The Chicago White Sox are currently nine games back of the division leading Detroit Tigers, and 5.5 games back of the second wild card spot. Given where they are positioned and how the current roster is structured, the White Sox should be looking to sell some assets in the next ten days prior to the trade deadline. With that being said, it is time to look at a few trade candidates.
Ramirez is having one of the best years of his steady career and could be a nice addition for a contender. He is also potentially under contractual control through the 2016 season with a $10 million salary in 2015 and a $10 million team option in 2016. Ramirez’s skill set and affordable price for the next two seasons makes him a very attractive trade chip. The question is whether or not the White Sox will be willing to part ways with their all-star shortstop? With several middle infielders starting to mature in the minor leagues, it would make sense to see what type of package Ramirez could bring back. I would imagine the White Sox are looking for right handed pitching, outfielders, and a catcher. If the White Sox could get two above average prospects from those positions, I’d be in favor of moving Ramirez this season. If not, there is nothing wrong with keeping him and seeing if a deal could get done in the offseason or during next season. The White Sox figure to be in a better position to contend in 2015, and having Ramirez as your everyday shortstop wouldn’t be a bad thing. Having said that, I think the White Sox will find a contender that really wants Ramirez, and general manager Rick Hahn will pull the trigger.
Just like most White Sox fans, I was a huge believer in Gordon Beckham upon his arrival in 2009. I thought that he was going to be a perennial all-star and a fixture in the White Sox lineup for 10-plus years. Unfortunately, Beckham has never been able to produce consistent offensive numbers which has hampered his value. Still, Beckham remains one of the best defensive players at any position, and he offers value to contending teams. The question is how much would a contender be willing to give up for Beckham? Considering that Beckham could become a free agent after the 2015 season if a contract extension isn’t worked out significantly hurts his value. Unless a team wanted to work out an extension for Beckham, I doubt any club would offer the White Sox much in return for his services. Like the Ramirez situation, the White Sox have several options waiting in the minors to replace Beckham making him expendable. The White Sox might not get much in return for Beckham, but I would trade him for whatever you can get just to clear up a roster spot. However, my feeling is that the organization still believes in Beckham and he won’t be traded in the next ten days.
For the most part, John Danks has had a successful 2014 season. Like Sunday afternoon, Danks has run into trouble, but he’s really only had four bad starts that have skewered his season numbers. Usually, a left-handed starting pitcher that can provide consistent innings is a hot commodity at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, Danks has two things working against him. Even though Danks appears fully recovered from his shoulder surgery in August 2012, teams will still be leery of offering up anything substantial. If a team can get over the shoulder concerns, teams definitely won’t love Danks’ contract. Danks is under control through 2016, but it will cost teams a combined $28.5 million for the next two seasons. Given those two issues, I don’t think the White Sox will find a club willing to offer up enough to acquire Danks. The White Sox would probably have to eat a ton of money to get a decent prospect, and I don’t think they’ll do that. If you have been watching this season, you’ve noticed the White Sox have serious starting rotation issues after Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and John Danks, so holding onto Danks isn’t a bad thing. Of course, the salary is less than ideal for what probably is a fourth starter, but the White Sox can afford the salary hit with Sale and Quintana locked up with club-friendly contracts.
Dayan Viciedo has flashed tremendous potential during his time with the White Sox, but many trade rumors have surfaced this season. The earliest Viciedo can become a free agent is after the 2017 season, so having three more years of control certainly increases his trade value. I might be biased since I’ve always like Viciedo’s potential, but I’m still leaning towards holding onto him. Unless a team blows Rick Hahn away with an offer, Viciedo should stay put. The White Sox don’t have a ton of depth in the outfield, and they will have a glaring hole at designated hitter next season. With Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko gone, I’d prefer to see Viciedo shift over to DH since his defense is a liability, but having the option to play him occasionally in the outfield is a plus. Either way, the White Sox will need to replace Dunn’s power, and trading Viciedo creates another hole on the roster. With three more seasons of affordable control, I’d like to see the White Sox hold onto Viciedo a little bit longer.
I did not include Adam Dunn or Alejandro De Aza in this piece because I think it is obvious that the White Sox should deal both players for literally anything they could get in return.