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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As this article was written, the White Sox were 29-34, and 7.5 games back in the American League Central.  Yet, outstanding pitching performances against the Chicago Cubs in inter-league play combined with a winning home stand had some fans calling for GM Kenny Williams to consider adding pieces to the team rather than breaking the current roster apart.

I still believe (as do most major league GMs) that the White Sox are more attractive sellers than buyers.  With players such as Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski, Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz and Andruw Jones fitting the needs of several contenders, the Sox could command some value in return, and this would replenish the farm system.  Fans could see a classic Williams power play blending a re-building effort into competing into September through simply keeping his rotation intact.  At least that could be the sales pitch.

Fans hoping for Williams to be active in the “buying” market, should not hope for a splash trade such as the Jake Peavy acquisition last year.  In other words, you are more likely to see Ozzie Guillen lose his job before Adrian Gonzales plays first base on the south side of Chicago.

First, if the White Sox became buyers, who could they really add?  The White Sox already have multi-year investments in three outfielders and their 4th and 5th outfielders, Jones and Kotsay are among their top producers at a reasonable price, which like it or not, the Sox ALWAYS consider.

Let’s peruse Kenny Williams favorite trading partners over the years:

The Arizona Diamondbacks

The D’backs signaled they were open for business today with the trade of Conor Jackson to the Oakland Athletics.  However, the only attractive piece to target would be Kelly Johnson, whose rights they own through 2011.  Johnson’s left handed stick, solid defense and .282, 13HR, 33RBI line would allow them to send Gordon Beckham to the minors and perhaps switch back to his natural shortstop position or return to third base.  The asking price would be steep: Top Pitching prospect Daniel Hudson would likely only be a starting point.

Likelihood of Occurring:  Paul Konerko stealing three bases in a game.

The San Diego Padres

First off, the San Diego Padres are in first place in the NL West, and while all teams are still in contention, they are not likely going to wave a flag unless they drop out of the race altogether.  There really is not a match for the White Sox as buyers anywhere on this roster.  Now if the Padres offered a prospect or two for Andruw Jones, you might have to listen.

The Milwaukee Brewers

One of my favorite teams in the National League, who brought us Scott Podsednik in 2005, is currently ten games under .500 and showing no signs of gaining ground on the Reds or Cardinals.  Don’t drool over Rickie Weeks speed potential, it’s not going to happen.  Corey Hart appears to have put a miserable 2009 season behind him, hitting .265 17 HR, 44 RBI, so its unlikely the Sox could convince them to swap high upside underperformers a la Carlos .208 batting average Quentin.  Yes, Hart leads the national league in homers (17).

The Baltimore Orioles

Sure Williams has never traded with them, but let’s not forget that how he NEVER gives up on his player crushes or obsessions.  The aging, and PED-free Miguel Tejada, who Williams targeted three years ago, could fill in nicely at third.  He could also buy low on Brian Roberts, who has been hurt most of the season following the Kelly Johnson plan above, assuming he’d agree to a trade out of a franchise whose future is in their youth.

Likelihood of occurrence:  Juan Pierre hitting for the cycle

While there are other possibilities out there, Sox fans shouldn’t get their hopes up for anything to get them over the top…of .500 baseball that isn’t already sitting on their bench.

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