Pregame thoughts on the Carlos Quentin trade speculation, Alejandro de Aza and John Danks' future lie ahead.
That would be convenient, but launching a multi-step roster shaping program mid-season is risky, and if you believe the rumors that surrounded the Edwin Jackson trade, it's a lesson the White Sox have learned before. Trades falling through is something that happens, and when it does, it'd be preferable for it not to happen when the offense is weakened and you're stuck with 7 starters....or 6 starters and one prohibitively expensive reliever. Or 5 starters. an expensive reliever, and whatever Jake Peavy is. Either way, the Sox wouldn't be in a position of fantastic leverage. -- James @ White Sox Observer
This is exactly why I don't think this Quentin-for-Brandon-Beachy idea has any legs. It's an interesting thought process, though, that James runs down. Quentin could give way to Dayan Viciedo, because the White Sox "view dumping Juan Pierre as one would view killing a unicorn." With Beachy in the fold, the Sox could then look to deal Edwin Jackson before the deadline, perhaps for a competent hitter.
But actually executing all that would be difficult. If the Sox dealt Quentin without a second deal in place, they'd be "stuck" with seven starters, all of whom deserve regular starts. If this trade was to happen, it'd have to be of a three-team variety, with the Sox receiving Beachy, the Braves Quentin and a C+/B- prospect from team three and a third team Edwin Jackson. But that's fairly complicated. Plus, we haven't discussed why the Braves—pitching surplus and all—would trade a 24-year-old rookie who' striking out over 10 batters per nine innings. In the end, this is just speculation—although it made a little more sense than usual given Viciedo's presence.
De Aza an option?
They just need to cut their dead spots in half. That's not a job for human dynamos. In this situation, even slightly below-average players will be difference-makers, and the Sox have have two of those guys waiting in Charlotte: Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza. -- Jim @ South Side Sox
Did you know Alejandro de Aza is hitting .327/.382/.516 in Triple-A? Well, you do now. Calling up Viciedo and de Aza simultaneously would give the Sox a new left fielder and a new, hopefully more effective backup outfielder as Brent Lillibridge's offensive struggles continue to be more glaring. Since a mid-June stretch where he didn't play for five days, Lillibridge has a .469 OPS with 13 strikeouts and no walks in 35 plate appearances. Maybe that's a small sample size, or maybe it's Lillibridge crashing back to earth. It's probably the latter—in that stretch, Lillibridge actually has a .350 BABIP. That's borderline lucky for a player who has been awful.
This All-In strategy is the perfect cover for an aggressive attitude toward roster construction. It's clear Lillibridge has run out of pixie dust, so DFA him in favor of de Aza. And we don't need to hash out the Juan Pierre argument again, but needless to say, he shouldn't be on the roster.
We've been pining for Viciedo for a while, but de Aza hasn't been discussed all that much. Kudos to Jim for being one of the first to make the argument.
Quentin to cost the Sox Danks?
Over the weekend, Guillen somewhat flippantly remarked that Quentin’s second All-Star appearance assures his cost for 2012 will go up by seven figures. Barring another strange turn of events where a sentimental re-sign of a player (A.J. Pierzynski) opens the coffers to go All-In, the White Sox will have to make some hard financial choices in 2011. Presuming the team commits to Humber at a reasonable rate and still wishes to retain Quentin (corner OFs of Tank and CQ?…drool), the victim of the stingy abacus could be John Danks, who sets the sky as his limit (not undeservedly) for his first, future long-term contract. -- Brett Ballantini @ CSNChicago
Quentin's cost was already going to go up, but if he and his agent demand a million or two more because of his All-Star bid, perhaps the Sox will shy away from committing more money to Danks. As it stands, the Sox rotation could still be quite crowded next season, even more so if Mark Buehrle returns.
Jake Peavy isn't going anywhere, and barring injury (hardly a guarantee), he'll be in the 2012 rotation. Gavin Floyd should be, along with Phil Humber—assuming he isn't the second coming of Todd Ritchie in the second half. That leaves Danks, who's due for an undetermined pay raise, and potentially Chris Sale to round out the rotation. If Buehrle comes back for a cheap deal, though, the Sox could be spurred to trade Danks to save some cash.
I'd much rather have Danks than Buehrle for 2012 for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that Danks is the better and younger pitcher. But beyond that, Danks is currently close to the border of being a Type A free agent, which means the Sox could net valuable draft picks if (when) he leaves after 2012.
Ballantini isn't saying the decision will come down to Danks vs. Buehrle, though, and it's certainly possible the Sox let Buehrle walk and trade Danks in the same offseason.
At the same time, I'd rather have Danks than Quentin. But given the White Sox's offensive struggles this season, they're not exactly in a position to trade offense in the offseason. Unfortunately, that means if they need to clear salary, it'll probably be Danks.