Credit Gavin Floyd for stepping up when the team needs him most.
Ozzie Guillen finally hopped on the back of Jeffrey Loria's motorcycle after two years of listening to pebbles hit his window. Carlos Zambrano joined him in Miami, therefore eliminating the lazy, convenient "How about Big Z for Jake Peavy?" trade rumor.
The Sox were almost completely devoid of having a subject of persistent, specific trade rumor. And that's where Floyd comes in, as Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi reported on Monday:
The Toronto Blue Jays have not given up their pursuit of Chicago White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd, major-league sources told FOXSports.com. [...]
The Blue Jays and White Sox have had dialogue about Floyd since the start of spring training, one source said. The teams have completed two trades since the end of last season, with relievers Sergio Santos and Jason Frasor going from Chicago to Toronto. The clubs also struck a three-way deal with the St. Louis Cardinals last July, in which Edwin Jackson went to St. Louis and Colby Rasmus to Toronto.
I find this story hard to believe, because neither Rosenthal nor Morosi defended their Floyd-Toronto rumor by insulting a reader with "herpe face." C'mon, fellas, stand by your work.
If Kenny Williams were to trade Floyd, he'd effectively be pulling out the bottom-most Jenga piece.
The White Sox have a skeleton of a contender, based on a solid rotation and the names in the lineup. There's zero depth to speak of, so the margin for error is nearly as slim. Floyd is one of about a dozen things that have to go right for the White Sox to make the playoffs, and he's one of the few on the "realistic" side of the spectrum.
Floyd might never max out his perceived potential, but he has thrown 574 innings over the last three years. During that same time frame, Jake Peavy, Phil Humber, Chris Sale, Zach Stewart and Dylan Axelrod have thrown 565 innings ... combined. Those are the guys who would have to make up for Floyd's absence.
I can picture Williams and Anthopolous having a bit of a staring contest, because they each have their own kind of leverage. Williams doesn't need to move Floyd -- he's cut enough payroll elsewhere, Floyd earns his money, and there's nobody to step into his spot. Plus, the extra wild card means more to the Jays than it does to the White Sox, so he might think he can outwait the Jays and let them step up their offer.
Anthopolous might look at the White Sox's paper-thin organization (just ranked the worst in the league by Baseball Prospectus!) and say, "How can they turn down any prospects of note?" Also, I wonder whether Williams and/or Anthopolous agree with the national consensus that the Sox could have driven a harder bargain with Sergio Santos in their postmortems.
But unless Williams gets a Godfather offer -- like, Travis d'Arnaud or close to him -- it seems like continuing the gradual scaledown makes the most sense. Holding onto those slim hopes of an exciting summer doesn't conflict with the bottom line now.
If the Sox were to think about drawing from their starting pitching depth, I'd think that focusing on Jake Peavy's trade value helps the cause more efficiently. The White Sox have $21 million remaining on their financial obligation, and if the Sox can keep him healthy and average, he could tempt a team to sizable chunk of that tab. If the Sox are never offered a prospect they can't refuse for Floyd, then they may as well angle for future money they didn't have before.