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The Rangers Reacquire an Old Friend from the White Sox

The May trade market unexpectedly appears to be heating up. In the latest deal, the Texas Rangers acquired outfielder Robbie Grossman from the White Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa. In a corresponding move, the Rangers designated pitcher Kolton Ingram for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Grossman initially signed with Chicago at the end of Spring Training on a minor league deal. The rebuilding White Sox wanted the veteran to take quality at-bats in a young lineup while serving as outfield depth.

Instead, his tenure lasted 25 games with poor offensive production (.211/.329/.268). Chicago likely expected, or hoped, to trade Grossman closer to the deadline in July. However, they evidently received an offer too good to pass up.

Texas Rangers Acquire Robbie Grossman

The Rangers will acquire Grossman months after he played a big role in helping the team win its first-ever World Series title. Though his offensive production (.238/.340/.394 in 420 plate appearances) left some to be desired, Grossman received a lot of credit for his locker room presence.

Plus, Grossman’s overall numbers don’t show his prowess against southpaws. The switch hitter posted a .309/.416/.536  slash line against lefties last season and hit .375 against them in 16 at-bats with Chicago this year.

The 34-year-old should be a great addition to a Texas lineup that has struggled against left-handed pitching this year. Against southpaws, the Rangers have hit .231/.288/.343 with an 80 wRC+ that ranks 25th in the majors.

Part of those struggles stem from young righty bats getting injured. Josh Jung, Wyatt Langford, and Justin Foscue are all on the injured list for at least another month. Grossman will likely serve as a part-time player splitting time between left field and DH.

White Sox Acquire Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa

In exchange for a struggling veteran, the White Sox acquired an almost MLB-ready bullpen arm dominating Double-A. In 12 1/3 innings this year, Hoopii-Tuionetoa has allowed zero runs while striking out 34 percent of opposing batters. This production follows solid strikeout and walk rates in the lower minors last season.

Hoopii-Tuionetoa, 23, has dealt with shoulder issues in the past and hasn’t cracked a Rangers top prospect list. But, the White Sox are in a position where they need to bring in these types of lottery tickets. Acquiring Hoopii-Tuionetoa is a low-risk move that could reap great rewards when the team expects to contend in a few years.

Main Photo: © William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports


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