After Tuesday's trade deadline passed, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spoke about the organization's surprising decision to move on from infielder Jake Burger, who was traded to the Miami Marlins for pitching prospect Jake Eder.
"Very difficult decision for all of us here to move Jake," Hahn said.
"Those of you who are around on a regular basis know the quality induvial we’re talking about here. All White Sox fans have seen the impact he can have, especially from the power perspective, on a lineup and on a game. And I think anyone who knows his story, baseball fan or not, has a great deal of empathy and compassion for what he went through and appreciates the fact that he’s back here as a big leaguer accomplishing what he’s accomplished despite the early hardships in his career."
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Hahn was referring to Burger's brutal recovery from two catastrophic leg injuries that caused the slugger to miss two full years of competitive minor league play. In 2020, Burger opened up on social media about how badly those setbacks impacted his mental health, and invited anyone suffering from depression and anxiety to slide into his DMs.
Burger made his White Sox debut on July 2, 2021 against the Detroit Tigers, and went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. After the game, Burger tearfully admitted that he had considered quitting baseball several times over the course of his lengthy rehabilitation and explained that the reason he didn't was because his parents said he would regret it. Burger said, "they were right."
Hahn explained that the move was strictly based on a compelling offer to acquire "one of the finer left-handed pitching prospects in the game."
"Obviously, pitching was a priority over the last few days," he said. "I think the final count on arms acquired over this trade deadline is six, with multiple high-caliber arms coming into the organization, which is gonna serve us well over the long term."
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Jake Burger slashed .214/.279/.527 over 88 games with the White Sox this season, but has been one of the best bats in the lineup due to his 25 home runs and .806 OPS.
Eder, 24, is the Marlins' fourth-best overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. A 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher, he has a 4.25 ERA through six starts in Double-A this season.
"It’s a difficult move to make," Hahn said. "Hopefully that illustrates what we think of Jake Eder. We by no means entered this deadline period thinking, 'All right, we got to find a home for Jake Burger.' We needed to be compelled to do that. And Eder, we think, has a chance to be a very special arm and help many White Sox teams for a long time going forward.
"He’s a tremendous kid, and we’ll miss him, and we’ll be rooting for him."