Alright, I finally have some free time on my hands. Currently working six days a week and being in the process of moving has brought my blogging to a screeching halt over the last 7-10 days. Having said that, I have decided to take a different approach for the foreseeable future. Since the White Sox are continuing to show little signs of life (32-43, 9 games out of first place), it is time to turn my attention to what is likely to happen in the next month. Instead of spending my time providing game/series recaps, I will spend the majority of my time focusing on potential trade chips, prospects, and the future of the White Sox organization.
Yesterday, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported that the White Sox are officially open for business. Based on how the Sox have played, this should come as no surprise. For most of my life, the White Sox have been “buyers” at the MLB trading deadline, thus sacrificing prospects year-after-year only to fall short of the playoffs (excluding 2000, 2005, and 2008). If the White Sox are indeed “sellers”, as they should be, it will be interesting to see what type of prospects the Sox can add to their underwhelming farm system.
The White Sox have plenty of trade chips, and according to Heyman’s report, the White Sox are willing to discuss trading everyone on their roster except Chris Sale and Paul Konerko. Holding onto Sale is a no-brainer. Given his talent and team-friendly contract, the White Sox are hoping Sale will anchor their starting rotation for years to come. On the other hand, holding onto Konerko might be a bit of a head-scratcher. In March, I wrote that Konerko should retire as a Sox, but that was also under the assumption that the Sox would be contending for a playoff spot. Now that it is almost certain that the Sox will be “rebuilding” it wouldn’t make sense to hold onto Konerko, or would it?
As a fan, I have mixed emotions about potentially trading Paul Konerko. On one hand, he has been such an integral part of the White Sox organization for more than a decade. As the last standing member of the 2005 World Series Championship team, Konerko has become the face of the franchise and a fan favorite. On the other hand, baseball is a business and the Sox need to do what is best for the future of the organization. Despite Konerko having a “down” year, one would think that there would be a few teams interested in acquiring a veteran first baseman or designated hitter for the final months of the season. If the White Sox could get a solid prospect or two for Konerko, then they have to “pull the trigger”, but I’m not so sure that will even happen.
Konerko is set to become a free-agent at the end of the season and at age 37; rumors about his potential retirement have been circulating for quite some time. Given that, I just don’t see many teams willing to part with a top prospect for 2-3 months of an aging-player. Even if the Sox were to find a potential suitor, Konerko would have to waive his full no-trade clause because he has 10-5 rights (10 years in the majors, and five with his current team). Since Konerko has spent the last 15 season as a member of the White Sox and has a World Series ring, he may decide that he would like to finish out his career in Chicago. Given that general manager Rick Hahn isn’t making Konerko available, it appears that Konerko has already been approached and has declined to waive his no-trade clause. If that is the case, I respect Konerko’s decision. He’s earned it.
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