White Sox get sweetheart deal in acquiring Kevin Youkilis

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The Boston Red Sox have traded famous infielder Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox for utilityman Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart. What a deal!  Youks is a .286 career hitter with a .487 slugging percentage. Of course, the main reason he’s changing Sox is he’s hitting .233 this year, after spending most of May on the DL.

The now and again AL Central-leading White Sox, who also received cash in the deal, have been looking for a third baseman with Brent Morel plagued by back problems. And being bad at baseball, he’s been plagued by that too.

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White Sox Trade Closer to Blue Jays for Prospect; Rebuilding Mode: ACTIVATE!

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The Chicago White Sox have fairly boring so far this hot stove league. And I guess it makes sense given hwo they went “all in” last year. It was a great marketing slogan, even though the end result was a train wreck of phantasmagoria.

Time to undue the damage I guess. And since no one in their right mind (MLB doesn’t have a GM like Isaiah Thomas in in his New York Knicks days, that every NBA front office would deal their garbage deals to) would take on the ultra-expensive crap that is the Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy and Alex Rios signings, the Sox will have to cut payroll and try to be more financially efficient elsewhere.

They started by dealing their closer to Canada.

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Chicago White Sox to Trade For a Closer?

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After the Chicago White Sox loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, 670 A.M. the Score broadcasters Ed Farmer and Darin Jackson indicated that GM Kenny Williams is likely going to be on the phone exploring ways to fix the back end of his bullpen. As the Sox blew another two-run lead in the ninth, it is obvious something needs to change. Just two days after White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he would likely stick with Matt Thornton as his closer, he brought in rookie Chris Sale. Sale quickly got into trouble, so he turned to Thornton, who blew his 4th save in as many chances.

Here are the top trade candidates followed by possible internal solutions within the organization who might to assume the role.

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Scott Linebrink- HE GONE! White Sox and Atlanta Braves complete Swap

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The Chicago White Sox jettisoned relief pitcher Scott Linebrink today to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Kyle Cofield.

The 34-year-old Linebrink went 3-2 with a 4.40 ERA for the White Sox last season. He recorded 52 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings. However, his numbers seemed a lot worse than that? Maybe it’s because he was limited mostly to mop-up duty perhaps? Opposing hitters batted .262 against Linebrink in 2010.
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Can the White Sox Still Get A Hitter in August?

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.

By:  Soxman

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Which Left-Handed Hitter Should the White Sox Land?

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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

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Complete Guide to Chicago White Sox Trade Deadline Rumors

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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.

By: Soxman

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Chicago White Sox Trade Rumors: Sox GM looking for Lefty Bat?

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Just when White Sox fans were waving their White Flags on the 2010 season, outstanding performance in inter league play has the White Sox within striking distance of the AL Central lead.  Riding a hot streak of outstanding pitching and just enough hitting to win, White Sox GM Kenny Williams recently told reporters that if he adds any pieces to the team, he’ll be looking for a left-handed bat. What is realistically available?

By Soxman

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Can the White Sox consider Buying Now?

White Sox Going From Buyers to Sellers?

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With major league trade rumors beginning to be kicked around more than soccer balls in the World Cup, the Chicago White Sox recent four game winning streak has some beginning to recall their white flag trade proposals, and instead have visions of checkered flags into the post season.  Which will the Southside see first?  Kenny Williams firing Ozzie Guillen or the Sox trading for Adrian Gonzales?

By: Soxman

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Chicago White Sox News and Notes

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By Soxman

Yes Chicago baseball fans, I’m back from a long winter’s nap,
To talk Sox rumors, to dispel some of the flap.
Who will our teams trade, and who might they acquire?
Will we be buyers, or sellers by fire.
So grab your Sox Snuggie and drink some egg nog,
Soxman is here with an overdue blog.

The Bears stink.  The Bulls and Hawks?  Well that’s Paul M. Banks’ department.  Notice I didn’t even mention the Cubs. The most exciting news in Chicago sports the last couple of weeks has actually been the Chicago Fire, who lost for the third time after being one win away from the MLS cup on Saturday.  So after getting over my disappointment that the New York Monopoly (Yankees) bought, errr ah won another World Series, I can’t help but start paying closer attention to how our White Sox will look in 2010.

