Inbox: Did Engel make Thompson expendable?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers White Sox fan questions

Inbox: Did Engel make Thompson expendable?

CHICAGO -- A call for Inbox questions on Monday brought more than a few responses with a less-than-upbeat tone concerning the White Sox offseason. That same request Wednesday afternoon returned a large batch of positive takes from fans who wanted the White Sox to continue pushing toward contention with at least one more big move.

Apparently, acquiring third baseman Todd Frazier provided quite a boost. Let's take a look at a few of the post-Frazier inquiries.

Did the White Sox willingness to move Trayce Thompson have anything to do with the rise of Adam Engel in the Arizona Fall League?
-- Russell, Park Forest, Ill., @AfroBroRD

Engel opened eyes during his MVP performance in the Arizona Fall League, with his 16 walks and only 11 strikeouts jumping out immediately. The center fielder has plenty of speed and already was a solid defensive player.

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But it wasn't Engel that made Thompson expendable, not when he hasn't played an inning above the Carolina League. It was the opportunity to acquire Frazier, meaning that the White Sox had to give something good to get something good.

Frazier brings power bat, and perhaps stability

A debate began on Twitter after the trade as to whether Thompson shined in a small sample size last season and the White Sox sold high, or whether the club gave up a future everyday outfielder. I personally think Thompson has everyday ability, especially with his defense, but there's no way to fault giving up what the White Sox did to bring in Frazier for a spot the club has struggled to fill since Joe Crede last manned the position.

Ventura on Lawrie, Frazier deals

What do the White Sox do at shortstop?
-- Jamie, LaGrange, Ill., @jcleveland96

I'd say it's Tyler Saladino's job, although in a conference call Thursday, manager Robin Ventura mentioned that free agent Alexei Ramirez isn't out of the question where the White Sox stand right now. Saladino wants to play shortstop, his natural position, and can handle the spot defensively. But if I were in charge, I would give top prospect Tim Anderson a long look during Spring Training to see if he's ready to add energy to the '16 cause -- much like Saladino did when he arrived last season.

Saladino's leaping catch

Who do you see the White Sox picking up next? Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes or a trade for Corey Dickerson or Carlos Gonzalez?
-- Matt, Scotland, @Glangon

Why not two or three of these players, Matt? I kid.

Personally, I would try to get the Rockies' Gonzalez from this whole group, but the White Sox certainly don't want to give up Jose Quintana. The White Sox will try to add another bat, but I still don't think they will add a player who costs them Draft pick compensation or who will require a five- or six-year deal at over $100 million. Then again, never discount White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's commitment to winning in authorizing the unexpected.

Hot Stove Tracker

Notre Dame or Ohio State. Who you got?
-- Mike, Wheaton, Ill., @MikeSox56

I've got Michigan over Florida in the Citrus Bowl as a lock. Ohio State is the most talented college team in the country, so I'll go Buckeyes.

Do you see any of the pitchers projected for the rotation being traded?
-- Kyle, Carol Stream, Ill., @Chi_Sox13

I don't. Why weaken the team's strong suit to upgrade in another area when there should be other avenues to travel for improvement? Pitching and defense win championships, and with the White Sox going for it again, they want Chris Sale and Quintana at the top of that rotation. I suppose Erik Johnson could be used in a bigger trade, but I know the White Sox don't want to give up the right-hander either.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.