All White Sox trade rumors–especially ones that pop up improbably in the middle of Spring Training–are subject to the Code of Silence caveat.
JJ Stankevitz: When you put together these lists, a lot of times it seems that a rumor comes out that team X is looking at player Y, do a lot of these rumors come out of the preliminary lists that you put together?
Dan Fabian: I wouldn’t think any of them come out of our information. We’re very tight-lipped and closed with what we have, so I think that very rarely do we see players that we’re discussing come out.
No organization is likely to portray themselves as rife with leaks, but the Sox have recent track record on their side. Players traded away by the White Sox haven’t been departing after days and weeks of trade rumors predicting the inevitability of it all.
That’s a reality that the yet again rekindled ‘Gavin Floyd to Toronto’ rumors have to overcome, but even taking them at face value, the question begged is “What’s changed?”
What’s changed in the level of demand for Floyd since the off-season? A prospective contending team has arrived in camp and already given up on the chances of any of their arms in camp being a mid-rotation starter? They needed four months to grin and bear the loss of the middle-class package it would take to acquire Floyd?
On the flip side, what’s changed for the White Sox? They went through the travails of rebuilding, then not-rebuilding, then settled on going into SoxFest and training camp with a scaled down version of the 2011 team, on the principle of allowing the veteran’s another crack at competing. Why now are they newly willing to pull the plug?
As Jim Margalus already summed up, the White Sox basis for competing is already impossibly thin, such that removing a rotation mainstay is akin to conceding “Well, we weren’t going to rebuild, but then we got this great offer! Everything’s on sale again!”
That’s a fine tact from a leverage perspective, but an unusual one for an actual baseball team employing human players, who might not take kindly to the franchise’s direction changing while they’re in Arizona. Maybe that won’t matter if they’re suddenly rebuilding. Everyone’s getting traded now, and who’s really interested in keeping Jake Peavy happy anymore anyway?
The purported cause of for all this seems even more problematic; Danny Knobler of CBS sports wrote an entry titled “White Sox need help, so Floyd could be dealt”
General manager Ken Williams is said to be anxious to make moves to improve a club that has been unimpressive in the early games of spring training.
“They might lose 100 games this year,” said one scout who has followed the Sox this spring.
Trading Floyd, who won 12 games and pitched 193 2/3 innings for the White Sox last year, wouldn’t necessarily improve the White Sox’s chances to win in 2012. But it could further the slow-moving rebuilding project that Williams set moving last fall.
No kidding the White Sox look like a moldering corpse so far, but the notion that Williams is panicking over 10 Spring Training games is absurd. Knolber himself points out that Spring Training numbers are useless in his initial tweet introducing the information, for crying out loud..
Theoretically, Floyd could have plenty of value now. Gavin has two full years left, Williams isn’t in obvious selling position yet, he’s currently as good of a value for his price as he’s going to be for the next five years, still isn’t 30 years old, and there’s no one really else on the market at the moment. If the Sox aren’t winners any time soon, they’d do fine work in dealing Floyd now before absolutely everyone within 250,000 mile range knows it.
But I’d be willing to bet everything I own–and a few things I don’t–that the fan (and ticket sales) and press reaction to Kenny trading Floyd right smack in the middle of Spring Training and the buildup to the 2012 season, would probably be worse than if KW just held a human sacrifice on the mound instead a ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. And that reaction would be understandable.
Franchises need direction, and now is not a particularly good time to go without.