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What Can Arizona, Baltimore, and Atlanta Offer the Sox?

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Jason Gage

Accountant By Day, Sports Analyst By Night

Mark Gonzalez, Chicago Tribune, is reporting that the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, and Arizona Diamondbacks had scouts in attendance at Wednesday nights Sox game. The question is why?

The only definitive answer I can give is that it wasn't for advanced scouting purposes as neither the Sox or Rays have upcoming games with any of the afformentioned teams. So the likely answer is that the teams were scouting major leaguers on the Rays and/or Sox for potential trades. We don't care about who on the Rays they were scouting, but we do care about what these teams could offer the Sox in return.

Baltimore

George Sherril - The the most likely Oriole to get traded, but it probably won't be with the White Sox. The Sox don't currently have a need in the pen, but if the Sox swing a reliever in another deal (ie, Dotel/Linebrink or even Jenks), they would likely have interest in Sherril. Sherril is a good closer and the rare lefty that can get both rigthies and lefties out. The Dodgers and Angels both have more interest and are the front-runners int he Sherril sweepstakes.

Aubrey Huff - Huff is a versatile defender who could play 1st, 3rd, and LF in a pinch. He provides good power from the left side of the plate and would be a significant upgrade over Josh Fields. The big problem is that Huff will cost more (in terms of talent) than you'd pay for a bench player (which is what he'd be on the Sox). However, having a bat like Huff's who could step in the lineup in the case of an injury would be huge.

Felix Pie - Pie is a toolsy CFer that was formerly one of the best prospects in baseball. He has good range and defensive potential in CFer and would provide the Sox with a better defensive replacement than what is on our roster (Wise). Pie also fits into Kenny's MO of buying talented guys low. The Sox could potentially work a deal out where they gave up one of there former top prospects (Brian Anderson or Josh Fields), but I ask, is Felix Pie really any better than Brian Anderson? Probably not.

Arizona

Dan Haren - Ken Williams has made it evident that the Sox are looking to add an ace to their rotation. They got Peavy (only to have Jake turn em down) and made a failed effort to get Roy Halladay so its quite easy to put two and two together with Haren. And if it were up to me, Haren would be #1 on my list. He's been one of the best pitchers over the past 5 years, is having the best year of his career, and is just entering the prime of his career. What's not to like? The only question is would the Dbacks really consider trading Haren and would the Sox be able to make a comeptitive bid? I say yes and yes. The discussions would have to start with something similar to the Peavy offer (Richard/Poreda/Hudson) plus Tyler Flowers and a John Shelby type. The trade would no-doubt hurt the farm system, but a post-season rotation of Haren/Buehrle/Floyd/Danks would be nasty.

Jon Garland/Doug Davis - Garland and Davis are the Dbacks most likely to get traded. Their not signed to a long-term deal and are starters that will keep you in games and fill the back of your rotation. A month ago I'd have told you that he either would have been great fits in Chicago, but with Carlos Torres and Clayton Richard both making good starts, Colon scheduled to go on Friday, and Garcia being about a month away, I'd put the odds at slim to none that Garland/Davis will be back in a Sox uniform this year.

Chad Qualls - We all remember Qualls for being the waiter that served up Paul Konerko's world series grand slam, but he's a quality reliever that would make the Sox pen even stronger. While he might make it stronger, the Sox already acquired Pena and unless they plan on moving Dotel/Linebrink/Jenks, we won't see the Sox trading for a reliever.

Atlanta

Yunel Escobar - A gifted young shortstop, whose found his way into skipper Bobby Cox doghouse. The Sox might be interested in Escobar, but it wouldn't be for there own use as they have gifted young shortstops Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham. Their interest would be in moving him, along with other prospects to the Blue Jays who would have indicated shortstop is one of the positions they'd like to get help at in a Halladay deal. The problem, complex multi-team trades rarely work and the Braves would want to get a big-bat of there own in return (Matt Holliday), so any trade would likely include the Braves, Jays, Sox, and A's.

Ryan Church - A back-up outfielder who can play all three defensive positions. Defensively he's good in Right and Left and mediocre in CF, but our current back-up outfielder, Wise, isn't the greatest defender and Church is a significant offensive upgrade. The problem. The Braves traded fizzled phenom Jeff Francoeur, to get him and the Braves are still in the thick of things themselves so they won't be trading Church without getting something of value in return.

My gut tells me that the Sox aren't really a great match for any of the teams above, although Escobar and Haren are intriguing names and a guy like Church would be a great fit. What do you think?

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3 Comments

Jason Gage said:

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I should rip on Fields more often. He hits a huge 2nd inning grand slam off of Kazmir.

JimH. said:

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Jason, KW is not totally satisfied with this bullpen. Guillen wants another lefthander not named Poreda.

If they add a multipurpose player it will be someone better defensively than Huff.

Congrats on the new blog!

Jason Gage said:

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Hey Jim

It's great to hear from you and thanks for the congrats. How are you doing?

What your hearing has been relatively consistent with what I'm hearing. I know the Sox aren't happy with Linebrink but the problem is it that it will be tough to move Liney. The Sox could move Dotel but despite constant complaints from fans Dotel has been one of the most productive set-up men in baseball since the Sox signed him.

I guess your right though, a left-handed spot will re-open after Colon's outing. Initially I had figured Richard would go back to the pen, but his last outing bought him more time (rightfully so, because he's got nice potential).

Poreda is definately best off in AAA for now. He's still raw and I know Hahn wants the Sox to keep him in the rotation or do everything they can to keep him there and that means he needs more time in the minors to work on his secondary stuff.

So with that said, the lefty name that comes to mind is Braves reliever Mike Gonzalez. He'd be a big time pickup but after acquiring Pena I kind of thought the Sox would be saving there prospects for a bigger splash and Gonzalez would probably take a bigger name "guy".

If you could get a package built around Anderson/Fields, phenomenal but I highly doubt the Braves are going to give up one of the better lefty relievers over the past few years for former top prospects.

Either way it'll be interesting to see. My next piece is going to be on the Sox needs. I still think they are going to make one last ditch effort at Halladay/Haren and I wouldn't be shocked if the Dbacks or Jays said yes.

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