Work smarter, not harder at trade deadline

"How would I go about getting backloaders to carve giant gaps in my roster without people noticing?"

After watching the White Sox underblunder the Tigers on Monday night, I flipped to the Twins-Rangers game to watch Michael Cuddyer pitch.

In that one inning, Jason Repko pulled an Alex Rios by timidly running after a shallow fly without any real intention of catching it, followed by Trevor Plouffe and Tsuyoshi Nishioka colliding while catching the third out.

What I'm trying to say is: Every team in the AL Central deserves each other.

The good news is that, although the ceiling is limited, the Sox seem to be rising -- or floating -- to the occasion. Their run differential crossed over into positive territory, they're 7-4 in their last 11 games against Central opponents, and they have made strides in tackling their Tiger problem by taking three of their last four.

Given the weak competition, the brand names in the rotation and the in-house avenues towards improvement, I don't buy that Kenny Williams has designs on detonating the roster if this week doesn't go well:

"On one hand, you can look toward potentially adding (players)," Williams said. "We'd have to add creatively because of the financial situation right now.

"And on the other hand, maybe this is the most opportune time to turn over the entire roster and get some young, exciting players in here and go that route."

I'm guessing this is an empty threat, because Williams is holding the Sox back as much as anything else. All aspects of decision-making, from the field to the front office, have been sluggish at best. To go from "I like the guys we have" to "maybe we should get rid of a lot of these guys," while ignoring the readily available options that have been at hand for weeks is negligence.

 

Three-fourths of this team is adequate for contending. The pitching can stand up with anybody, the bullpen is rested, and Monday aside, the defense doesn't cost the team games. The offense is losing games, mainly because Adam Dunn and Alex Rios are terrible. These problems have been fixable for the last week or 10, and nothing has changed.

If Dayan Viciedo and/or Alejandro De Aza were already on the club, it would be a lot easier to figure out what kind of move needs to be made. When the last feasible resorts can't contribute a pulse, then sure, make a splash, or blow it up, or otherwise displace matter in an attention-grabbing fashion.

Nobody knows what to do with this team because nobody's made any effort to know the extent of the problems. And so the powers that be are 100 games in and presenting two stark options that might not address what actually is hampering the team. All anybody knows is that it's gaining ground in spite of itself, which is neat, but not exactly confidence-inspiring.

And neither is this two-path approach that Williams is presenting to the public. It might be a smokescreen for his true intentions, but the lack of response the entire season and Williams' recent spate of unsuccessful midsummer flashbombs give me little faith that sudden, sweeping moves will solve anything.

I hear: "Get Creative! (jazz hands!)"
I think: "Hunt for injured players or arrange a three-way that becomes a two-way!"

I hear: "Turn Over The Entire Roster! (disappointed face!)"
I think: "I'm going to burn down my business for insurance money, and it'll be like this never happened!"

How 'bout this instead: Diminish the dead weight. Diminish the dead weight. Diminish the dead weight. Diminish the dad-gum dead weight. Overthinking isn't an answer for underthinking, especially when the competition isn't demanding it.

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