Trade rumors put White Sox firmly on the fence

Trade rumors put White Sox firmly on the fence
When does a picture stop being blurry, and start being poignant? // José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune

The White Sox are still listening to offers for Gavin Floyd.

Listening, doesn't necessarily imply anything is actually being said.  It could mean that the White Sox are merely open to receiving chatter.  It could mean that the White Sox are simply laying down on their back, in the middle of a grassy field, chewing on sassafras, and straining to hear what the universe has to offer them in exchange for Gavin Floyd.

The Blue Jays have been the most frequently rumored landing place for Floyd, but none of the White Sox trades this off-season have really come with a great deal of forewarning and rumor, so there's not a clear predictor of where Gavin Floyd trade chatter would actually come from.  That's just as well, there's only so much excitement that can be had from swapping organizations wholesale with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Being on the fence about dealing Floyd is a rather strange point to be in mid-January.  The White Sox have probably cut enough to be past this threshold already, but it's pretty hard to even feign an interest in competing if you replace what is at least the #3 starter in your rotation with a #5.  I could channel all the optimism in the world for the careers of Dylan Axelrod and Zach Stewart, but they're #5 starters in 2012.  True #5's.

If you go by raw results, that's going from 190 IP of ~4.10 ERA to 120-150 IP of ~4.60 and above ERA.

If you prefer to go by WAR, that's going from a 4 WAR pitcher to a selection between two guys who'll be lucky to rack up 2.

And if you prefer to go by pitcher wins, that's going from 11 wins, to an article by Joe Posnanski explaining the problems with going by pitcher wins.

In any regard, it's a pretty dramatic step down--especially in top-level potential (as in, Gavin Floyd's best is a lot better than Dylan Axelrod's best)--for a team that will already need a lot of luck to look like a serious threat.  In other words, they're already probably rebuilding, but trading Floyd would mean for real, real, real rebuilding, and it's interesting that the trade market is still kind dictating their direction.

Also dictating their direction is the White Sox fate in negotiations for the collection of soon-to-be-available Cuban free agents  Will they have an expensive 26 year-old CF in a few weeks?  Will they have a still somewhat pricey 19 year-old CF who is several years away?  Will they have both?  Will they have the same mediocre roster and bottom-tier farm system and a crushing sense of disappointment?

Since the White Sox seem unlikely to add "out-bid the hell out of everyone" to their strategy of luring Yoenis Cespedes or Jorge Soler, optimism should be muted, but Dayan Viciedo took the time out to call and recruit both of them to the South Side.

How effectual that will actually be is up for interpretation, but with Buehrle, Santos, and Quentin gone, to see Viciedo potentially stepping into the void to be a representative for the franchise is charming, and enough to fuel illusions that he'll do more than just complete his service time and flee in a Boras-fueled contract slog.

Then again, he could just be lonely.

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Victor Martinez blew out his ACL last week, and will now apparently miss the entire 2012 season.  Since Victor Martinez was 30% better than the average AL hitter even with his singles-plunking ways last season, that would appear to be a helpful tragedy for the rest of the AL Central.

But while losing Martinez certainly won't make the Tigers better, they're losing a contributor at the easiest position to replace.  They can't go out and say, sign Prince Fielder when they're committed to Martinez through 2014, but there's plenty of options still.  Carlos Pena would make for an obvious platoon partner with UTIL Ryan Raburn, or they could up their pursuit of Cespedes and move Delmon Young to DH.  Young wouldn't be a good DH, but he'd be a fair sight better DH than he is a LF.

The Tigers have the depth and resources to take this in stride.

 

Must be nice.

 

 

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