After working so hard to build a team, it’s twice as painful to break it down after plans go awry. That’s the cyclical nature of baseball, however, and it’s come time for the Chicago White Sox realize they are at that point.
With the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers far superior to the White Sox at this point and the farm systems of the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians ripening quickly, the White Sox will become a perennial doormat if they don't start getting younger. And as Matt Meyers points out elsewhere on Insider today, the new collective bargaining agreement is designed in such a way that the White Sox are better off tearing things down now.
Here are five trade ideas to help them build for the future. Their main focus should be on acquiring as many good young arms as possible as they try to rebuild the pitching staff into a contending one, as well as fortifying their minor league talent:
The Nationals, after losing out on left-handers C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle, will have to solve their need for left-handed starter via trade. They match up well with the White Sox, who have made 26-year-old John Danks available. Danks has averaged 12 wins and more than 200 innings pitched in his first five years with the Sox. In Peacock, the White Sox would get one of the best young right-handed starters in the Nats’ farm system, as well as a toolsy outfielder with great upside in Hood. (White Sox GM Kenny Williams loves toolsy outfielders. As a player, he was one himself.) Peacock has a 92-94 mph fastball with a knuckle-curve and the makings of a solid change. Hood has electric bat speed and tremendous raw power. If he hits, he has a chance to impact the middle of a lineup.
There's no question that Beckham has yet to reach his potential in Chicago. And eventually he should develop into a .280 hitter with 15-20 home runs and 70-80 RBIs annually. But he has value and the White Sox would acquire a quality young closer prospect in Hembree, who has a power arm (13.2 K/9 in the minors in 2011) and could soon compete with Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain for the closer’s role. Surkamp has an average fastball, but with a plus change and curve he has a chance to be a quality back-of-the-rotation starter. Adrianza is a middle infielder who is solid with the glove and his bat should continue to develop into an everyday shortstop or second baseman.