While the Braves fired the first significant free agent shot of the offseason, signing Josh Donaldson to an expensive one-year deal, many of the major pieces have yet to move. With Thanksgiving behind us and the Winter Meetings approaching, we can expect the hot stove to heat up in earnest. Or hope so, there’s a chance we get a weird winter standoff like last year. Regardless, the biggest White Sox move so far this offseason has been their 40-man roster shuffling. As part of those machinations, the White Sox left Clarkin off the 40-man roster and he was claimed by the Cubs.
At the time, I wrote leaving Clarkin exposed was a logical move. At this point, it’s hard to imagine he has the durability to start, let alone effectively, limiting him to relief, and it’s not clear he will be very good in the next year or two, if ever. Now, just a few days later losing him on waivers, the White Sox claimed Clarkin back off waivers and the 40-man roster now stands at 39.
Regardless of what you think about Clarkin in a vacuum, this makes leaving Spencer Adams unprotected look even stranger. Everything from public evaluations to pedigree to statistics to health to age to proximity to the majors…well, Adams seems to be better than Clarkin in just about every way. I suppose Clarkin is left-handed? And yet here we are.
Perhaps, for whatever reason, the White Sox have decided the most important thing in the universe is now having left-handed relievers. Hahn cited it as an area of need while he was in the process of acquiring a number of southpaw relievers in the second half of the season.
But as I originally pointed out—Clarkin is now behind at least Jace Fry, Aaron Bummer (pictured above) and Caleb Frare, arguably Kodi Medeiros, and there may be more to like about Hunter Schryver than Clarkin now. You can never have too many relievers and there are problems with all of those other guys, but I still cannot figure out why Clarkin gets a spot and Adams doesn’t. There must be something here we don’t know about, because with the information we have this doesn’t really make sense.
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