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



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


Not more than two weeks after writing an article on what to expect if the White Sox became sellers, their recent win streak has them back within striking distance in the AL Central.  Kenny Williams appears to have taken down his “Clearance Sale” sign and is replacing it with a Help Wanted: Left Handed Hitter, advertisement.

Who might be available on the open market?  Who might make the most sense?  Let’s take a look around the major leagues at left-handed hitters who could fit the bill:

Lance Berkman, Houston Astros, (1B/DH)

Berkman, like ace pitcher Roy Oswalt, became the face of the Astros after the Craig Biggio\JeffBagwell era ended.  The Astros are ready to be sellers, and Berkman would provide switch-hitting versatility in the middle of the White Sox line-up.  The risk is in determining if Berkman has anything left in the tank as he’s hitting only .237, 6HR, 29 RBI in 198 ABs.

The career .958 OPS would make him a worthwhile gamble if the price were right.  While Berkman can veto any trade, the chance to make it to the post season should peak his interest.

Kenny Williams almost completed a trade with them in 2006 for Jon Garland.  Sox fans, his nickname is the Puma.

Kelly Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks (2B)

As written last week, Johnson would added a left-handed power hitter to the White Sox line-up, while allowing Gordon Beckham to find himself in the minors.  The Diamondbacks are willing to deal Johnson, who is hitting .265, 13 HR, 34 RBI, 5 SB on the season.  The downside?  The asking price will likely be high as he’s under team control in 2011 and he’s only hitting .240 over his last 75 ABs.

Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks (SS)

The Diamondbacks rumor mills in Arizona also have Drew available.  His acquisition could cost the Sox Alexei Ramirez or a couple of prospects.  This acquisition could allow Gordon Beckham to return to 3B, Ramirez back to 2B, and push Mark Teahen back to a super substitute role; which is where he’s best suited.  Drew is hitting .271, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 5 SB on the season.

Luke Scott, Baltimore Orioles, (1B, OF, DH)
Scott is always “the little engine that could” producing a career .845 OPS with good power.  The asking price might not be unreasonable, and he’s hitting .276, 10 HR, 24RBI in 196 ABs this season.

Lyle Overbay, Toronto Blue Jays (1B)

The Blue Jays cannot realistically compete in 2008 in the AL East, and have a trading history (Alex Rios) with the White Sox.  After a slow start to the season, Overbay is hitting .316 in his last 57 ABs.  While the price could be right, the offensive potential here is a little under-whelming.  He’s hitting .236, 7HR, 28 RBIs on the season.

Adam Dunn, Washington Nationals, (1B\DH, OF?)

The Nationals want to make Adam Dunn part of their future plan, hoping to re-sign him to a multi-year deal, but how realistic that is may ultimately depend on how many paying fans Stephen Strasburg brings into our nation’s capitol.  Dunn is hitting .275, 16HR, 40 RBI on the season and would likely be the biggest prize on the market.  The downside?  The team becomes slower and the asking price could be huge.  Dunn has played outfield, but he would be best served at DH, with the occasional spell of Konerko at 1B.

David DeJesus, Kansas City Royals, (OF)

DeJesus, would be another ideal addition to the White Sox.  As his name has come up in trade rumors with the San Francisco Giants, the always payroll conscience Royals could be ready to part with him.  Williams has a trade history with the Royals and DeJesus would allow Carlos Quentin and Juan Pierre to split time at DH, as his defense is superior.  Offensively, the move would be a no-brainer as DeJesus is having a fine season, hitting: .323, 5HR, 31RBI, 3SB.  I’d ink him in at the number two spot in the batting order.

Kosuke Fukudome, Chicago Cubs, (OF)

Stranger things have happened right?  Remember, the Sox actually outbid the Cubs for Fukudome when he came to the states to play.  And while “Mr. April,” is not likely to ever become “Mr. October,” there is the concept of Williams always getting his man.  This move could come down to how much salary the Cubs would eat.  His offensive line, which is likely to fall is currently: .281, 6HR, 24 RBI, 4SB.

