As the July 31st Major League Trade Deadline approaches, The Chicago White Sox could be actively working the phone lines in search of both pitching and hitting assistance. In the second episode of MLB network’s “The Club” which aired yesterday, GM Kenny Williams indicated he’s used to being a buyer, not a seller.
While this interview was conducted in May when it looked like the Sox would trade both Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski, it could very well be the mindset of the 1st place Sox GM this week. Who is realistically available for the Sox to acquire, without costing them their future? With no margin for error and a one game lead over the Minnesota Twins, is inaction an option? Let’s break it all down.
We are just a few short days away from “D” day, the busiest week of the year for sites like mlbtraderumors.com, and usually the time of the year where the Yankees or Red Sox trade for a player that makes most major league baseball fans sick with jealousy.
Yes, the 2010 major league baseball trade deadline is almost upon us. In preparation for that, the sportsbank.net offers some friendly insight to what you may or may not see the White Sox do at the deadline.
Here are five things all White Sox fans should know as “D” day approaches:
Trades Are Possible After July 31st, and it Could Happen
The July 31st deadline is actually called the “non-waiver” deadline. Before this deadline passes, teams are free to make trades with anyone they wish. After the deadline passes, players can passed through waivers and still be traded. How?
When waived, other teams can claim them (the team with the worst record gets first choice, etc.). If claimed, the original team can rescind the waiver and take him back, trade the player to claiming team, or release simply give him outright to the claiming team. If the player passes through waivers without being claimed, he can be traded to any team. The deadline for waiver trades is August 31st.
The waiver trade process was how we acquired Alex Rios and traded Jim Thome to the Dodgers and Jose Contreras to the Rockies last season. Williams could strike after the market settles.
Don’t Give Up On Gordon Beckham
Don’t mortgage the player you have promoted as the cornerstone of your franchise for a rental. Unless, receiving a multi-year player in return, Gordon Beckham is too valuable to the “win now and later” methodology the White sox promote.
Beckham is hitting .388, with a 1.012 OPS over his last 14 games and has played respectable defense at 2nd base all season long. He needs time to perfect his craft and still has future all-star\20-20 potential. If other scouts didn’t agree, he wouldn’t be the focal point of trade rumors for top talent.
Second, if the Sox acquired the 1B\DH type rumored and Beckham was part of the deal, your starting second baseman for the rest of the season would likely be Omar Vizquel or Brent Lillibridge, giving third base back to Mark Teahen or Dayan Viciedo. Translation: a defensive downgrade.
The Starting Pitching Market is Thin
It is highly unlikely the White Sox could land Roy Oswalt as he has indicated before he has no interest in playing for the White Sox. The asking price would be steep and with Jake Peavy expected to return in 2011, the Sox would likely be reluctant to take on a pitcher with years remaining on their contract, let alone someone not currently better than Daniel Hudson, who has been inconsistent (6.32 ERA) in three starts thus far.
Assuming the White Sox have no interest in taking on multi-year pitchers, that leaves:
Livan Hernandez (7-6, 3.12 ERA in 132 IP), who has said he’d like to retire as a National. However, as GM Kenny Williams has had open dialogue with the Nats GM, this short-term move could make sense.
Kevin Millwood, (2-9, 5.84 ERA), while he did sport a 3.67 ERA in 2009, and plays for a dead team, we should pass in the hopes of something closer to a sure thing.
Brett Myers, (7-6, 3.24 ERA), could be available, but the Astros have said they plan to keep him. As the Astros clearly need to go into re-building mode, he could land a prospect or two.
Jake Westbrook (6-6, 4.74 ERA), his style of pitching does not match-up well at U.S. Cellular Field.
Ted Lilly (3-8, 3.88 ERA), like Westbrook is a fly ball pitcher, not a positive indicator for success at a park nicknamed “the launching pad.” Still, his gritty, gamer attitude could will some key wins down the stretch, giving the White Sox three lefties in their rotation. Realistically, he’s believed to be going to the New York Yankees if he’s moved.
Rodrigo Lopez (5-9, 4.58 ERA) is a member of the “sell now” Diamondbacks and could be another one of those “low cost,” vintage Williams trades, especially if he was a throw-in in an Adam LaRoche deal.