Hot Stove Heats Up, White Sox Not Cookin

The first two days of the Winter Meetings were pretty boring, even as the predictable big money deals rolled in (K-Rod to the Mets, CC to the Yankees). But things started to pick up late Wednesday. Most notably, (from the White Sox perspective) the Tigers and Indians made a couple of trades; the Tigers sending Matt Joyce to the Rays for Edwin Jackson and the Indians getting caught up in a 3-way trade with the Mets and Mariners centering around J.J. Putz.

These two trades should have an effect not just on the Sox '09 season, but on their off-season too. Yesterday afternoon, Wiz linked to a CBS blog that put the rest of the Sox off-season quite succinctly.

The White Sox still want to add a starting pitcher this winter, but what kind of pitcher they can get depends on whether they're able to trade outfielder Jermaine Dye.

Baseball trades, rumors and blog coverage - SB Nation
MLB Hot StoveThe writer seems to think the Sox want to be active in the free agent starting pitching market, but I'd say given their rumored demands for Dye that they are more likely to be looking to get a young starter in return for Dye, and replace his production via free agency.

The Rays and Jackson were one of the rumored destination and targets in the Jermaine Dye rumors, which seemingly removes a suitor. Amazingly, all 5 AL Central teams were looking to move a corner outfielder at the meetings; Jermaine Dye (White Sox), Matt Joyce (Tigers), Franklin Guitierrez (Indians), Delmon Young (Twins), Jose Guillen and Mark Teahen (Royals) have all been involved in the rumor mill, which, along with a saturated corner OF/DH free agent market, makes for a relatively light demand for Dye in a trade.

The Indians moved Franklin Gutierrez in their massive trade with the M's & Mets, and should complete their deal with Kerry Wood sometime Thursday, which leaves only one marquee closer on the free agent market.

Seeing as the market for Dye, while noisy, is tepid at best, and with possibly all attractive closer candidates off the market by the weekend, the Sox may shift their focus to using Bobby Jenks as a trade piece. The Mariners just received a haul for Putz (and two fringe major leaguers), and if Brian Fuentes is snatched up by a team like the Angels, the Sox might find themselves holding quite a valuable commodity. I don't want to speculate here, but lets just say I can see the Sox improving themselves significantly if they play their hand right.

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