I’m probably going to get into trouble for messing with White Sox business, but you can’t help but wonder what Williams is working towards before Tuesday’s trade deadline? The Sox are fine offensively, and the addition of Brett Myers has stabilized the bullpen. The big question is starting pitching, as Chris Sale worked hard through 6-1/3 to earn his 12th victory of the season and the fourth win a row for the Sox, as well as their fourth straight win over the best offense in the AL, the Texas Rangers. The Sox expanded their lead over the Tigers to 1-1/2 games and the Indians to 4-1/2, so you would expect Williams to be looking to deal. I expected the Sox to rebound, but anyone who’s on our Facebook page or reads this blog on a regular basis knows that, because “it’s about the team you play, but about when you play them.”
The Miami Marlins may be one of the best trading partners for the White Sox with the possibility of Mark Buehrle coming home or the opportunity for Don Cooper to work his magic on Josh Johnson and get him back to where he should be. The only reason Buehrle may not be in a Sox uniform by Tuesday is because of the Jim Hendry-esque contract he’s under with the Marlins. He’s owed $37 million over the last two years of the contract at age 36, but I don’t think the Marlins ever considered keeping him over the duration of the contract. Still, if there’s a way to fit him into the mix for a run to the postseason I would love it.
Johnson is under contract through 2013, but he would add close to $14 million to the Sox payroll next season and without cash consideration from the Marlins probably close to another $5 million this season. Also, you would have to give up more to get Johnson versus Buehrle because of his age and numbers prior to this season.
Another trading partner for the Sox could be the Toronto Blue Jays if they decide to cash in their chips. They’ve fallen to 4 games back in the Wild Card, but are obviously still in it. Ricky Romero would be an intriguing pick-up as he’s signed through 2016 at $7.5 million a year, but has underperformed this season so the asking price might no be terribly steep. Maybe, the Sox will just send Nestor Molina back to the Blue Jays as they’ve done in the past with the Jays. Romero would be another reclamation project for Coop, but if he thinks he can work with him then he’ll be on Kenny’s radar.
Of course, this is all speculation on my part and everyone’s part. Things I don’t see happening is Felix Hernandez coming to the Sox, it’s fun to dream but that’s dreaming too big and would cost too much. I also never believed the Sox were real suitors for Zach Greinke, and I’m thankful for that as I don’t see his return to the AL being very successful.
For Williams, he doesn’t want to trade away all the young talent he just acquired and be forced into having to restock the farm system in another year. I understand that based on how most the Sox rookies have performed this season, it would seem to possibly dictate no move at all. The problem is John Danks seems to get further and further from returning this season, so you have to consider that when making a move.
Finally, you have Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd in the final year of their contracts, so getting someone under control in a trade would be a big plus for next season. Again, in a perfect world that’s the move Williams would make.
If the Sox choose to stand pat I still believe they can win the AL Central with what they have, and in a short series they have the pitching to win. We’ll know in the outcome in a few days as Tuesday looms.