It's not even Halloween yet (which as I've already told Rhubarb, is my favorite holiday), yet we're already being subjected to numerous rumors and suppositions about the fate of one Oswaldo Jose Guillen Barrios. It's all but certain that the longest tenured manager of the White Sox since Al Lopez (1957-1965) is on his way out of Armour Square. Baseball being baseball, it's not like he'll be without a job for long. Thing is, wouldn't it be nice if the team could actually get something for him?
Last year's Guillen for Mike Stanton trade rumors were more than a bit ridiculous. No team would be willing to give up a budding young superstar under team control for the foreseeable future for a manager, not even the ever-confusing Marlins. But this year's Logan Morrison rumors seem to be more realistic and possible.
Morrison is not going to stay in Miami much longer. Filing a grievance against the team for not being upfront with why they sent him to the minors may be the last straw. He's an outspoken first baseman who is trapped in the outfield because of Gaby Sanchez. He does not get along with the team's legitimate superstar, having called out Hanley Ramirez's work ethic in public. If they attempt to keep him in the minors as an attempt at punishment, the Players' Union may be getting involved. This is where the imagination of beat writers have been running wild.
While they don't happen very often, player manager (and even manager manager) trades can occur. While all of this is most likely just talk due to the perceived good fit of Ozzie in Miami (I personally see that ending terribly), I'd like to look at what Morrison would bring to the table in Chicago. Morrison just turned 24 last month. He has accrued less than one full year of service time in the majors. While his defense in left field is reminiscent of the Carlos Quentin adventures of recent (obviously not including this season) memory, he brings 20+ homerun power from the left side of the plate. Expecting his OBP to return to the high-water mark of 2010 (.390) is probably unrealistic, but if his BABIP heads back to a league normal rate, something in the .350-.360 range is very possible. Combine this with the slight power spike one normally expects (damn you Adam Dunn for ruining these expectations) from playing 81 games at U.S. Cellular Field and you get a non-arbitration eligible player with an OPS around .830-.850 with easy marketing potential that can spell Paul Konerko at first when the captain needs a day off and eventually replace Paulie down the line. This even gives Kenny Williams more roster flexibility, as adding Morrison gives the team another legitimate corner outfielder along with Dayan Viciedo, allowing Quentin to be traded away for cost-control.
But stop me if this doesn't sound familiar. Nick Swisher was touted as the same thing, but without the known clubhouse issues before joining the team. While he was wholeheartedly embraced at the outset, his personality did not mesh with the veteran dominated clubhouse and his poor attitude during his prolonged slump ultimately led to him being run out of town. This is obviously a similar risk. The main difference is the cost. Swisher cost the White Sox three valuable prospects, two of which have already proven to be useful major league pieces. If the asking price is only Ozzie Guillen, whom the White Sox seemed determined to rid themselves of anyways, the move is a no-brainer. Sadly though, this will probably end up being little more than a pipe dream.