On Wednesday, the major league baseball non-waiver trade deadline came and went at 4pm ET. Despite all of the hype, this year’s deadline provided little drama. There were only a handful of minor deals completed just prior to the deadline, and the Chicago White Sox were not among the trading teams. Although the White Sox were unable to move any more aging veterans, the lack of trades should not be considered a loss. Not yet, at least.
First of all, general manager Rick Hahn deserves credit for trading the three players that he needed to the most. Since the White Sox are out of contention, relievers Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain were of no value to the organization anymore. Both players were not going to be a part of the team next season, and Hahn was able to get whatever he could for them. With Jake Peavy, Hahn knew he had a valuable trade chip. Given that the starting pitching market was so shallow, and that Peavy has had a history of injuries, the White Sox had to move him. By trading Peavy, Hahn had two options. He could either decide to eat some of the money owed to Peavy and receive multiple quality prospects, or he could take lesser prospects and have a willing suitor assume Peavy’s salary. By including Peavy in a three-team deal, Hahn was able to do both. Although the White Sox did not acquire multiple solid prospects in the deal, they did get one potential stud and managed to unload Peavy’s entire contract to Boston. All things considered, the White Sox made out alright with their three trades.
Now, what about the players that were not traded, most notably, Alex Rios? As I have previously said, the White Sox did not have to trade every player of value on their roster. Many of the current players, like Rios, are still under contract through 2014 and beyond which gives the White Sox some flexibility. I understand that many fans might be upset that Rick Hahn was unable to move other veterans on this team, but it is important to note that he can still make some moves. Although the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline has passed, trades can still be completed through waivers up until August 31st. As of tomorrow, just about every player on the roster will be put on waivers, so don’t be surprised to see a few guys get moved by the end of the month. In the coming weeks several other teams’ playoff chances will be more clear, and those teams might decide to add one last piece for the stretch run. In addition, with the Biogenesis scandal suspensions looming, some teams might be looking for some extra help to fill a void in their roster.
As the August 31st deadline approaches, I would expect several teams to have some interest in a few White Sox players. In my opinion, the most likely candidates to get traded are Alex Rios, Matt Lindstrom, Alexei Ramirez, and Alejandro De Aza. Of the four players, I think Lindstrom is probably the most likely to get dealt. The White Sox have a $4 million team option on Lindstrom in 2014 ($500K buyout), so it would make sense for them to move him if they could. Rios, Ramirez, and De Aza are all potentially under control through 2015, but all three players aren’t “young” anymore and could bring back some younger talent in a trade. Of course, if the White Sox don’t make any more moves this season, then they can easily decide to explore trade possibilities during the offseason.
In the end, the worst thing Rick Hahn could do is to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. At this point, the White Sox need quality trades over quantity of trades. Now that the White Sox have started the rebuilding process, let’s see what happens during August and the offseason.
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