It came up a game short, but otherwise, the World Series gave me what I wanted -- layers of chaos before concluding with a victory for the American League representative, even if it was the Boston Red Sox.
However, the rumor season got a little bit of a jump on the deciding game, as Scott Merkin and his MLB.com cohort Gregor Chisholm in Toronto gave us something to chew on:
The Blue Jays are in the market for a new second baseman, and one of their early targets appears to be Chicago's Gordon Beckham.
MLB.com has learned that the Blue Jays have interest in acquiring the White Sox second baseman, which dates back to last offseason, when the possibility of a trade was first explored. The interest has since been renewed with general manager Alex Anthopoulos intent on upgrading the position. [...]
It's also possible that the Blue Jays would look to expand any deal involving Beckham to also include a starting pitcher. Chicago's Hector Santiago and John Danks are known to be available, and the Blue Jays have a clear need to upgrade their current starting unit.
That's a good way to fire up the hot stove, and not because of the Blue Jays or because names like Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman appear later. Most rumors require a grain of salt; preliminary rumors require one of them big ol' piles of road salt.
At the very least, it's fascinating to think of a 2014 White Sox roster without Beckham and/or Danks. If you treat their departures like legitimate possibilities, you can start to get an idea of how much Rick Hahn could shake the existing 25-man roster into something nearly unrecognizable, and in a good way.
Beckham and Danks were supposed to be the anchors of the lineup card and pitching staff, respectively, but they've spent the last two years fighting -- and losing -- their own battles with past projections.
With Danks, the Sox world has accepted a new reality. He might be able to cope with his post-surgery stuff more effectively next season, but the procedure lowered the ceiling. Whatever value he provides, whether with the Sox or in a trade, will have to do.
Beckham still has some believers, including Hawk Harrelson, and I might like to see a Beckham trade if only to learn how Harrelson would spin it. He's been pretty good at reading writing on the wall about potential departures -- he didn't get anybody's hopes up over Mark Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski, and he raised the topic of the team's post-Paul Konerko identity on numerous occasions this season.
Except, when discussing the clubhouse void, he primed the public for Beckham to take on some of the captain's responsibilities. That never sounded convincing, but it wasn't necessarily Harrelson's fault. Beckham's just the only position player on the roster who can be a go-to guy for the media. "Gordon, I guess" is an idea that lacks imagination, but Harrelson can't start speculating about players who aren't on the Sox for obvious reasons. It'd probably be better if he didn't raise the topic, but we've been down that road before.
But now that the offseason is underway, imaginations can start to run wild. I'm still conditioning mine, but one crazy idea I have is a roster whose most prominent position player spends minimal time being consumed by his own problems. Beckham doesn't have to be traded, but he doesn't have to be elevated, either.