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updated: 8/31/2014 7:34 PM

Rongey: Auditions for next season on tap after Sox deals

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  • Andy Wilkins, left, shown with White Sox teammate Avisail Garcia, should see meaningful playing time in September following the departures of Adam Dunn and Alejandro De Aza.

      Andy Wilkins, left, shown with White Sox teammate Avisail Garcia, should see meaningful playing time in September following the departures of Adam Dunn and Alejandro De Aza.
    Associated Press

 
 

It was just about two weeks ago that I said the longer August went on, the less I felt any waiver trades would happen for the White Sox. Obviously, the closer we got to the end of the month, the greater the likelihood would evaporate.

So I got that wrong.

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Within the span of about 13 hours, the Sox ended up dealing away two regulars who both appeared in the opening-day lineup. Alejandro De Aza lands in Baltimore to serve the Orioles as an outfield option against right-handers, while the Oakland Athletics are now hoping Adam Dunn can fill some of the offensive void left by the departure of Yoenis Cespedes to Boston.

In the short term, both trades likely will help a couple of playoff teams that need it. It's the long-term effect on the White Sox that's more of an uncertainty.

Ultimately, it might be that none of the three pitchers acquired since Saturday night (starter Mark Blackmar and relievers Miguel Chalas and Nolan Sanburn) will have any significant impact on the big-league roster. But, at worst, they'll provide some pitching depth for the farm -- which is still a necessity.

However, if it turns out that the Sox have found even just a single future relief option, that'll be a win for general manager Rick Hahn, who couldn't realistically have been expected to receive much for two players under contract for just another month. Not to mention both being overall disappointing for various reasons.

What it means for the time ahead is that the White Sox can use this final month as a mini-tryout for positions at DH / first base and left field. Guys such as Andy Wilkins and even Dayan Viciedo will get a look, but we have to keep in mind that September performance won't necessarily translate into 2015 full-season production.

But it's a start.

There's a strong chance one of those positions will be filled by someone outside the organization, but it's difficult to be certain with 25 games left. I think what we can be sure of, though, is that this will be another busy and interesting White Sox off-season.

As for Dunn and De Aza, neither really lived up to the expectations, though the level of disappointment in the Sox former outfielder wasn't nearly what it was for one of the game's most prolific home run hitters.

De Aza put together a respectable debut with the Sox but displayed an uncomfortable amount of flaws every year since.

Meanwhile, in the seven seasons leading up to his signing with the Sox, Dunn never had a weighted on-base percentage lower than .363 and hovered close to .400 in every year but one. For those unfamiliar with wOBA, all it means is that Dunn was wonderfully productive until 2011.

Reasonably, Sox fans would expect a lot, and they may have even settled for mediocre that first year. Instead, what they got was one of the worst seasons imaginable by any metric, and the perception of Dunn never fully recovered even though there has since been some improvement.

It's just that Adam Dunn never really again became Adam Dunn.

Hopefully, both players will enjoy success and postseason play this year, especially if this is truly the last year Dunn will ever wear a baseball uniform. You only wish that could have happened here.

• Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter@ChrisRongey and at chrisrongey.com.

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