If you are keeping score where it really counts, Cubs 3 important personnel moves, White Sox zero. Well, I guess promoting Josh Phegley counts for half, but it was getting to the point where his swings were being wasted in AAA Charlotte and his competition at the big league level is ripe for the picking. So, let’s call it 3 to one half. I know, still about a month to go, and this isn’t a competition. It’s just as a fan, like all fans I think have a tendency to veer into the meatball aspects of fandom, watching the neighbors take proactive steps while Rick Hahn seems to be tuning up his fiddle is frustrating to say the least.
So as a good blogger, here only to annoy front office types and criticize players after every misplay, I offer this primer of who to trade from the White Sox: Everybody! No, seriously, I know a team can’t trade the entire roster, but as things stand there are no untouchables on the White Sox roster. That isn’t to say there aren’t guys carrying a hefty price tag, both in regards to return and actual contract. Even so, the sign out front of the US Cellular should read, “All serious offers will be considered.”
A couple of other points: First, I find it truly annoying when fans dream up trades that basically fleece the other team with no downside for their team. An example, “We should trade Adam Dunn to the Dodgers for that Puig guy and Matt Kemp, with the Dodgers picking up all of Dunn’s salary.” At this point, I will be very upset if the White Sox pick up any major leaguers, it’s time to restock the shelves. Thanks to Theo and Jed, a market inefficiency has been exposed and teams can stock up on slots for foreign players. I hope the White Sox see the potential of Feldman trade and work likewise to improve their international capabilities. Second, I don’t want to hear how Sox fans won’t support a rebuilding effort. The truth is, since the economy took a dive in 2008, the Sox have been struggling attendance-wise. Of course this is only one source of revenue and the fans support the White Sox in other ways besides attending games. The team was in first place much of last year, and the fans didn’t exactly rush to the ballpark. My guess is if the team really starts to dismantle, there might be a dip in attendance, but it will be for a variety of reasons not just rebuilding. Finally, if you watched the last game in Tampa Bay, the White Sox are already fielding a minor league line up anyway: Phegley, Morel, and Tekotte all started, all started the year in Charlotte, and all should probably still be there, except maybe Phegley. I’m not sure who or what a Casper Wells is.
So join me fellow White Sox fans! Don’t think of it as a surrender, but as a retooling, a preparation for the future! After this far too long of an introduction, let’s start looking at players and where they might end up. The first batch? Those who aren’t going anywhere.
Well, you can just look up a couple of paragraphs and get a start on this list. Last year’s third baseman, Brent Morel will be heading back to Charlotte and after that? Well, he is just 25, and he might make some progress. At this point, Brent is a White Sox for a while.
Blake Tekotte. A 26 year-old outfielder, just called up from Charlotte who was acquired in the off-season from the Padres. He wasn’t exactly tearing it up in Charlotte, so I can’t imagine anyone is clamoring for a youngish, light-hitting outfielder.
There isn’t much of a market for Dewayne Wise at this point. He’s hurt, he’s old and he really isn’t all that good. If a team wants Dewayne Wise, they probably can find a similar player currently unemployed.
Casper Wells did make his debut as a pitcher not too long ago, but that went about as well as the rest of his career thus far. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even realize he was on the major league roster since April, thinking he came up from Charlotte. Nope, not a single at bat in Charlotte; he’s been playing about two games a week. I’m guessing there are a lot of outfielders available before a team would make a move for Casper, unless it is like the White Sox and it’s an outright purchase of the contract. Even that seems like a stretch during the season however.
Those are about the only players I think are here to stay, at least as far as making trades are concerned. Releases, DFA, demotions and the like are all possibilities. There are some older guys on the pitching staff, Matt Lindstrom being the oldest at 33, but moving pitchers is a weird business. If a guy is throwing well, I think teams are more than willing to take a chance, hope for a couple of good outings and move along. I think a lot of teams look at building a bullpen as a bit of a sausage making process; put in the parts, see what works, need more meat, toss it in to the grinder. Use it up and start the whole process again next season. If a team is in a position to go for it, they might try and get a certain pitcher for bullpen help, but unless it is a pretty substantial piece, said team won’t be offering much. Is one international slot worth one bullpen guy? I think the market will let us know soon.
Next up: possible, not probable.