Anthony Swarzak – Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox were firmly in rebuilding mode heading into this season, trading away Adam Eaton and Chris Sale for a package of prospects. As such, any veteran on that team would nominally be available.
Yet, of all the potential trade chips at the deadline, Anthony Swarzak may be the biggest surprise. Prior to this season, he had posted a 4.53 ERA and a 1.376 WHiP, striking out 311 batters in 484 innings. The opposition had a .278/.304/.432 batting line against him, hitting 59 homers. It was unsurprising that he bounced around the majors and into Korea, as he struggled to find success.
However, this year, Swarzak has been a different pitcher, posting a 2.56 ERA and a 0.979 WHiP, striking out 30 batters in 31.2 innings and holding opponents to a career best .211/.261/.275 batting line. Over the past two years, he has basically become a fastball/slider pitcher, with his fastball overpowering opponents this year. Thus far, the opposition has a mere .159 batting average against his fourseamer, generating a career best 15.35% whiff rate.
As dominant as Swarzak has been this season, it would not be a surprise to see him on the move at the deadline. On an affordable one year deal worth $900,000, Swarzak would fit within the Rays budget, likely slotting into a familiar middle relief role. A potential option in the sixth or seventh inning, he could go a long way towards being that bridge to get to Alex Colome.
A player that likely would not break the bank, Anthony Swarzak could fit well within the middle of the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen. He certainly is not likely to cost a top prospect, but could be well worth the price.