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updated: 7/17/2014 9:06 PM

Three most likely White Sox candidates to be dealt

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  • White Sox starting pitcher John Danks, talking to catcher Tyler Flowers, could be an attractive commodity for a team looking for a left-hander.

      White Sox starting pitcher John Danks, talking to catcher Tyler Flowers, could be an attractive commodity for a team looking for a left-hander.
    Associated Press

  • White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham has seen his batting average drop to .238.

      White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham has seen his batting average drop to .238.
    Associated Press

 
 

On June 11, John Danks and the White Sox pounded Justin Verlander and the Tigers 8-2 at U.S. Cellular Field.

The victory improved the Sox' record to 33-33, and it moved them 2½ games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

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At the time, just about anything seemed possible for the White Sox, and that included adding talent before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.

Since that high-water mark of the season, the Sox have slowly sunk in the Central. They lost 17 of 29 heading into the all-star break and resume play against the Houston Astros on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field tied with the Minnesota Twins for last place.

Instead of trading for a reliable relief pitcher or three, a proven starter, a catcher or a corner outfielder, the White Sox (45-51) are more likely to be sellers before the deadline.

There is one big difference from last season, when the Sox hit the break with a 37-55 record en route to losing 99 games.

If they are sellers again, it should be on a much smaller scale.

General manager Rick Hahn looked up and down the roster at this point a year ago and came to the conclusion it was time to dump veteran players such as Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain.

Now, with productive talent such as Jose Abreu, Chris Sale, the injured Avisail Garcia, Jose Quintana and Adam Eaton on the roster, Hahn is feeling better about the future and can be more selective on the trade front.

Before the break, the GM said he wasn't really interested in moving a player such as all-star Alexei Ramirez since there's no other shortstop in the system ready to step in. But there are three White Sox players who can be moved and replaced, so keep an eye on them as July 31 approaches:

Gordon Beckham

The second baseman has been hearing trade rumors for years, but the time looks right for a move to become reality.

A 3-for-37 slump to close the first half dropped Beckham's batting average to .238, and his on-base percentage has dipped to .291.

The No. 8 overall pick in the 2008 draft, Beckham has a career .247/.311/.380 hitting line to go with 61 home runs and 268 RBI in 710 games with the White Sox.

The Sox have been as patient as possible with Beckham, but a change of scenery likely would bolster both sides. How about trading Beckham to his hometown Atlanta Braves, who have a desperate need at second base?

For the White Sox, a deal also makes sense because top prospect Micah Johnson is just a phone call away at Class AAA Charlotte.

John Danks

The Sox undoubtedly would have to absorb some of the $35 million owed Danks through the 2016 season, but there should be plenty of interest in the left-handed starter.

Following 2012 shoulder surgery, he's not the power pitcher he once was, but Danks has adapted with better off-speed stuff and is 8-6 with a 3.99 ERA this season.

If the White Sox keep Danks, they could have four left-handers (Sale, Quintana and Carlos Rodon the others) in the rotation next year. That's at least one too many.

Dayan Viciedo

When he's locked in, Viciedo is a dangerous power hitter who can carry an offense.

Problem is, Viciedo usually is streaking in the opposite direction, and that's why he always seems to be on the trade block.

The Seattle Mariners could use a right-handed bat like Viciedo, but they are now rumored to be pursuing Billy Butler and Marlon Byrd.

The Sox are thin in minor league outfielders as they continue waiting on Courtney Hawkins and Trayce Thompson, but Garcia could be back this season, and he definitely will be the starting right fielder in 2015.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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