Jack Cust, Oakland Athletics, (DH)

Good at hitting homers and drawing walks, Cust could be had for a song.  The short porches at the U.S. Cellular launching pad might like him.  There is a good trade history between Billy Beane and Kenny Williams.

Milton Bradley, Seattle Mariners, (OF\DH)

Just making sure you are still reading.  Hopefully you thought: Are you serious Soxman?  Hey, at least you know he’s available.

What do you think Sox fans?  Are there any other left-handed hitting possibilities out there the Sox could have a shot at acquiring?


  1. paulmbanks says

    I love the Cust or DeJesus ideas, not so keen on Berkman

  2. MikeinPurple says

    Great article, Soxman. I’d love to see Lance Berkman in black and white, but I fear it would cost at least Dan Hudson, which is very bad news unless Freddy plans on continuing to pitch this well. I’d also love to have DeJesus, provided he doesn’t cost too much… but given the way the White Sox have wanted to play and are playing as of late, I think Jack Cust is exactly the kind of guy they DON’T want. But now that A.J. and Kotsay are hitting their weight and Teahen is on the way back, maybe the lineup ought to stay put. I still think the top priority is finding a competent replacement for Randy Williams.

  3. how is Adam LaRoche not on this list?

  4. Eminor3rd says

    How about Adam LaRoche? He’d be cheap and would definitely benefit from the Cell.

  5. Baine03\Eminor3rd

    Andy LaRoche is also another excellent possibility and an oversight on my part. Thanks for checking in. He’s signed through 2008 and his average trends historically rise as the season goes on. He’s hitting .255, 10HR, 45 RBI on the season. He’s a career .272 hitter so a good bet to actually improve after his trade.

    Freeing him up would make good sense to the D’Backs as well so they could promote power prospects waiting in the minors.

    Excellent call. Thanks for commenting and Go Sox!


  6. Check that..signed through 2010.. :)

  7. MikeinPurple,

    Thanks for checking in and commenting on this post. As Linebrink is basically only safe to bring into a game when there is mop-up duty required, and Williams ERA is around 4.88, the Sox could look to add a piece or two to the bullpen as well. IF the starting pitching does hold up and goes into the 6th or 7th inning most starts, it would not be as big of a priority, given that Putz, Thornton, and as of late Bobby Jenks have been lights out.

    If the Sox added a hitter, Dayan V. would likely return to the minors.

    High Five!!!


  8. Informal voting through Facebook and e-mail has fans voting for the following left-handed hitters:

    David DeJesus: 15
    Kelly Johnson: 11
    Lance Berkman: 11
    Jack Cust: 8
    Adam Dunn: 3
    Adam LaRoche: 3
    Koske Fukudome: 1

    I really like the LaRoche concept as well. The Diamondbacks have the most to offer. Given Williams trade history with Arizona and the fact they are in the best position to unload players, could we see Williams make another trade?

  9. westcoastwhitesox says

    Thanks for the excellent insight…I’ve not familiar with some of the players on your list so it is great to get your analysis.

    Considering Berkman’s age, stats and contract status, I would hope the sox don’t go for him, but if they do lets hope they don’t give up good prospects or god-forbid major league players.

    Do you think there are any of the major league Sox players that would have to be dealt to get any of these lefties? Our roster seems built to allow for a mid–season pickup, with Tehean, AJones, Kotsay and Nix/Viciedo taking up a starting spot but not providing much in return…so any of those could be traded or demoted to allow for a lefty who can hit. I saw you mention Alexai but are there any other ‘vulunerable’ starters or players who would necessarily need to be traded to get one of these guys on your list?

    If you have time to answer my question I would be very appreciative…not many people talkin about the Sox out here in Washington (state).

    Thanks again,


  10. I also thought LaRoche would be an interesting name, and he’s a second half hitter. I’ll also throw in switch-hitting Cristian Guzman of the Nationals as another 2B option. It would be less of an upgrade, but probably easier to pull off.

