Last night was a perfect example why White Sox fans need to settle in for an AL Central dogfight the rest of the way. The Indians climbed back to 1-1/2 games out as Phil Humber took another beating in a 7-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. He is our fifth starter, so the fact that he pitched a no-hitter and held the Tampa Bay Rays to two runs in his last start is pretty impressive. However, you have to wonder if Humber’s days are numbered with John Danks returning next week and the impressive performance of rookie Jose Quintana. Quintana takes the bump tonight that could be an audition for a permanent spot in the rotation. A Toronto Blue Jays team that is a very good hitting team will test him tonight, but if Quintana pitches like he has his first three outings you have to consider him.
Might the Sox go for the six-man rotation again this year, with Sale pitching in his first year as a MLB starter, Danks having a shoulder issue, and Jake Peavy pitching healthy for the first time since being in a Sox uniform.
Ventura already said he has no plans of moving Gavin Floyd or Humber out of the rotation because they both have good stuff, and I would agree with that. However, when they leave the ball up it gets killed and is very costly to the Sox. Floyd should be fine the next outing as he usually is after four to five bad games. It’s a shame that he can’t pitch well all season without these spells.
A six-man rotation gives the Sox some leverage around the trading deadline if they are still in first or within striking distance. Do you move Peavy to someone like the Yankees or Red Sox in return for MLB ready prospects or players, and go for it with a rotation of Danks, Floyd, Sale, Quintana, and Humber? Would that even make sense for team competing for a division title to move a veteran like Peavy, where his presence for the Sox young pitching staff is like having another coach on the bench.
Kenny Williams will have some questions to answer if the Sox continue to win, and he will need to address a few things at the trading deadline.
I would not mind adding a veteran arm in the bullpen, especially after Zach Stewart could not keep the Blue Jays at five after reliving Humber in the sixth.
How about a veteran third baseman? Let’s be honest Brent Morel has been decent defensively but his batting is a nightmare, and his stay in the minors will be longer than expected with some continued back issues. Orlando Hudson is serviceable but his hitting struggles just make fans long for a veteran starting third baseman. Who could the Sox go after?
That’s where the list gets short because you don’t want to give up defense just to get some more offense, especially since the Sox haven’t been struggling. Also, you don’t want to give up too much young talent since you only recently built it back up through trades in the offseason. One possible team could be the Boston Red Sox since they have Kevin Youkilis and up and coming star, Will Middlebrooks. Youkilis is a free agent after this season with a team option for 2013. He’s currently making $12 million this season and his team option is $13 million with a $1 million buyout.
This where trading dollars with Peavy could come into play. Peavy’s getting $17 million this year and has a $22 million team option for 2013 with a $4 million buyout.
Since Peavy’s $17 million is already on the books for this season, they could send him to the Red Sox for Youkilis along with $4 million to cover the buyout and still save a $1 million this season. The Red Sox are in desperate need for another solid arm in their rotation and the White Sox could use a veteran at third base. It seems like a perfect fit especially with the dollars involved. Again, not sure if this is the best move, but it seems like from a 2012 team needs perspective it suits both perfectly.
The other move could be to trade some prospects to one of Williams’ favorite trading partners the San Diego Padres for Chase Headley. Headley is in the final year of a one-year deal for $3.48 million and is arbitration eligible next season and becomes a free agent in 2015. The Padres seem to love to stock their farm system with White Sox prospects, and while Headley isn’t as good as a hitter as Youkilis he would still be an improvement over the Sox’ current players.
I like the Headley move a little better because if the Sox should make the playoffs having a veteran presence like Peavy will be helpful in the rotation.
The only other move I could possibly see the Sox making at trade deadline is none at all and just going for it with what they have. It’s seems like they have enough young arms in their farm system to help with any injuries that may happen. It’s not like the lack of hitting at third base is crippling their offense at this point, so how important is it?
I kind of feel like I’ve just written a similar post to one of Smitty’s last year when the one offensive position the Tigers were lacking last season was third base. They ended up settling for Wilson Betemit, and he killed the White Sox in every game he played against them. Hopefully the Sox can find someone that fits the team chemistry if that’s what they choose.