BOSTON — Jake Burger is mashing with the Marlins, making White Sox fans wince with every walk-off hit and home run from the popular third baseman and former first-round draft pick who was traded for left-handed pitching prospect Jake Eder before the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
It doesn’t help that Eder pitched to an 11.42 ERA in five starts at Double-A Birmingham after the deal. General manager Chris Getz recently dispatched Eder to the Sox’ pitchers-and-catchers camp at their training facility in Glendale, Arizona, to be run through their pitching lab “to gain a better understanding of how his body is moving and help with some adjustments,” Getz said.
Burger, meanwhile, was batting .306/.362/.472 with eight homers and an .879 OPS in 46 games for the Marlins before slugging a three-run homer against the Brewers on Saturday.
Burger has 34 homers and a 121 OPS+ between the Sox and Marlins, numbers only Luis Robert Jr. has topped for the Sox. And he is inexpensive to boot with two more years of pre-arbitration salary to be paid after this season.
Burger’s bat has been missed in the lineup, although with a healthy Yoan Moncada at third base and Eloy Jimenez at designated hitter, his spots were crowded. His presence is missed in the clubhouse, too.
“He’s just good people,” first baseman Andrew Vaughn said.
Perhaps the trade, worked out between former executive vice president Ken Williams and Marlins general manager Kim Ng, a former colleague with Williams from her Sox days, will work out in the long run. The Sox, desperate for pitching depth, have their fingers crossed.
As they do with the other salary-dump deals before the trade deadline. Here’s how they are shaping up with a week left in the season:
† Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly to the Dodgers for Nick Nastrini, Jordan Leasure and Trayce Thompson.
Lynn is 6-2 with a 4.67 ERA in nine starts with the Dodgers. In his first four, he was 3-0 with a 1.43 ERA. In his last four, he’s 3-2 with a 7.67 ERA and 10 home runs allowed.
Kelly missed a month with inflammation in his right elbow and forearm and has pitched to a 2.45 ERA in eight appearances.
Nastrini has a 5.52 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Charlotte after pitching to a 4.22 ERA in four starts at Birmingham.
Leasure has made 15 relief appearances at Charlotte with a 6.08 ERA but 23 strikeouts in 13„ innings.
Thompson is providing a veteran presence in the Sox clubhouse while batting .203/.288/.288 with a homer in 28 games.
† Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the Angels for catcher Edgar Quero and right-hander Ky Bush.
Giolito owned a 3.79 ERA when he was traded to the Angels, who dramatically went all in at the trade deadline. Giolito had a disastrous stint near his hometown, going 1-5 with a 6.89 ERA in six starts. The Guardians took a flier on the suddenly struggling righty, claiming him on waivers, but the results haven’t been much better: a 5.64 ERA with seven homers allowed in four starts.
Lopez fared better with a 2.77 ERA in 13 games before the Guardians claimed him, too, and he hasn’t allowed a run in 10 appearances.
Quero, the No. 81 prospect per MLB Pipeline (third among Sox prospects) is batting .277/.366/.393 with three homers in 31 games for Birmingham while showing a plus-arm behind the plate. Bush owns a 6.70 ERA in nine starts at Charlotte.
† Kendall Graveman to the Astros for Korey Lee
Graveman is pitching a little better for the Astros with a 2.70 ERA in 20 appearances than he did for the Sox, and Lee has been the Sox’ primary catcher. A career .263/.329/.427 hitter in the minor leagues, Lee has struggled mightily at the plate with a .070 average (4-for-52) in 18 games but has been good defensively, especially throwing.