On Thursday, July 28, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired left-handed relief pitcher Dan Jennings from the Chicago White Sox for first base prospect Casey Gillaspie.
Dan Jennings hasn’t been great this season with a 3.45 ERA in 44.1 innings for the White Sox. His ERA doesn’t tell the entire truth of his season as his 4.55 FIP shows that he has been even worse. I didn’t consider him to be a highly targeted player on the trade market and was surprised to see him move for such a high price. The Rays didn’t even have a pressing need in their bullpen and I didn’t think spending big on a relief pitcher was something they needed to do. Jennings does have two years of arbitration left after this season so it makes sense why the White Sox asking price for him was so high.
In order to acquire Jennings, the Rays gave up top 100 prospect Casey Gillaspie, a switch hitting first baseman who has been scuffling at AAA this season. Last season, after he received his call up to AAA, he hit much better so it appears evident that the White Sox feel he still has potential. The White Sox have done very well with their prospects thus far and have been doing a good job at getting the most out of them. I do question what their long-term plan is for him because he is a first baseman and the White Sox already have Jose Abreu on the their major league roster and he has two more years of arbitration left before reaching free agency. Perhaps if Gillaspie can rebound and regain his potential and deserves a call-up to the majors, Abreu can move to designated hitter. Either way, it is a great problem for the White Sox to have and one that many teams would love to have to solve.