Prospects at Trade Time

OK, I’ve been reticent as a White Sox fan to recommend any trade, as the magical season continues to be in full swing, but………..
when it was announced that Joe Crede has 2 herniated discs in his back and that you just don’t know what you’re getting with Contreas and El Duque, Lowell and Burnett might be the difference between the playoffs and world championship. The White Sox have some prospects and have some financial room, so maybe it makes some sense. Let’s be honest, when you haven’t won a World Series since 1917 and haven’t even played in one since 1959, it’s something you have to be aggressive about.

The most worrisome element to the deal would be trading a top prospect to do this. Considering that last year, Jeremy Reed was seen by some as a future hall of famer and that these same experts graded the Freddy Garcia deal as a bust for Chicago, maybe prospects need to have some of the shimmer taken off of them. The White Sox have traded a lot of minor leaguers over the past 5 years and not one of them would be starting for the current Sox team. Too many of us treat minor-leaguers we’ve never seen as all-stars. Could you imagine how a player of AJ Burnett’s talent would be perceived, if he was in Triple A? Star prospects are like new cars; as soon as they are off the lot, their worth seems to quickly devalue.

I think we should all keep this in mind when the trade deadline is happening. You see, when your last World Championship was 1917, you might have to roll the dice in looking for the starting pitcher who can make like Doyle Alexander or Rick Sutcliffe, even if it means giving up a future star. I’m just happy the White Sox aren’t in the market for a relief pitcher, because there is nothing redeeming to say for Larry Andersen or Heathcliff Slocumb.

8 thoughts on “Prospects at Trade Time

  1. 1.  That’s a great point that I’ve long iterated regarding big prospects. You are exactly right…there was a good thread recently on BB Primer mocking how Mets fans wouldn’t trade Lastings Milledge for Babe Ruth…

    It would be interesting if the Sox got Burnett. I don’t follow Chicago closely but I have noticed that their pitching coaches have coaxed relatively consistent and solid performances out of at least two notoriously flaky performers (Garcia and Contreras). Burnett’s prime flaw has been a tendency to mix in a flaky start every third or fourth time around while being really good the rest of the time.

  2. 2.  I’ve been lukewarm on obtaining Burnett, as I thought the Sox would probably have to overpay to get him, but if the Marlins are willing to take less to get rid of Lowell’s salary, then I would be more inclined to do the deal. (The biggest weakness on the White Sox is at 3B, as Crede is an outstanding defensively, but is a liablity with the bat and his injury issue really exposes their lack of depth at this position.)

    With Burnett, he’s going to be a free agent, so I’m guessing the Sox would hope they could do a sign and trade with him, much like what they did with Garcia. Does anyone know if Burnett is dating Ozzie Guillen’s niece, as that seems to help in the deal.

  3. 3.  I was just saying today I wouldn’t mind if the Red Sox traded Hanley Ramirez while his value was high in the minds of other organizations if it could get them something big.

    I only wish that something big was in the form of Adam Dunn

  4. 4.  Trading Reed was brutal, especially when they refused to trade Borchard, who’ll never figure it out.

    I’d be shocked if the Red Sox wouldn’t do the Ramirez/Dunn trade. I’ve always kind of thought that his reputation exceeded his promise — especially from a tools/performance perspective.

  5. 5.  OK, let’s play this game again. The notion that there was a choice between Borchard or Reed is not true. The Mariners wanted Reed. It wasn’t a choice between the two.

    Also, I’ve written about this before, but Reed wasn’t a great fit for US Cellular and the team has a couple of other excellent outfielder prospects, so he was expendable, if you could get a quality pitcher. With the market for pitching being incredibly overvalued, (see free agent seasons during past off-season) getting Garcia in the deal was an excellent move for the Sox.

    As I wrote before the season, Kenny Williams deserves some credit for putting together this team and I had no idea that the Sox were going to be this good.

  6. 6.  Trading Reed was far from brutal. They got Freddy Garcia!!! Worst case, he is the #2 starter on the vast majority of teams. He would be the #1 starter on quite a few. If he moved to the NL, his stats would be that much better. Sure, a lot of signs point to Reed being a solid major leaguer. But, I think White Sox fans know best after years of mashing the ball to the tune of “slightly better than .500 ball” that pitching and defense wins games. They had to acquire a horse. Garcia has been an unsung hero this year due to Garland’s wins, Buerhle’s pitching and the rock solid bullpen. I would do that trade again, without hesitation. How could you not?

  7. 7.  To be clear (which I wasnt), the trade of Reed was only brutal to the extent that, to my understanding, Kenny Williams wouldn’t trade Borchard. That nugget was relayed to me by an low-level insider in thw WS organization. (I’ll pull a Judith Miller before I give up the source — still no guarantee the source was right).

    On a straight value basis, it absolutely was a good trade for the WS — only better if they could have kept Reed instead of Borchard.

  8. 8.  I’m a die hard White Sox fan who spent the first 18 years of his life in the south suburbs before coming down to Indy for four years of college and a part time gig at a certain station that happens to be the home of BPR. I don’t care what it costs, make some deals and lets get the freaking World Series trophy. 3B and another starter would be ideal. Burnett would be a great fit for the rotation (and Kip Wells would be a good insurance policy if we can’t get AJ) and Joe Randa or Mike Lowell would make a fine addition at third until Crede gets back on his feet. Kenny Williams isn’t hesitant about making deals and now is not the time to be gun shy. As long as Brandon McCarthy and Brian Anderson (and Ross Gload to a lesser extent) aren’t on the table I say pull the damn trigger.

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