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updated: 6/16/2014 8:36 PM

If White Sox slide, some players could go, too

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  • White Sox starter John Danks, who gets the call Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants at U.S. Cellular Field, has turned things around and could be a trade chip for the team if it falls out of the race over the next month.

      White Sox starter John Danks, who gets the call Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants at U.S. Cellular Field, has turned things around and could be a trade chip for the team if it falls out of the race over the next month.
    Associated Press

 
 

They've lost four straight, and they're a season-high four games under .500.

Following Monday's off-day, the White Sox close out their homestand with a pair of games against the San Francisco Giants, who have the best record (43-27) in the National League.

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After that, the Sox hit the road for 11 games, and seven of those are against the top two teams (Toronto, Baltimore) in the AL East. Factor in the White Sox' 14-19 record away from home, and it's difficult to dismiss a sinking feeling.

When they fell out of contention last season en route to losing 99 games, first-year general manager Rick Hahn didn't hesitate to make wholesale changes. He traded veterans Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain, and he also moved Addison Reed and Hector Santiago in the off-season.

Is Hahn preparing to take similar action this year?

If the White Sox survive this challenging stretch in the schedule and still are within striking distance in the AL Central heading into July, maybe not.

But if the Sox drop deeper into the cellar, Hahn is very likely to make trades that add to a core of Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana and the injured Avisail Garcia.

Here's what Hahn had to say last week about making roster moves: "The chances to win out there are sacred. We're not going to forsake a real chance to win. At the same time, we remain mindful of out longer-term goals.

"We aren't going to do anything that's going to put us in a position simply to win once. Anything we do is going to be geared to put us in a position to contend on an annual basis and win multiple championships."

That means no trades anytime soon for veteran players at the cost of young talent. And it leaves the door cracked for moves similar to the ones Hahn made in 2013.

Let's examine some of the possibilities:

Alexei Ramirez

With a .311 batting average, 7 home runs and 36 RBI, along with strong defensive play, Ramirez has been the league's best shortstop this season.

But he is 32, and his contract is up after next season, although there is a club option for 2016.

The Sox need to beef up the starting rotation, and they also are vulnerable at catcher, left field and third base. If Ramirez can bring back two quality players to fill some holes, Hahn would have to take a serious look.

Gordon Beckham

He's finally healthy after missing the first month of the season with an oblique injury. The second baseman is off to a solid start with a .283/.333/.412 hitting line to go with 4 home runs and 15 RBI in 47 games.

Beckham fits in as a core White Sox player, and he has the potential to produce even better numbers in the near future.

On the flip side, the Sox have top prospect Micah Johnson waiting in the wings at Class AAA Charlotte, and that could make Beckham expendable.

John Danks

Considering he's a different pitcher since having shoulder surgery in 2012 and was 3-4 with a 5.64 ERA on May 18 following an abysmal start at Houston, and considering he is making $14.25 million a year through 2016, the left-hander didn't seem to have too much value a month ago.

But Danks has turned it around. The 29-year-old pitcher is 2-1 with a 1.53 ERA over his last 4 starts. Contending teams always are looking for quality starters, no matter the cost.

Another factor in a possible Danks trade is this -- Sale and Quintana are left-handed starters, as are this year's No. 3 overall draft pick Carlos Rodon and third-round selection Jace Fry, who already signed with the White Sox for $760,000.

Adam Dunn

He's in the final year of his contract and has 11 home runs and 40 walks to go with an .820 OPS.

Through Sunday, Dunn ranked third in the AL with 75 strikeouts behind teammate Tyler Flowers (79) and Houston's George Springer (76), but his left-handed power could entice a good team in need.

Alejandro De Aza

The Sox wouldn't get much for De Aza, but contenders might be interested in a left-handed bat for the bench.

Scott Downs

He's another player who wouldn't bring much, but Downs is an established left-handed reliever, and they are always in demand at the July 31 trade deadline.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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