Cubs v Sox, or the Current State of Chicago Baseball

Cubs v Sox, or the Current State of Chicago Baseball

The Chicago Cubs completed a sweep of their crosstown "rival" the White Sox giving Cubs fans all over Chicagoland bragging rights. Or something. Really I don't know, talking trash to White Sox fans is an exercise in futility because there's that trophy hanging out in the room that they can always point to. But whatever, take joy where you can, just don't get to crazy with it.

Now, I asked to recap this series because I happen to watch both teams really closely. You can say I'm a fan of both, so I'll just say that. I'm a fan of both teams. Now this game threw me for a loop because technically I already recapped this series but for the sake of being thorough I decided (was forced) to recap this game.

BUT, instead of force feeding you some feel good Cubs Kool-Aid I'm going to take this opportunity to expose you to some South Side baseball. It also sucks but in a different way.

Pitching wins championships except for when your offense sucks

Matt Garza and Hector Santiago put up some really solid pitching lines.

GARZ: 7/5/2/1/0/6 (IP/H/R/ER/BB/K)
HEX:   5.1/5/2/2/2/3

Garza was spectacular, he had a solid mix of pitches working and he was hitting his spots. It also helped that he was facing a White Sox offense that ranks last in walks, and slugging, second to last in OBP and OPS, and by no coincidence, last in RS. But you know, details.

The start for Garza was good for his trade value, we all know he can have his runs where he tricks you into thinking he can maybe pull a Cliff Lee and become a number one before one of two things happens: his arm falls off or he starts giving up walks and homers in unfortunate bunches.

We know Garza, we know he has value, and he's likely gone by the trade deadline. Let's talk about Hector Santiago for a minute.

Santiago owns a career 24.5 K% which is outstanding. He also owns an 11.9 BB% which is not so stellar. Santiago is my prime candidate for a multi inning reliever/swing man. I've seen that guy go 4 innings in relief with 8 K's. I think he would thrive in a 2+ inning role, and I think he would completely change the way bullpens are used.

Converging paths 

The White Sox have declared themselves to be sellers at the deadline. I (SHAMELESS PLUG WARNING) wrote about this at TTF Baseball awhile back. In that article I made the case for trading Sale. I was not hated for it, it was somewhat surprising.

It's pretty clear that Chicago baseball is going to suck for awhile. Both teams are going to have to deal with a rebuilding process that will require creativity and ballsy moves. I'm going to leave you with some thoughts on the idea of trading Chris Sale:

"Sale is obviously the biggest trading chip the sox have. By trading him you need to get a package of players that are near MLB ready and ones that can make an impact in a few years. The sox are looking into an 8 year rebuild with such an awful minor league system. While trading sale will at first look awful to the fans it can jump start your rebuild. It will come at a high price since the sox haven't had a real ace in sometime. But arms are tricky and even the best pitchers go down for a long time.

I'm not sold on Chris Sale sticking around in Chicago for his whole career. This guy has superstar money written all over him. He is most likely going to end up with a team like the Yankees, Red Sox, or in Cali somewhere. The Sox are not going to fork over that type of cash to a starting pitcher. Well at least not under Jerry.

​If you don't move him now you take the risk that he might get hurt and never net you the same package. If you wait maybe you are able to keep people coming out to see Chris. But is it really worth it for a possible superstar to sit on a team who will be in a full time rebuild? Nobody's ready to move up and take over for these older players. They can try and patch holes but why not invest in a new pale. One that's without major holes all over it. It's not that I want to see Sale traded, he's one of the only reason I want to watch a Sox game at the moment. Trading him will hurt the present team but it could infuse the talent you need to take a few years off a rebuild and allow you to remake a team which clearly isn't working at the moment."
-OBL Co-host Andrew Welebir

"I'm not gonna write a book but here's why.

The White Sox currently have one of the worst offenses and defense in the MLB. Now that the Sox have officially decided to sell that offense will only get worse. Sale is going to be in the prime of his career the next two-three years barring injury and I can guarantee that with the Sox most likely losing Konerko's production via him retiring or old age catching up to him that Sale will be the most dominant pitcher to never win a game.

Too many times this year fans have seen Sale dominate opposing lineups, racking up double digits in strikeouts only to see him get a no decision or a loss in a 2-0 game.

As far as I can see, and I am no expert, the White Sox farm system is devoid of a Konerko-esque talent that can carry an offense and the free agent market seems like it would only produce a contract we would soon regret. With the White Sox missing that piece, I'd rather trade Sale for two Konerko-esque talents to develop with Courtney Hawkins, Trayce Thompson, and Tim Anderson than watch Sale lose games he should win.

In addition, I feel like Don Cooper is a good enough pitching coach to make almost any pitcher we put in the rotation a solid stopgap for the time that it takes to become competitive again.

In closing, trade Sale, let him be happy while the team develops, but dear God please don't trade him to any AL team, but especially not Detroit!"

-Sean Bigness

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