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Pham ahead of deadline: I won't be traded if struggles continue

Jamie Sabau / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Chicago White Sox outfielder Tommy Pham will be shocked if he's still on the South Side after the July 30 trade deadline, and he wants to pick up his game so he can bring the team a nice return.

"Yes, I do (expect to be traded)," Pham told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. "But you know, you have to play a little better to get traded. You're not going to get traded if you're underperforming. I'm not playing to the best of my capabilities. But I'm close. I'm close to turning it around.

"There's still a lot of time," he added. "I need to play better to make an impact on this team and help out this organization."

Pham lingered in free agency and stayed unsigned well past Opening Day, inking a deal with the White Sox in mid-April. Through his first 42 games with the league-worst club, he owns a .268/.337/.390 slash line with four homers, 14 RBIs, and four stolen bases.

Despite the late start, the 36-year-old has been one of the few bright spots for Chicago this season. He ranks second among White Sox players with at least 150 plate appearances in OPS (.747) and leads in on-base percentage. However, Pham generated most of that production over his first 31 games and has been mired in a 7-for-40 slump with only one homer since the beginning of June.

If he gets hot, Pham might become a coveted piece for contenders at the deadline. He can play multiple outfield positions and enjoyed an excellent October with the Arizona Diamondbacks last year, recording eight hits during their five-game World Series loss to the Texas Rangers.

Though he seems ready to move on to a team with playoff aspirations, the oft-outspoken Pham made it clear that he's happy with the White Sox and praised embattled manager Pedro Grifol. And despite Chicago's record entering historically bad territory, Pham added that he doesn't believe it tells the full story of the club's talent.

"I don't mind playing for this team," Pham said. "It's really not that far off from being a winning team. Believe it or not, there are pieces in place, man. (Garrett) Crochet is under control, very cheap in terms of his value. And (Luis Robert Jr.) is one of the best young outfielders in the game.

"We started 3-22, and I didn't get to see all that, but we've been in a lot of ball games. We've lost quite a lot. We've been in every game, we're just not finishing and that's just a piece or two away. This team historically has always had a pretty high payroll - or competitive payroll, I should say. They're not far off from getting those pieces to turn this record around."

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