5 MLB Trade Offers the White Sox Would Take For Luis Robert

The Chicago White Sox will set a very high asking price for Luis Robert at this year's trade deadline. Which contenders can meet their ask?

Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. puts on his glove before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 8, 2023, at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. puts on his glove before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 8, 2023, at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

As we have now passed the one-third mark of the season, this is the time where the future of teams will start to come into focus ahead of the All-Star Break and trade deadline.

For many, that means setting sights on players of interest that can elevate playoff chances. For others, it’s time to consider moving core pieces.

For the Chicago White Sox, their focus is already on 2025 and the rest of this season will be about acquiring more young talent and providing already-existing prospects with experience.

Starter Erick Fedde and closer Michael Kopech seem all but certain to be moved for young talent at the deadline, with both having a year and a half of control left of their contract.

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However, the tougher decisions are regarding emerging starter Garrett Crochet, who has two more years of arbitration left after this year, and superstar center fielder Luis Robert Jr., who has three additional years left on his pre-arbitration extension.

While the White Sox farm system has improved drastically the past two seasons, the only player who could take the future talent of the organization to another level via trade may be Luis Robert.

The asking price will be unbelievably high for a player coming off a 38-homer season with elite defense in center field and only $55 million owed to him (two years of team options) in the next three seasons. However, he has been injury-prone and the White Sox lack plenty of hitting depth.

The team is reportedly open for business even in terms of their biggest star, which therefore begs the question of which teams could even swing this type of deal. Potential trades for Robert and Crochet were discussed recently on the Just Baseball Show, but this will present more options for Robert in a written format.

Not many have the ability to make this type of deal and I’m frankly not sure anyone will meet the asking price of Chicago. But let’s consider those that could…

Los Angeles Dodgers

Anytime a superstar becomes available, the Dodgers almost have to be considered as a potential landing spot. Clearly a buyer at the deadline, Los Angeles doesn’t have many holes to fill but bullpen help and potentially an outfielder would make sense.

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Robert would make an already incredibly-deep lineup even stronger and would take pressure off some of their outfielders by slotting into center field every day. The Dodgers farm system is strong enough to swing a blockbuster even if they don’t necessarily need another star.

Potential Trade Package: OF James Outman, C/1B Dalton Rushing (JB Dodgers No. 2 Prospect), SS Joendry Vargas (No. 6), SS Trey Sweeney (No. 14)

Rookie Andy Pages has been impressive and Los Angeles would likely want to hold onto him and keep him in a corner outfield spot, but the other young outfielder that was supposed to be a mainstay this year could be on his way out.

James Outman had a great rookie season in 2023 with 23 home runs, but was optioned to Triple-A after a brutal start. A change of scenery could be in the cards as the Dodgers wouldn’t have much of a role for him with Robert in the mix.

The headlining prospect in a deal for Robert would almost certainly be Dalton Rushing. The 23-year-old could be the first baseman in Chicago very soon, while also being an option to catch alongside fellow top prospect Edgar Quero.

As Just Baseball’s 29th-ranked prospect, Rushing would instantly become a massive piece of the future in Chicago.

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The long-term project acquired by the White Sox in this deal would be top DSL prospect Joendry Vargas, who was signed for a massive bonus in 2023 and has a ton of upside. The White Sox will want primarily near-ready assets, but the upside of Vargas will be hard to pass on.

The trio of Outman, Rushing, and Vargas could definitely be enough to get a seat at the table in the potential sweepstakes for Robert, but Trey Sweeney would be a great sweetener for Chicago.

Traded from the Yankees last year, Sweeney has flashed his power with nine homers and a .450 SLG in Triple-A and should be MLB infield option soon.

Los Angeles does not need to make a move of this nature, but they could. They’ll definitely be in the conversation should the White Sox legitimately entertain offers for their superstar.

Seattle Mariners

This is the a strong fit for both sides the way I see it. The Mariners are having a good season, but absolutely need to add offense in order to secure a playoff appearance and have a shot at making a run.

They also have the second-best core of hitting prospects in the game behind the team coming up next. With the ability to push the chips in a little for a big-time bat, it will come down to whether or not the Mariners are willing to part with one of their premium prospects to get a deal done.

