquiring bullpen help. The trade deadline is Friday, July 30 at 3 PM CT.