  11. paulmbanks says

    Oh I like Guzman, that is a solid idea. I’m not likign Lance Berkman. A couple years ago, yes he would be a great pickup, but today I think he’s over-the-hill.

  12. paulmbanks says

    great to see all the new commenters here at TSB! Welcome!

  13. Westcoast WS:

    We are more than happy to “shout out” to Washington! Please keep reading.

    Typically if a team is in a “buying” mode, you are not going to see any talent moved from an active roster if the team believes they will help them win this year. That means players like Jones and Kotsay would likely stay, or in Jones case (.107 BA over his last 28 ABs) would have to be producing to have trade value.

    Most teams looking to trade players, who are close to free agency, look to at least get in return, players equivalent to the compensation draft picks they would receive from a FA leaving their team. This usually means young players in the minor leagues.

    The only other trade scenario is where a veteran accompanies a younger player, just to balance the trade financially or because the trade leaves a starting void. For example, if the Sox ever traded for Joe Mauer, A.J., would likely go to the Twins in the deal, along with minor leaguers.

    So to answer your question, aside from Alexei, or perhaps Gordon Beckham for Adrian Gonzales (not going to happen), I do not see any active White Sox being traded.

    Nix has already been designated for assignment, so depending on the player added, Dayan Viciedo or Brent Lillibridge would be optioned back to the minors.

    Mark Teahen signed a three-year extension with the White Sox before the season. Drop a line if you have any additional questions! Sox fans worldwide holla!

    High Five- SM

  14. This post has received some great feedback across Facebook, Twitter, and this site! Thank you to our partners who also linked this story into their own!

    Newcomer suggests Christian Guzman as a fit. While the switch hitter makes sense from a second base\shortstop position, my guess is that GM Kenny Williams might be looking for a hitter with a bit more pop. Despite his .303, 1 HR, 20 SB line, he’s only hitting .256 away from his home park. He’s an option, but likely not the top one.

  15. Updated voting of who the Sox should add from a Left Handed Hitting perspective:

    David DeJesus: 15
    Kelly Johnson: 15
    Lance Berkman: 13
    Adam LaRoche: 11
    Adam Dunn: 9
    Jack Cust: 8
    Christian Guzman: 2
    Koske Fukudome: 1

  16. I’m a big fan of the Stephen Drew/Kelly Johnson ideas. If we can get Teahan back to the bench as a sub, it’s for the better. I think that’s the weakest spot in our day to day lineup.

  17. I’ve got a few names to add

    Russel Branyan CLE

    He’s hitting around .260 for the season and brings good power from the left side. I think he would be the DH and maybe spell Paul Konerko everyone in a while.

    Garret Jones PIT

    Jones is one of the Pirates stars right now but he is 29 and I think the Sox could get him at a good price from the Pirates. This would depend on if the Pirates were willing to move players still or plan on building with this guy.

    Carlos Pena

    Alright, this one is a bit of a stretch but Pena is in a contract year and the Rays are not going to resign him. The Sox would probably have to give the Rays Paul Konerko in return and a good prospect. They would only do it if the were making Pena they’re new 1B and signing him long term. I don’t see this happening but I think with Kenny and how he has traded the in his career, it’s a possibility. Just think, he traded away productive and fan favorite Arron Rowand for Thome right after the WS win, don’t rule this one out.

  18. MikeinPurple says

    Thanks for the input. You’re right; Linebrink has fallen off the wagon as usual, and Williams has just been throwing too many fat strikes. Randy hasn’t even pitched in two weeks, so frankly, he’s become a waste of a roster spot. I’m not a huge believer in the absolute necessity of lefty specialists, but I’d at least like to see something else of use. Lately the Sox have been fine with their practically five-man bullpen, but it can’t last that way forever. Maybe it would serve them well to add a veteran starter to keep in reserve for long relief, since Ozzie’s been using Tony Peña in that role, and I think he’s better for the 7th and 8th innings. Do you suppose Livan Hernandez might be available?

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