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Potential Trade Package: SS/3B Colt Emerson (JB Mariners No. 2 Prospect), OF Jonny Farmelo (No. 5), Jonatan Clase (No. 9), RHP Brody Hopkins (HM)

Many Mariners fans may hesitate at the first sight of trading Colt Emerson, but it’s likely going to take one of him or Cole Young to get a deal done.

Catching prospect Harry Ford could headline a deal, but the White Sox seemingly already have a future catcher in Edgar Quero. Ford’s athleticism could allow him to shift elsewhere or maybe Quero moves to first, but Emerson would be the ideal target for Chicago.

One of Emerson, Young, or Ford will have to be involved to even get a seat at the table.

Beyond that, outfielder Jonny Farmelo seems like a clear fit as a secondary piece for the White Sox. Drafted 29th overall last year, he’s off to a strong start his professional career and checks in as the 59th-ranked prospect in baseball.

One of those big three in addition to Farmelo is a great start for Robert, but it will take one or two additional pieces to get a deal done. The White Sox would likely want at least one league-ready type of player, which makes Jonatan Clase an obvious fit.

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He struggled in his initial MLB stint, but has game-changing speed and could eventually be at least a solid bat while immediately sliding into center field. A few other players like Michael Arroyo for instance could slide in as the third piece as well.

One more flyer would most likely be added and I went with Brody Hopkins, who is off to a good start to his professional career after falling in the draft last summer. He may profile more as a reliever, but has a lot of room to grow given that he just started focusing on pitching.

Seattle feels like one of the better fits for a deal given their wealth of hitting prospects, but they’ve also been reluctant recently to make huge moves.

Baltimore Orioles

While they currently have too much hitting depth for their own good, it could be an option for the Orioles to turn depth into another star at the trade deadline. They absolutely don’t need Robert, but good teams find a way to add talent even if the fit is a bit complicated.

This deal would likely have to be accompanied by them trading a current piece like Anthony Santander or Ryan O’Hearn, but it’s not out of the question for a team ready to make a World Series push this October.

Potential Trade Package: OF Heston Kjerstad (JB Orioles No. 4 Prospect), 2B Connor Norby (No. 7), OF Dylan Beavers (No. 8), RHP Jackson Baumeister (No. 14)

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The craziest thing about the Orioles farm system is that they can afford to trade for a superstar without even considering moving their top three prospects who are all top 10 in MLB in Just Baseball’s Top 100.

The package would have to start with Heston Kjerstad, who is clearly more than ready to play at the MLB level but there just isn’t room in Baltimore. He would become the starting right fielder for Chicago the second the trade was made and would become a big part of the lineup.

Connor Norby is the most likely second piece as he too would instantly become a starter for the White Sox. This potential trade partner certainly gives the White Sox the quickest route to more talent at the big league level, but may not come with quite enough upside for their liking.

Norby is a rather well-rounded player who also deserves a shot in MLB but is blocked by a logjam.

Those two represent a good start but the third piece would have to really entice the White Sox. I went with Dylan Beavers, who could be another MLB piece by some point in 2025. Enrique Bradfield would be another option, but I think the Orioles may try to hold onto him in this deal. With power upside and speed, Beavers would become another key piece for Chicago.

The White Sox may push for one of Cade Povich or Chayce McDermott to add a high-upside arm to the deal, but Jackson Baumeister as the arm moved could allow for those three hitters to all be included. He has been excellent in High-A to start his professional career after falling to the 63rd pick last season.

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The Orioles have the best farm system in MLB and could make a deal for Robert happen, but it’s more likely they’ll push some chips in for a pitcher. Still, it’s fun to imagine a lineup with Robert, Adley Rutschmann, and Gunnar Henderson.

Philadelphia Phillies

The team that feels most likely to make a move like this, particularly for a center fielder, at the deadline is the Phillies with notorious blockbuster trader Dave Dombrowski at the wheel.

Center field is the only position you can argue is a weakness for the Phillies, even though they may now look for stopgap catching help due to the J.T. Realmuto injury news. Robert would fill that small gap and make this lineup possibly the best in baseball. Furthermore, the Phillies have three high-end hitting prospects that would be tough to turn down for the White Sox.

