A sense of urgency.
Unlike in 2017 and 2018, the White Sox won't be the aggressors in making trades. That's in part because closer Alex Colome, their best trade chip, is under team control for 2020 as well. The White Sox could easily decide to keep him with their eye on taking the next step in 2020.
That said, there were six teams in need of bullpen help that had scouts watching the White Sox's 9-1 win against the Marlins at Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday evening. So the market for Colome (2.33 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 21-of-22 in save chances) could become robust and lead to a quality offer for the White Sox.
Beyond Colome, veteran first baseman Jose Abreu is another potential trade chip, as he's in the final season of his contract. The White Sox aren't shopping Abreu, but they also haven't told other teams that he's off the table. The White Sox would have to love a trade offer to deal Abreu.
Abreu, 32, has often expressed his desire to remain with the White Sox in the long term. Whether he stays or goes ahead of the trade deadline, the expectation is he'll sit down with White Sox officials in the offseason to discuss continuing his career in Chicago.
Utilityman Leury Garcia is also a versatile player whom teams have inquired about, and outfielder Jon Jay could draw the attention of a contender. Jay could even be a nice low-cost addition for the Cubs, who are seeking to address their leadoff spot and for whom Jay played in 2017, when he posted a .374 on-base percentage and was well-respected in the team's clubhouse. Jay has a career .352 on-base percentage.
The White Sox reliever to receive the most interest outside of Colome is lefty Aaron Bummer (1.73 ERA), but the White Sox aren't inclined to trade him or fellow lefty Jace Fry (4.28 ERA). They believe both could be important pieces to their bullpen as they aim to be more competitive in the seasons to come.
The White Sox are also expected to keep All-Star catcher James McCann, whom they have contract control of in 2020. His quality bat has been icing on the cake as far as the front office is concerned, as the team loves the way he has handled and worked with a young pitching staff.
Starting in December 2016, the White Sox have done a lot of heavy lifting in remaking their team by trading veterans for young players. This time around, they may do more observing than participating.