Johnson in 2014 Sox rotation? Trade Sale?

The White Sox are eyeing Erik Johnson as a member of the 2014 rotation (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

The White Sox are eyeing Erik Johnson as a member of the 2014 rotation (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

Even though he has never pitched in a big league game, 2012 Dash alum Erik Johnson is already on the White Sox radar for a rotation spot next season.

Johnson, who is currently on Triple-A Charlotte’s disabled list, has already been penciled into the Sox 2014 rotation as of now. This is according to White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn, who spoke with reporters Wednesday. Sox beat writer Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald had this to say:

Johnson hasn’t pitched since he left his July 3 start after three innings with a right groin strain. The right-hander has pitched well at both Double-A and Triple-A this year with a combined record of 9-2 and and a 2.24 ERA. Chicago’s top pitching prospect per Baseball America, Johnson is also a prime candidate to make his major league debut later in the season.

SALE-ING AWAY?

Could the White Sox move Chris Sale prior to the July 31 trade deadline? (Dave Bilbrough/WS-Dash)

Could the White Sox move Chris Sale prior to the July 31 trade deadline? (Dave Bilbrough/WS-Dash)

With MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline less than three weeks away, the rumor mill is turning at full force. When we covered some options for White Sox that could be on the block a few weeks ago, one name we didn’t mention was staff ace Chris Sale.

Sale signed an extension during spring training, so the general consensus was that he would anchor Chicago’s staff for the next several seasons. However, as Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal notes, the 24-year-old southpaw could and maybe should be made available by first-year White Sox GM Rick Hahn.

Rosenthal argues that with the market for front-line starting pitching not very strong leading up to this year’s deadline, the White Sox should consider dealing the 2010 Dash alum in order to help replenish the farm system.

With the lefty not even a year into an extension that includes options which would keep him under club control through the 2019 season, Sale could bring quite a package of prospects in return as teams would be getting more than just a partial season rental like they would for someone like the Cubs’ Matt Garza.

Whether or not Hahn will make his ace available is unknown, but you can bet if he is made available, contenders will be lining up to bid on the two-time All-Star and 2010 Dash alum.

PEAVY TO START FOR BIRMINGHAM

Righty Jake Peavy, who has been on the disabled list since June 6 with a fractured rib, will make a rehab start for Double-A Birmingham on Sunday at Huntsville. The former Cy Young winner has been talked about as a possible trade candidate for contenders looking to bolster their rotation. If all goes well Sunday, he will likely rejoin the South Siders’ rotation shortly after next week’s All-Star break.

PHEGLEY DOES IT AGAIN

With the White Sox wrapping up a three-game set this afternoon at Comerica Park in Detroit, Josh Phegley has continued his impressive first week in The Show. With Chicago trailing 3-1 in the top of the sixth, Phegley took Tigers’ right-hander Anibal Sanchez deep for his first career grand slam to put the Sox in front. The 2010 Winston-Salem alum now has three home runs and eight RBIs since his July 5 promotion from Charlotte.

The Dash and Potomac Nationals wrap up their four-game series tonight at BB&T Ballpark. Check back later for our preview for the series finale as Winston-Salem goes for the series win.

- Rob

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