So without haste lets give a summary to date.soxmanbatboyhottie

Paul Konerko for Adrian Gonzales

The hottest rumor as of late is a three way trade where the White Sox send team captain Paul Konerko to the Angels, the Padres send Adrian Gonzalez to the Sox, and the Padres get a ton of prospects from both teams in return. While Konerko has full no-trade rights, he has indicated in the past he would accept a trade to Arizona or the Angels.

The gray area here is what prospects would also move in the deal.  I would think that the Angels would be offering the most as they are really giving nothing up in the deal. However critics are arguing that their assumption of Konerko’s $12 million salary would put the burden on the Sox.  The rumors have said the Sox would send cash to the Angels in the deal as well.

I have heard crazy speak of the Sox top three prospects- Jordan Danks, Daniel Hudson, and Tyler Flowers going to the Padres in the deal.

After we drank the “going young” Kool Aid from Kenny Williams last year, this would be a huge mistake. Kenny should hold his ground here.  The Angels have coveted Konerko since 2005.  At worst, if the Angels took on Konerko’s salary, the Sox would send one prospect to the Angels 2 or more in the deal.

Gonzales is a gold-glove caliber first baseman who has hit 130 home runs and driven in 400 runs the past four years.  He also hits the ball to all fields.  He would be under the Sox control for two years.

Free Agents Chone Figgins and Nick Johnson

Nothing brewing here at all despite both players being a good fit for the Sox in both the OBP and speed departments, not to mention Figgins is a switch hitter and Johnson hits lefty.

While Figgins appears set to command top dollar and most likely will either return to the Angels or sign with the Yankees, Mets or Phillies, Johnson does not have an active list of suitors at the moment.

Johnson has a career on-base percentage of .402 and is showing no signs of decline after posting a .426 OPB in 2009.  He could be a cheap source of run production.

After trading Chris Getz and all but promising Scott Podsednik will not return in 2010, the Sox need more speed.  Lets not forget that Kenny!

Curtis Granderson

The Chicago native, who hit 30 HRs last season with the Tigers is rumored to be on the trading block and is also a left-handed hitter.  However, the chances of the Tigers trading him to a central division rival are somewhere between slim and none. The Cubs are also rumored to be in hot pursuit if they can dump Milton Bradley.

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Rookie of the Year Snub?

For those of you who believe Gordon Beckham was snubbed, think again.  He had a great rookie campaign, hitting .270, 14 HR, and 63 RBIs in just 378 ABs.  But he tailed off towards the end of the season, hitting just .221 over the last 21 games.

Oakland closer Andrew Bailey clearly deserved the honors as he was consistent all season long, breaking camp with the team.  Posting a 6-3 record with a 1.84 ERA, a miniscule 0.88 WHIP, 26 Saves, and 91 Ks in 83 innings was just sick. As a matter of fact, his wins and saves combined indicate that he played a key role in 43% of the team’s 75 victories on the year.

As avid sportsbank readers might know, he has had my vote since July.

Rookie Watch: Jordan Danks

So far in the Arizona fall league, Danks is the Sox farmhand with the greatest chance of starting 2009 on the active roster perhaps starting in RF. Danks is tearing up the fall league sporting a .329 average with two home runs and 17 RBIs through 21 games according to MLB.com.  Soxman’s favorite statistic is that his on-base percentage is a sweet .457.

His glove was major league ready last year according to many scouts and now his bat may be close.  As the Sox currently have a vacancy in RF, the job could be his to lose.

The Mark Teahen Trade

Before spring training began on the 2009 season, Kenny Williams was asked why he didn’t grab a marquee free agent second baseman like Orlando Hudson.  His answer was that he was building a young core of more athletic, quicker players who have earned their chance as a starter.  Chris Getz was specifically mentioned.  Battling several injuries all season long, Getz hit .261 and stole 25 bases in 375 Abs, being caught only twice. As Sox fans, we drank the “younger, faster, from within Kool Aid.”IMG_9701

So we trade a player who was a “core part of our future” and under control for at least five more seasons for a player who will be a free agent in a year.  Better yet?  He’s now our everyday third baseman moving Gordon Beckham to second base, a move Kenny Williams said was not in Beckham’s best development interests as a player. What flavor Kool Aid should we drink now?

