This is what happens when no one invites Kenny Williams to any New Year's parties.
January 1st brings yet another trade, and this one doesn't even need to be rationalized!
Jason Frasor wasn't particularly good with the White Sox, and $3.75 million is a bit pricey for an ineffective reliever. So much so that most favored not picking up Frasor's option for 2012 at all. When the White Sox did anyway, it seemed like it could only be justified if he was used as a trade chip. But what would anyone trade for Jason Frasor?
Participating with one of 3 or 4 teams that Kenny Williams has deemed suitable of doing business with, the White Sox dealt Frasor back to the Blue Jays in exchange for RHPs Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb. Without peering too deeply into it, I will declare that Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb is a better haul than nothing.
Peering slightly more deeply into it, Jaye only recently turned 20 years of age, and has just 54 kinda good innings--mostly as a starter--in Rookie ball to his name. Sure, he walked his fair share of hitters, and gave up a ton of home runs, but 8.17 K/9! That's a cool number. And so young! Anything can happen at that age...including the bad things.
Webb is two years older, and just finished up a far shoddier year in Single-A. Below-average strikeout rates in Single-A at age 21 does not portend of greatness. But hey, everyone loves wildly implausible comeback stories.
If someone bet you even money that one of these guys will become a significant contributor to the White Sox, oh man, you would take it. Still, as Jim Margalus dug up, the Blue Jays really went above-and-beyond in their efforts (and financial commitments) to sign both Webb and Jaye upon drafting them, suggesting that there's something there in terms of talent level. They both have way too far to go and too many hills to climb yet to be looked at as much more than fliers, but that's where pretty much every low-level pitching prospect is going to be. It's good to have more of them.
As a return for Frasor, it seems like fine work for Kenny Williams, even if the assembly for the bullpen gets more confusing from here on out. He took a fairly poor allocation of resources and flipped it out to the only team that ever loved Jason Frasor in exchange for organizational depth.
It's a nice little deal, and it's good to look at it in that smaller scale, because when you zoom out, the throbbing in the head returns. Beefing up the bullpen for the ole playoff run was one of the justifications for the Edwin Jackson trade, and now that bullpen help was considered to be so undesirable that getting anything of significance in return is a win. That Jackson was flipped as the center of the package for Colby Rasmus is also galling, but that's really more St. Louis' fault, and maybe Colby Rasmus isn't much of anything, and maybe we're all just mad because we'd rather have Dan Hudson than any of this mess. The Hudson trade, the Hudson trade, everything is just the postmortem to the damnable Hudson trade.
But since that hole has long since been dug, there's no use in citing Williams' efforts to worm his way out of it as further evidence of his failure. Not when there's still the Quentin trade to pick at, and especially when denigrating Williams' tenure doesn't really need to get more complex than pointing to the organization's current situation, and pointing to Williams' job title.
That's a bit deep of a discussion for a simple salary dump of a cruddy reliever, so back to hard facts. Jettisoning Frasor drops the 2012 payroll to $97.25 million, pending all the roughly minimum salaries that will fill out the roster, so if the idea was to run back screaming from last year's big reach, mission accomplished.
Or of course, they could be loading up for some Cuban delight. Even two-straight blatant salary dumps for prospects that won't help the 2012 team aren't enough to make me sure of this team's direction. Perhaps they won't need one. Hopefully it doesn't come up.