If White Sox Raise White Flag

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If GM Kenny Williams were to wave the white flag on the 2010 season in June, White Sox fans could get an extended look at some future franchise cornerstones.

By Soxman

As the White Sox fall further in the AL Central standings, whispers of White Flag trades begin to swirl among fans at U.S. Cellular Field. For reasons ranging from bloated salaries to pending free agency, the following players would be the top trade candidates for GM Kenny Williams to use in landing top prospects:

A.J. Pierzynski

Paul Konerko

Andruw Jones

Bobby Jenks

J.J. Putz

Mark Buehrle

Trading any of these players would signify a re-building effort by the White Sox and a focus to the future.  If these trades were to occur, White Sox fans would likely receive an early preview of 2011:

If A.J. Pierzynski was traded…

The Tyler Flowers era would begin.  Flowers has major league power and has demonstrated solid plate discipline with a good on-base percentage at the minor league level.  He’s the second best prospect in the Sox farm system.

He’s hitting .257, 8 HR, 27 RBIs in AAA.

The Sox could also allow Flowers more time to develop and reward Donny Lucy, for his outstanding performance while filling in for the injured Ramon Castro.dayan_viciedo

If Paul Konerko was traded or Mark Kotsay (174 BA, 3HR, 69ABs), was released…

The “Cuban Babe Ruth” era would begin.  Cuban defector Dayan Viciedo would be the top candidate to take either roster spot.  Viciedo has played OF, 3B, and 1B since signing with the White Sox.  While still playing 3B for the Knights, a transition to 1B would be easy.  The Sox could also allow him to grow at 3B and possibly move Mark Teahen to 1B.

Viciedo is currently hitting .288, 9HR, 20 RBI at AAA, however he hasn’t drawn many walks, and has struck out 32 times in 139 ABs.

If Andruw Jones were traded…

The Jordan Danks era would still likely be deferred.  Danks is currently hitting .241, 2HR, 14RBI, 9 SBs in 149 ABs.  Also, he’s got almost 50 strike-outs. If the Sox allowed Danks to perfect his craft for a couple more months they could take a look at journeyman Alejandro De Aza, who is performing about the same, .238, 9 SB.

Still it would be exciting to see the Danks brothers playing together at the major league level.

If J.J. Putz were traded…

Either Freddy Dolsi or journeyman Ryan Braun would get the call.  Braun would be most deserving, posting a 2.00 ERA with 6 saves and 18Ks in 18.1 innings pitched for the Knights.  Dolsi has an ERA over 7.00.

If Bobby Jenks were traded…SOXMAN AND SOXGIRL

Either player above would still be re-called, but Matt Thornton would likely get his long-overdue shot at closer.  Thornton is 2-2, with a 2.12 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, and 26Ks in 17 IP this season.

If the Sox prefer Thornton in the set-up role, rookie Sergio Santos could get a shot at closing.  Santos is a feel good story for the White Sox, converting from failed shortstop to major league pitcher in less than one year.  He had the best fastball in the minors, and has a 0.68 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 17Ks in 13IP so far this season.

If Mark Buehrle were traded…

In addition to Soxman crying loudly over his all-time favorite White Sox pitcher going elsewhere, top-pitching prospect Daniel Hudson could get the call.

Hudson looked spectacular in his limited time in the majors last season, and is doing mediocre thus far at AAA posting a 4.84 ERA.  His strikeouts look good though (40 in 34 IP).

Soxman is not advocating a wholesale sell off of these players that have had such a special place in so many fans’ hearts for the last five years.  However, if they fail to turn things around, and continue to toil, these are the options White Sox fans would most likely see.

Like most Sox fans, I’d prefer to see the team we have in a pennant race.  However, dreams don’t always mirror reality.  We need to hope for the best. But brace ourselves for the worst.

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