4 White Sox trade targets for KC Royals (not named Luis Robert Jr.)

Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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Tommy Pham

He isn't everybody's favorite, but I would run through a wall if it meant Kansas City traded for veteran outfielder Tommy Pham. Heck, Pham might run through said wall if Joc Pederson is on the other side.

All jokes aside, Pham is the quintessential example of why teams take chances with minor-league contracts. Chicago added him after Opening Day and promoted him to the 26-man roster on April 26; he has had nothing but solid results ever since. If you keep buying lottery tickets, one has to hit eventually, right?

The 36-year-old outfielder is posting strong numbers for the fumbling White Sox. His .287/.346/.406 line would be a big boost in many lineups, while his 116 wRC+ put him well above average at the plate. He isn't going to set any home run records in 2024, but his polished plate approach and bat-to-ball skills make him a valuable rental outfielder.

Pham can play all outfield spots, filling in for Robert in center until he came off the IL. After Pham had a 10-day IL stint of his own, there is a pending roster crunch in Chicago. Outfielders Dominic Fletcher and Eloy Jiménez should both return to Chicago before June's end, putting Pham into even more of a niche role.

There is an off-field factor that will either have teams in or out on Pham: his coarse competitive edge. Chicago manager Pedro Grifol praised the veteran's drive, as detailed by CHGO Sports writer Vinnie Duber. Pham has a volatile way of showing it, but he is a player who wants to win, which has value in a locker room winning for the first time in a decade.

Pham understands he won't be on the South Side by season's end. If the price is right, he could move to Kauffman Stadium just further south.