Despite White Sox GM Kenny Williams “Manny” attempts to land a slugger in their quest to win another World Series, no deal filling this need was made by the July 31st non-waiver deadline. However, fans thinking the southsiders still need hitting help should not worry; plenty of hitters who were otherwise not available may become available as teams fall out of contention and look to dump payroll.
Here’s a look at possible candidates, depending of course on what certain teams ahead of the Sox in the waiver order do.
As part of the “gauging interest in their players” process, most general managers place much of their team on waivers in August. It does not mean they want to trade these players, but there are two ways these players can be acquired:
1) Claimed off waivers and traded (usually for players NOT on the claiming team’s 40-man roster, for cash, or just by taking over the player’s contract)
2) A player can only be claimed once, and if a trade can not be worked out with the claiming team, the “waived” player is ineligible to go to any other team for the rest of the season.
3) Only players traded before midnight on September 1st are eligible for the postseason as was the case with Jim Thome’s trade to the Dodgers in 2009.
So now that the basics are out of the way, here are the top hitting candidates of interest to the White Sox down the stretch.
Adam Dunn (276, 25 HR, 66 RBI, .930 OPS)
Dunn could still become available within the next couple of weeks at a fraction of the cost IF…the Nationals are unable to sign him to an extension. He was without a doubt atop the White Sox wish list in July and the teams known to be chasing him (Yankees, Rays) currently have better records than the White Sox.
Manny Ramirez (317, 8 HR, 39 RBI, .925 OPS, in 187 ABs)
As the Dodgers added four players before the deadline, Manny likely wouldn’t be dealt until late August. With the Dodgers eight games back in the NL West and four games back in the Wild Card, his availability could be a losing series away.
Adam LaRoche (.267, 16 HR, 17 RBI, .791 OPS)
After not being traded, LaRoche exploded on Sunday with two homers with six RBIs against the Mets. Perhaps he’s trying to draw a little more interest? He was believed to be on Williams’ radar. And the Sox and Diamondbacks have a good trade history.
Luke Scott (.282, 18 HR, 43 RBI, 1 SB, .904 OPS)
While Scott has clearly benefited from Camden Yards’ short right field porch, he’s got a career .853 OPS and a reputation as a solid “gamer.” The Orioles are clearly in limbo as a franchise, and it’s a surprise the Sox haven’t at least considered him earlier.
Brad Hawpe (.258 7 HR, 37 RBI, 791 OPS)
While Hawpe has battled various injuries this year, it’s not a good sign when individual power numbers are down in Colorado. His price tag comes with a 2011 club option, but he could be a waiver wire sleeper if the Rockies slip more than their current 7 GB in the division.
Lyle Overbay (.251 12 HR, 40 RBI, 747 OPS).
While most people would argue that Jose Bautista makes a waiver claim list over Overbay, the Blue Jays would have dealt him before the deadline if they weren’t serious about keeping the “out of nowhere” slugger. At worst, Overbay is an upgrade over Mark Kotsay.
Who is missing from this list Sox fans? Albert Pujols? OK, seriously, who could come to the White Sox through a waiver claim and make them a better team?Follow paulmbanks