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2 catchers, 3 pitchers and a veteran OF: A closer look at the players the Chicago White Sox acquired in 3 trades this week

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Two catchers, three pitchers and a veteran coming back to where his career began.

That was the return for the Chicago White Sox after dealing five pitchers in three trades since Wednesday.

The Sox find themselves in the selling mode after not being able to dig out of a dismal 7-21 start to the season. The are 43-63 after defeating the Cleveland Guardians 7-2 on Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“For us to be in this position, we didn’t meet expectations,” manager Pedro Grifol said Friday.

The moves began late Wednesday with the Sox trading starter Lucas Giolito and reliever Reynaldo Lopez to the Los Angeles Angels.

The Sox made two trades Friday, sending starter Lance Lynn and reliever Joe Kelly to the Los Angeles Dodgers and reliever Kendall Graveman to the Houston Astros.

All the players the Sox acquired were at Double A or higher.

“Near-readiness has a great deal of appeal when evaluating the value of a trade,” general manager Rick Hahn said Friday. “We did have some A-ball targets we discussed with teams. But when you balance out returns, having guys a little closer to the majors increases the value if the ceilings are similar.”

Here’s a closer look at the returns in each of the deals.

Los Angeles Angels

Edgar Quero was the No. 2 prospect in the Angels organization, according to MLB.com. Now the switch-hitting catcher is in that same slot with the Sox.

“Very smart kid, got a good head on his shoulders,” Grifol said Thursday. “He understands the game.”

Ranked the No. 65 prospect in baseball according to MLB.com, Quero slashed .245/.385/.332 with 13 doubles, three home runs, 35 RBIs, 39 runs, 54 walks and 53 strikeouts in 69 games this season with Double-A Rocket City in the Southern League. He is slashing .311/.447/.432 (23-for-74) as a lefty.

“We know his abilities as a switch-hitter, he controls the strike zone,” Grifol said. “He understands the demands of the position, the communication part of the position. He’s ready to get to work.”

The 20-year-old was selected to the 2023 All-Star Futures Game. He was the California League Most Valuable Player in 2022, slashing .312/.435/.530 with 35 doubles, two triples, 17 homers, 75 RBIs, 86 runs, 12 stolen bases and 73 walks in 111 games with Class A Inland Empire.

Ky Bush was a Futures Game selection in 2022. The left-hander was the No. 3 prospect in the Angels organization, according to MLB.com, and holds the No. 6 spot in the Sox organization.

Bush, 23, went 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA and 33 strikeouts in six starts this season Rocket City. He had a 1.84 ERA and 17 strikeouts in his last three starts.

Hahn said Wednesday that a lat strain derailed the start of Bush’s season and there was a “small groin issue” while rehabbing it, but he’s back at Double A throwing consistently.

“He provides a four-pitch mix, quality left-handed starter,” Hahn said. “Someone with some upside and adds to that category in our organization.”

Bush and Quero are on the Double-A Birmingham roster.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Nick Nastrini struck out at least eight batters in four of his final eight starts for Double-A Tulsa in the Texas League.

The right-hander was the No. 9 prospect in the Dodgers organization, according to MLB.com. He’s the No. 4 prospect in the Sox organization.

Nastrini, 23, went 5-3 with a 4.03 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 17 starts for Tulsa.

“This is a real solid, four-pitch mix, athletic kid, good delivery and a command of four different pitches,” Hahn said Friday. “We’re excited to get him. This is a good get. As is (Jordan) Leasure.”

MLB.com ranks Leasure, 24, the No. 26 prospect in the Sox organization. The right-hander has a 2.33 ERA with 43 strikeouts in his 22 appearances since May 1. Overall he had a 3.09 ERA, 56 strikeouts and nine saves in 29 relief appearances this season with Tulsa.

Trayce Thompson’s big-league career began in 2015 with the Sox. The outfielder has a career .216/.304/.428 slash line with 44 homers, 123 RBIs and 123 runs in 333 games during parts of eight major-league seasons with the Sox (2015, ‘18), Dodgers (2016-17, 2022-23), Oakland Athletics (2018), Chicago Cubs (2021) and San Diego Padres (2022).

“He’s a very strong team guy and the type of guy we want in here as part of this culture,” Hahn said.

Nastrini and Leasure are on the Birmingham roster. Thompson, 32, has been on injured list since June 4 with a strained left oblique and is eligible to be reinstated Thursday.

Houston Astros

Korey Lee and Sox first baseman Andrew Vaughn were college roommates at California. Grifol wouldn’t be surprised if they are teammates again before the end of this season.

The 25-year-old catcher was the No. 5 prospect in the Astros organization and is ranked No. 13 in the Sox organization. He slashed .283/.328/.406 with 18 doubles, five home runs, 32 RBIs and 37 runs in 68 games this season with Triple-A Sugar Land in the Pacific Coast League. He has been dealing with a strained right oblique.

Lee played in 12 games with the Astros in 2022, going 4-for-25 (.160) with four RBIs.

“I’m a fan of his,” Grifol said. “I remember watching him (last year against Kansas City). He was athletic, he can really throw, he has some pop in his bat. He really caught my eye.

“I was watching some video of him yesterday, and we did really well there. It’s an area of need for us that we addressed … and I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

Vaughn also provided a scouting report.

“You go to catching, he’s got a cannon behind the plate,” Vaughn said Saturday. “He’s good back there. He’s a good hitter, he’s got a lot of pop.

“It’s really cool that we got Korey in that trade.”

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