Sox shouldn't trade just to trade
The White Sox are running out of time.
And I don't just mean time to get back in a division race, I mean time to remain a roster as currently constructed.
That time is evaporating.
As I've said before, I still think this team will remain basically as is by the time we get to September. However, that doesn't mean we won't witness the departure of a player or two that could boost a team preordained for a playoff run, and the White Sox have a few of those.
When it's bad like it's been so far this year, I often hear from a weary fan base that just wants to see some new blood. Or maybe they're just tired of the old blood.
You know how it is. When things are going poorly, anything different from the present has to be better. That's true of just about anything in our lives, and all of us are guilty of it.
I continue to caution, though, that a complete teardown and buildup just isn't realistic. Not when taking into account, undesirable players and contracts, as well as the unwillingness of teams to trade their best young talent, which is presumably what the Sox would want in return.
This week, GM Rick Hahn asserted they were not yet in position to begin selling off any assets they have, but you have to figure they're moving into trade formation, just in case.
You've probably already heard the trade possibilities, but here are, in my opinion, the likeliest candidates:
Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton: Crain is having an exceptional year, and there will always be a club in the second half that will need a reliever like him, particularly since he can close if necessary. Thornton isn't dominant as he once was, but he's still solid, and it's easier to find your missing keys than it is to find good lefty relievers. I wouldn't expect a haul for either, but if a team is desperate enough, it may be worth the Sox' trouble to part with one or both.
Alexei Ramirez: But only if the return can't be passed up. Ramirez is under contract through 2016 and would be an attractive asset. However, the Sox really don't have anyone in the system set to play shortstop and may not for a while until Tim Anderson (the top pick of 2013) is ready. And that's if Anderson even ends up playing that position in the big leagues. The organizational hope is that he will. The Sox still need to play games next year and most teams choose to have a shortstop, so someone will have to play there. And I don't suspect the Sox are willing to throw just anyone in that spot.
Alex Rios: He makes a lot of money but a team could have him through '15 if they want, and he's been the Sox' best position player since the beginning of last season. The Sox are deeper in future outfield options, so it's possible.
My contention is — and always will be — never to trade for the sake of trading, unless a salary dump is the goal.
Again, for me, it's all about the gain.
And as it is, the White Sox are under no obligation to deal any of these guys unless it increases the chances of a better future.
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