Honestly, Teahen has a career slugging percentage over .500 at US Cellular field, which perhaps is alluring to him.  Given a choice between the two, I would have stayed with Getz and spent money on speed elsewhere. I do like Teahen’s versatility however.  He is a capable player at 3B, 2B, 1B, LF and RF. Now Mark, the ball is in your wheelhouse.  Knock it out of the park and prove me wrong.

Mark Buehrle’s OC Chopper

Tune into Orange County Choppers on the Learning Channel on December 19th to see Mark Buehrle’s wife surprise him with his own chopper commemorating his perfect game.  It should be fun to see what they come up with. That’s the closest we will ever come to allowing you to make a pitch in for anyone in the OC, Mark.

That’s the buzz for now Sox fans.

Keep your socks white, your cheers tight, and hopes of more speed in 2010 on the south side in sight.

White Sox Get Jake Peavy

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By Soxman

What do you get when you combine Jake Peavy and Alexei Ramirez?  Answer: two of four healthy ankles.

Just minutes after the 4:00 p.m. Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline passed, the MLB network announced that Jake Peavy was headed to the Chicago White Sox…again, and this time its for real.

With the move, Kenny Williams once again proved the following:

1.    He always gets his man.
2.    He is not afraid to do whatever it takes to win now…and later.

For the most part, this trade involves the same names as version 1.0 did earlier in the season.

The difference?  Peavy is currently on the disabled list with a strained tendon in his ankle and won’t return until mid-August at the earliest.  Not more than two weeks ago, Padres’ GM Kevin Towers noted that Jake Peavy could be done for the remainder of the season, saying, “I think it’s 50-50 if Jake will pitch again this year.”

However, Kenny Williams told the MLB network minutes ago that he believes Peavy will begin a rehab assignment towards the middle of August and could return towards the end of the month possibly on-time for the Red Sox series.

The Padres did pretty well in this deal as they will receive Clayton Richard, Adam Russell, Dexter Carter and Aaron Poreda in return.  soxman1

Richard should immediately move into the Padre’s rotation.  While he is 4-3 with a 4.67 ERA, and a 1.47 WHIP on the season, he had a 1.12 ERA over his last two starts, helping the Sox get a crucial win over the Tigers on Sunday.

The key prospect in the trade for the Padres is likely southpaw Aaron Poreda.  In a limited bullpen stint with the White Sox, the 2007 first-round draft pick had a 2.45 ERA in ten IP.

For the White Sox, the move could be to win now, providing Peavy could return towards the end of August.  It could also be to solidify the Sox rotation for years to come. Peavy is under contract for at least three more years, with a club option for 2012.   In the economics of pitching, it could also be a long term bargain.  He’s due $15 million next year, $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012 with a $4 million buyout on a $22 million club option.

Mark Buehrle is signed through 2011,and John Danks and Gavin Floyd are under the Sox control for at least three more seasons.

Even if he doesn’t throw another pitch in 2009, the White Sox get a proven 28-year old ace and Cy Young award winner (2007), who has a career ERA of 3.29. His ERA is likely to suffer somewhat moving to U.S. Cellular Field, but he should still pitch like a front of the rotation ace.

So why did Jake Peavy have a change of heart after turning down a trade in May?

“There’s no assurance that one of his (Peavy’s) prime target teams was going to take a shot at him in the offseason,” Barry Axelrod, Peavy’s agent said in an interview with Padres insider Tim Krasovic.

Peavy’s preferred teams were the Cubs and Dodgers.

In late May, he decided against accepting a trade to the White Sox.

Citing other factors, Axelrod told Krasovic that the White Sox (52-51 and 2.5 games behind the Tigers) are in better playoff contention than when Peavy nixed the deal in late May.

Should anyone be surprised?

Williams was somewhat forced to respond after the Detroit Tigers acquired Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners, and the Minnesota Twins solved their middle infield situation acquiring shortstop Orlando Cabrera.

He has admitted to coveting Peavy since July of last year, and has a proven track record of never giving up on his targets.  After almost acquiring Ken Griffey Jr. at the 2005 trade deadline, Williams finally got him in 2008.

In 2005 he almost traded Joe Crede to the Angels for Darin Erstad.  He later signed him as a free-agent before the start of the 2007 season.

While it somewhat edges away from Williams vow to develop his farm system, it is a good trade for both teams.

Providing the White Sox can stay in contention until Peavy returns healthy, he could easily add 2-3 wins down the stretch.  Did you hear that offense?  Now wake up…AGAIN.