South Side Salvo

The White Sox are one of the strangest teams in Major League Baseball. They play in the shadow of their crosstown rivals in a bad part of town (or so the story goes.) They just lost the face of their franchise in manager Ozzie Guillen, which is a damning indictment of the kind of talent surrounding Paul Konerko and the rest of the Pale Hose. They are about to lose perhaps the best pitcher in franchise history in free agency.

Their mounting payroll concerns which don’t mesh well with their mounting “not a lot of talent” concerns. Is a complete blow-up in the works?

The Sox recently announced reduced ticket prices (sort of) and a change to their previously-Ozzie-branded flex packs, tacking on an extra game for good measure. Many around the team, bloggers and columnists alike, consider this a move designed to soften the blow from a complete re-build. Is there anything to it?

Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune highlights the ugly truth facing the White Sox ahead of the 2012 season.

The payroll trimming seems even more essential, based on the Sox’s financial formula of projected revenues minus projected expenses equal player payroll. The Sox suffered a substantial loss in 2011 as home attendance dipped for the fifth consecutive season with a record player payroll of $127 million.

As Jim Margalus of South Side Sox notes, the Sox don’t have any players on their roster, outside of Chris Sale, who command a massive price tag in trade. The given salaries and age of this Sox team permits Kenny Williams a significant amount of freedom to make moves.

John Danks and Carlos Quinten are frequently discussed as possible trade pieces for the Sox, mostly because they, unlike Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, still have a shred of market value. Matt Thornton is reportedly on the block while teams come knocking on Sergio Santos.

Is the team beyond repair? Absolutely not. The White Sox have a decent rotation that gives them a chance to win in their division if Rios and Dunn can emerge from the dark crevice that swallowed their ability to perform above replacement level. Not beyond the realm of possibility, based on their respective track records.

The attempts by the team to soften the blow are not to be dismissed. If Dayan Viciedio develops into an everyday player and Alejandro De Aza continues posting a .400 BABIP and Tyler Flowers becomes a legit catcher and…you get the point.

The landscape of the AL Central is such that you are never too far from contention. With the Royals and Cleveland building strong, young cores, the White Sox need to reload lest they get left behind. Moving out some of their established big leaguers for younger, cheaper players just a step away might be in their best interests.

Comments (10)

  1. Wonder what it would take to get Danks in a trade? A pretty steadily 3.5-4 win pitcher, decent peripherals. If we can’t add an ace I wouldn’t mind adding a guy like Danks. Maybe take a reliever in the deal as well.

    Alvarez/Drabek/McGowan/Litsch/Cecil/FA competing for the last two spots

    I wouldn’t be opposed to that.

    • But at what price? What would you give up?

      • I’d have to look more into his contract situation and what similar pitchers have gone for in trade. I’m pretty comfortable trading a good pitching prospect and a flier type prospect for him though. I’m firmly in the camp of trading prospects for MLB contributors this offseason.

        I love that we have good arms at all the minor league levels, but the reason we do is that only a few of them work out. Trading some of them before they reach the majors is fine with me.

  2. Anthopolous has repeatedly said that he’s not going to trade for a mid-bottom rotation kind of guy.

    He’s either getting an ace or letting the young guys we have in Toronto fight it out for the last few spots.

    The way I see it, Romero, Morrow and Alvarez have earned a spot so far in the rotation, and the last two spots go to whoever wins it out of Drabek/McGowan/Litsch/Cecil.

  3. And I understand Danks isn’t a bottom of the rotation kind of guy, he’s a great 2-3, but I don’t think he’s worth the price when the Jays are trying to find out what they have already.

  4. I wouldn’t be so confident in calling Danks a great number 2-3. Unless you would extend the same denotation to Edwin Jackson. He’s a decent pitcher, but I’m not sure it’s something the Jays are looking for at this time.

  5. If they’re truly blowing things up, Gordon Beckham would be in my cross-hairs.

  6. Brent Lillibridge looks tiny in that picture. Like small child tiny.

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