White Sox Rebuild: Breaking Down The Fire Sale

White Sox Rebuild: Breaking Down The Fire Sale

So far, the White Sox have made three fairly significant trades this offseason:

  • Dec. 6 -  White Sox traded RHP Sergio Santos to Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Nestor Molina.
  • Dec. 31 - White Sox traded RF Carlos Quentin to San Diego Padres for RHP Simon Castro and LHP Pedro Hernandez.
  • Jan. 1 - White Sox traded RHP Jason Frasor to Toronto Blue Jays for RHPs Daniel Webb and Myles Jaye.

If we track Kenny Williams' fire sale back to the acquisition of Frasor this summer, from the same Blue Jays to whom he was traded on Sunday, the White Sox ultimately traded Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen for Webb, Jaye and Zach Stewart (who was acquired with Frasor for Jackson and Teahen).

What have the Sox added in these deals? I went looking for some information, and here are a few comments about some of these guys. For some comments about each player I relied on the evaluation skills of John Sickels at MinorLeagueBaseball.com, and for the others I visited BaseballAmerica.com.

Zach Stewart, RHP, 6'2" 205 lbs, 24 yrs old
Baseball America: "Stewart works quickly and throws four pitches for strikes, making him a future mid-rotation candidate for Chicago. His fastball features sinking and tailing action at 88-92 mph, while his quality low-80s slider functions as his No. 2 pitch. Stewart worked in a mid-80s changeup more frequently this season with New Hampshire, and he sells the change of pace with good arm speed. He also surprises opponents with a seldom-used curveball."

Nestor Molina: RHP, 6'1" 180 lbs, 23 yrs old (on Jan. 9)
Sickels: "Molina has a solid 90-94 MPH fastball and keeps it low in the zone, picking up grounders. He also has a very good splitter. His slider is still a work-in-progress according to scouts, but his delivery adds deception and helps his stuff play up. His statistics last year were simply spectacular, and it is unusual to see a relief-to-starting conversion turn out this positively. He wasn't some old guy tricking people; he was just 22 last year. If anything, Molina still doesn't get the respect he deserves as a prospect."
Baseball America: "Molina has above-average command of a fastball that ranges from 88-93 mph. He originally tried to turn his slurvy breaking ball into a slider, but he has shifted to using a curveball now. Molina has a legitimate out-pitch in his splitter, and he also shows feel for a straight changeup. His secondary stuff doesn't jump off the page, but his fastball command helps it play up. He profiles nicely in the back of a rotation and will likely make his big league debut in 2012."

Simon Castro: RHP, 6'5" 210 lbs, 23 yrs old
Sickels: "Castro... has a fine arm, featuring a 90-95 MPH fastball. His slider has plus moments, but he's still working to refine his changeup. His mechanics are complicated and his command fails if they get out of whack, but the arm strength for success is still here, and until '11 he did a good job throwing strikes most of the time. He still has a chance to be a starting pitcher, although many scouts prefer him in relief."
Baseball America: "He's always pitched with a long arm action, so the Padres traced his troubles back to his starting assignment in the 2010 Futures Game, in which he allowed two runs in one inning. He hasn't pitched with the same consistency since. Castro's velocity dipped into the high 80s early in the 2011 season before he recovered to pitch at 92-94 mph and touch 96 with tailing action later in the year. His slider showed trademark late bite and 82-84 mph velocity at times, though just as often it resembled a three-quarters slurve. The changeup could be a fringe-average pitch in the mid-80s with more refinement. If Castro rediscovers his two plus pitches and control he still profiles as a mid-rotation arm or set-up reliever.

Pedro Hernandez: LHP, 5'10" 200 lbs, 22 yrs old
Sickels: "Hernandez has an 88-92 MPH fastball along with a good changeup and mediocre curve. There's nothing spectacular about him, but he throws strikes and could develop into a fifth starter or a relief option. I currently rate him as a Grade C prospect."
BA: "Hernandez always has thrown a quality changeup and shown strong command, but his prospect status began to take hold when his velocity began to creep up halfway through the 2010 season. Signed at age 18 out of Venezuela, Hernandez initially topped out near 87 mph but that has since become the low point for his fastball range. The Padres say the lefty has touched 95 on occasion, but more often he sits in the low 90s and works both sides of the plate with a riding fastball. Batters don't pick up the ball well against the short and stocky Hernandez, which helps his solid-average, low-80s changeup play up."

Daniel Webb, RHP, 6'2" 210 lbs, 22 yrs old

Myles Jaye, RHP, 6'3 170 lbs, 20 yrs old

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