Which Left-Handed Hitter Should the White Sox Land?

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Prince Fielder

That Elusive Lefty Hitter Might be Costly But Cheaper Options Are Available.

The Sox could afford to be active in a trade for a DH\1B type as it is almost a certainty Paul Konerko or Mark Kotsay (most likely) will not return in 2011.  If not traded for a slugger, Viciedo is likely to assume one of those positions next year.  So while a multi-year player of this sort sadly means then end of the Konerko era, it could make baseball sense.

That said, with injuries to Magglio Ordonez and other contenders such as the Giants and Rays looking for another bat, plus tradeable players MLB (David DeJesus) injured, there could be a high asking price for the heavy hitters.

By Soxman

For part of this Trade Deadline series go here

Prince Fielder (.262 24 HR, 46 RBI, .905 OPS) is believed to be the top target of the White Sox but at what asking price?  With Scott Boras already clamoring that Fielder, eligible for free agency after the 2011 season, will command Mark Teixeira money, he will basically be a one-year player.  Concerns over Fielder’s weight are valid, but not overly critical as his father played quality first base with a larger frame.  Proceed with caution and interest.  Would Gordon Beckham be worth it?  Interestingly enough, the Brewers are deep at 2nd base, shortstop and fairly deep at 3B, so the Sox could get by with a Daniel Hudson, Jordan Danks type package.  Would a season and two months of Fielder be worth that price?

Adam Dunn (.281, 23 HR, 63 RBI, 943 OPS) was one of the Sox top targets, but the Nationals went into “insane world” with their demands.  Depending on where the trade market goes, Williams doesn’t give up easily on the player he wants.  A rental is not worth Gordon Beckham.

Adam LaRoche (.255 14 HR, 61 RBI) could make the most sense.  His asking price would likely be the most reasonable of any hitter, be an offensive upgrade over Mark Kotsay, and the two teams have a good trade history.

Lance Berkman (.236, 12 HR, 44 RBI, 780 OPS) hitting .204 over his last 14 games.  Is he in serious decline, injured, or in need of a change on scenery to wake-up his bat?  Would the risk be worth a top prospect?

Jack Cust (.300, 8 HR, 29 RBI in 160 ABs) has been on fire as of late (hitting .333. 4 HR, 11 RBI, 1.443 OPS, over his last 20 games).  Despite his high strikeout tally (51), he also has a .412 OBP.  Even though he has never been mentioned in trade rumors with the Sox, Williams has a good trade history with Billy Beane, so this could be another “under the radar” trade possibility.

Kelly Johnson (.279 16 HR, 49 RBI) would also solve offensive needs at 2B allowing Ozzie to keep his DH by committee concept intact.  He’s also under control for at least another year, which could up the D’Back asking price.  However, if the Dan Haren trade is any indication of Arizona’s intentions, salary relief may be more important than prospects.

Who should the Sox go after?  Do you continue to treat Gordon Beckham as the future of the franchise?

For part of this Trade Deadline series go here

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