Potential Trade Package: 3B/SS Aidan Miller (No. 2 Phillies Prospect), Starlyn Caba (No. 3), OF Justin Crawford (No. 5), LHP Samuel Aldegheri (No. 22)

Top prospect Andrew Painter is close to untouchable but could be in play for a deal of this caliber. However, the White Sox need offensive prospects and they could pull in three elite ones if they allow Philly to hold onto their top arm.

Without Painter involved, 2023 first rounder and our 57th-ranked prospect Aidan Miller would become the headliner of this trade. He has looked exceptional in his first professional season after being drafted out of high school and has already been promoted to High-A. He would become the second-best hitting prospect in the Chicago farm system.

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One of the hottest names in the prospect world right now is infielder Starlyn Caba, who rose a ton on many lists including ours as he’s ranked the 71st prospect in MLB for Just Baseball.

With excellent hands and already advanced feel to hit as a switch-hitter, Caba has elite shortstop leadoff hitter upside an 18-year-old.

The third prospect likely to be involved would be the Phillies first round pick the year prior to Miller, Justin Crawford. The speedy outfielder has displayed strong exit velocities but has a much too high ground ball rate as he has to fully tap into strength. However, he projects as a high-level base stealer and should be able to add more impact as he will finish this year still at just 20 years old.

This trio of prospects 20 years old or younger would be an excellent core of young hitters to net for the White Sox but would shift their focus back another year potentially. This may not seem ideal given the wealth of prospects that should be reaching MLB in 2025, but this would provide them with another wave that can follow their current top prospects.

Chicago would potentially want to buy low on Mick Abel, who is off to a rough start this season but was ranked in the middle range of our Top 100 last year. However, if the team prioritizes the top three hitters in the Phillies system, Abel may not be included. I ultimately think the White Sox would prefer the top three hitters which could lead to a lower-level arm being the last piece.

Samuel Aldegheri could make sense as an intriguing young pitcher who has excelled this season in High-A with impressive strikeout and whiff numbers. Plenty of others could fill this fourth spot in this deal as the top three hitters would be the main draw for the White Sox.

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The Phillies have been on the edge of winning a World Series for a few years and this feels like the season Dombrowski will push the chips in to make it happen. If the White Sox end up moving their top asset, Philadelphia feels like the most likely destination to me at this point.

Kansas City Royals

This is more of a fun idea than a likely possibility due largely to the rareness of in-division trades especially involving a superstar, but the fit is evident.

The Royals are in the midst of their strongest start in a while and could try to push for a playoff spot while also keeping their vision set on the future. Luis Robert could fit both of those needs for a team with a clear weakness in the outfield moving forward.

Potential Trade Package: 3B Cayden Wallace (Royals No. 2 Prospect), RHP Ben Kudrna (No. 3), OF Gavin Cross (No. 7), C Ramon Ramirez (No. 14/JB No. 87 Overall)

This package is harder to put together compared to these others given that the Royals don’t have a true headliner to start a potential blockbuster deal, so they would have to overwhelm Chicago with a variety of solid prospects.

Ramon Ramirez, while ranked lower nationally, was incredible in the DSL last year and checks in as our 87th-ranked prospect in MLB. He would be a fun long-term piece to acquire for the White Sox and could become a very exciting young catcher.

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Plenty of other players from the Royals system, particularly recent top picks, could be involved in this type of deal. Two second round picks from recent years in Cayden Wallace and Ben Kurdna seem like good fits for this deal, as some of the best prospects in the Royals system.

Wallace is having a solid year in Double-A after struggling there at the end of last year, while Kurdna has thrown 52 effective innings in High-A so far. The next prospect I think would be a target for the White Sox would be top 2022 pick Gavin Cross, who has turned things around this season after a rough start to his career.

He struggled mightily last season, but has a .821 OPS this season and has shown his plus speed and has started to flash more consistent power. He has yet to live up to his draft upside, but Cross has plenty of upside still at 23 years old and and has looked much better this year so far.

Given the lack of a headliner in this package, the White Sox may want another flier but this is a pretty strong package of versatile prospects. This potential deal is extremely unlikely considering the Royals reside in the AL Central with the White Sox, but it’s fun to consider a young upcoming team pushing chips in for a star.