This is a series that looks back at their trade history with each team in baseball. So far, we have looked back at trades with the Braves, Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Orioles. Today we look at the history of deals with the Chicago White Sox.
Dayton Moore dealt with the White Sox frequently early in his tenure, sending reliever Mike MacDougal to Chicago for pitching prospects Dan Cortes and Tyler Lumsden, acquiring first baseman Ross Gload for pitcher Andrew Sisco, and picking up future White Sox GM Chris Getz and Josh Fields in exchange for third baseman Mark Teahen.
One of Cedric Tallis’ rare bad trades was when he sent Pat Kelly to the Sox for two light-hitting first basemen in 1970 - Gail Hopkins and John Matias. Kelly went on to become an All-Star and reliable base-stealer in Chicago.
Now that former Royals second baseman Chris Getz runs the White Sox, and many former Royals execs and coaches have joined him, we could see more deals between these two franchises.
Best trade: The Royals traded Horacio Ramirez to the White Sox for Paulo Orlando on August 9, 2008
Horacio Ramirez had a few decent seasons in Atlanta when Dayton Moore was there, so after his career took a nosedive, Moore signed him to a minor league deal with the Royals in 2008. He was up in the bullpen by June and he did look pretty good in the 15 outings he made for Kansas City with a 2.59 ERA. In August they flipped him to the White Sox for a speedy Brazilian outfielder in A-ball named Paulo Orlando.
It took a long time - seven years! - for Orlando to break into the big leagues, but his persistence paid off when he came up with the Royals’ championship team in 2015. He was known for his speed, hitting six triples in 86 games, and he would appear in all five games of the World Series. He really came into his own the next year by hitting .302/.329/.405 with 14 steals in 128 games for a 2 WAR season.
Worst trade: The Royals traded Mélido Pérez, Greg Hibbard, John Davis, and Chuck Mount to the White Sox for Floyd Bannister and Dave Cochrane on December 10, 1987
The Royals had a setback in 1987, having dealt with the tragic death of manager Dick Howser to brain cancer, and eventually falling two games out of a playoff spot. They solidified the shortstop position by acquiring young Kurt Stillwell from the Reds, but that left an opening in their rotation, plus Charlie Leibrandt was eligible for free agency. The White Sox were looking to rebuild and off-load the $1.8 million over two years owed to veteran left-hander Floyd Bannister, who won 16 games with a 3.58 ERA that year.
The Yankees were the most-reported suitor for Bannister, but could not close a deal. The White Sox wanted to get speedy outfielder Gary Thurman from the Royals, but Kansas City needed him as insurance in left in case Bo Jackson decided to go back to football full-time. So they held their ground and offered four pitching prospects instead. The prize was 22-year-old right-hander Mélido Pérez who would win 12 games with a 3.79 ERA and earn some Rookie of the Year votes. That was as many wins as Bannister, who finished 12-13, but with a 4.33 ERA for the Royals. The veteran won just four games in 14 starts the next year for Kansas City, and was pretty much done after that. Meanwhile, Pérez had an inconsistent career, but enjoyed a 5.9 WAR season in 1992 after a trade to the Yankees. To boot, Greg Hibbard, another pitcher in the deal, won 41 games over five seasons with the White Sox.
Underrated trade: The Royals traded A.J. Puckett and Andre David to the White Sox for Melky Cabrera on July 30, 2017
The Royals were in the second Wild Card spot, just two games out of first place when they re-acquired Melky Cabera near the trade deadline in 2017. Cabrera had previously played for them in 2011, but had endured a PED scandal since then. Cabrera was adequate in his return, hitting .269/.303/.399, but that was an improvement over the lack of offense the team was getting from Alex Gordon and Brandon Moss. And the cost to acquire him was small, two non-prospects that never reached the big leagues.
Weirdest trade: The Royals traded Joakim Soria to the White Sox and Scott Alexander to the Dodgers in a three-team trade for Erick Mejia and Trevor Oaks on January 4, 2018
Scott Alexander had a terrific 2017 season, with a 2.48 ERA in 58 appearances and had some trade value. Instead of getting some prospects with upside, the Royals instead decided to use his value to get rid of the contract of Joakim Soria, who was owed $9 million after having mixed results in his return to Kansas City. The Royals worked out a three-team deal where they sent Soria to the White Sox, Alexander to the Dodgers, and received Dodgers minor leaguer infielder Erick Mejia and pitcher Trevor Oaks in return. Both were upper minors players with low upside, who never made much of an impact in the big leagues.