HAHN: PITCHING IS THE FOUNDATION
Source: Chicago Tribune - Mark Gonzales LINK
"You are going to compete in this league with pitching, and we feel we have the nucleus that is going to help us compete," Hahn said. "The bulk of our struggles this year have been on the offensive side. That's something we are going to have to improve.
Hahn continued on how they will handle a player's progression to the Majors
"We are not going to rush guys up because there is an opening at position X. We aren't going to put our best guy in the system in the big leagues because there's a need. We have to be careful these guys develop at their natural pace. We tend to be aggressive and give guys opportunities as soon as they prove they can handle it.
Quick Analysis: In the article Gonzales brings up Carlos Sanchez, who is 8 for his last 19 at bats in Triple AAA Charlotte. If Sanchez continues this pace, he could see action in September and could make Alexei Ramirez expendable during the Winter Meetings if he is not traded before July 31st.
HIGH END PROSPECTS FOR THORNTON
Source: CSNChicago.com Dan Hayes - LINK
One team recently found Thornton, who has a $6 million club option for 2014, could be had, but the White Sox were "asking for a lot." Asked to describe a lot, the source said "high-end prospects."
Trade Market for Shortstop's
Source: MLBtraderumors.com - Tim Dierkes LINK
Tim Dierkes does a great job of orgainizing the rumors he's hearing/finding. He wrote a piece today about two starting Shortstops that are on the market. Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Sox's own Alexei Ramirez.
Ramirez is worth a mention mostly because the White Sox are out of contention. The 31-year-old is an acceptable option at short, hitting .277/.305/.342 with great durability and a reasonable contract that runs through at least 2015. The extended control could put some non-contenders in play for Ramirez, if he's even available. I was surprised to see Ramirez's age; this is not a player in his prime. I think the return would have to be interesting for the Sox to pull the trigger. Ramirez is not a player they need to unload, and namingGordon Beckham the full-time shortstop requires a leap of faith.
Quick Analysis: Not sure the return has to be that interesting for Hahn to listen for offers concerning Ramirez. While he has shown the ability to steal more bases this year (On pace for 36 SB's, current career high is 20 in 2012), it has been well documented by Jim Margalus (LINK to article) that Ramirez has not been the same shortstop as he began his career with the White Sox. In all actuality, as Jim points out, it has been a steady decline since his rookie season.
There has been talk that the New York Mets have shown interest. Other teams that might need help at Shortstop: LAAngels, St. Louis Cardinals, and perhaps the Oakland A's if they would like to move Jed Lowrie back to 2B.
Rangers, Giants, Pirates interested in Rios
From CSNChicago.com Dan Hayes:
Reports have had Rios headed to any number of teams the last few weeks. The Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers have all been mentioned as possible suitors for Rios, who is guaranteed $13.5 million beyond this season.
From Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune
Plenty of scouts are expected to attend Monday night's makeup game at U.S. Cellular Field, and the White Sox hope the focus won't be exclusively on Cubs pitcher Matt Garza.
In addition to showcasing some of their most attractive trade candidates, the Sox hope to put their best effort forward in an effort to salvage a miserable season.
Quick Analysis: With Lance Berkman now on the disabled list, the Rangers really could use another bat. Rios could spell Nelson Cruz in RF, while Cruz takes over DH responsibilities.
Konerko: Possible Wavier Target
FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal : LINK TO VIDEO
The White Sox are a virtual lock to make trades before the non-wavier deadline, but even then their work might not be done. Remember, even if Paul Konerko and Jake Peavy cannot show they are fully healthy by July 31st, they could get moved during the August wavier period. Both would figure to clear waivers and if Konerko wants to join a contender he would certainly wave his 10 to 5 rights and the White Sox would almost certainly try to accommodate him.
Quick Analysis: While Rosenthal is on the right track that Hahn's work selling parts of the team will carry over to August, it would be hard to sell Konerko. In his postseason career Konerko has swung the bat well (7 HR, 17 RBI's, OPS .854), which is worthwhile to take a flyer on the ailing 1B/DH.
Dunn to Tampa?
ESPN.com's Jason Churchhill has been thinking along the same lines as many fan posters - what about moving Adam Dunn?
Churchhill's idea : LINK TO ARTICLE (ESPN INSIDER)
The Tampa Bay Rays need some offense and their DH spot hasn't produced much, sporting a .203/.297/.359 entering Friday's games. Might Adam Dunn be the fix?
There's no question the veteran slugger would represent a mighty upgrade -- Dunn has caught fire since the end of May, batting .290/.403/.636 in 30 games since -- but whether or not the two sides are a trade match is another story.
On top of agreeing upon players, Dunn's contract calls for about $7.5 million for the rest of this season and another $15 million guaranteed for next year. The Rays don't carry large payrolls, spending just over $60 million this season, which would mean Dunn would make up 20 percent of the club's payroll in 2014.
If the White Sox are willing to include cash in order to retrieve more talent in return, perhaps a deal for Dunn can work. The Rays have young talent, perhaps some to spare, and the Sox need exactly that to retool their roster. It's certainly not something I'd advise betting on, and it may even be a bit out there, but every summer there's a surprise deal or two.
Quick analysis: I don't think making a move to add Dunn would be Tampa's cup of tea. However, they did take a chance on Carlos Pena in 2012. For their $7.25 million they got 19 HR's/61 RBI and a triple slash line of .197/.330/.684.
Tampa's current DH - Luke Scott, is on pace to hit 9 home runs. Adding Dunn would most certainly give the Rays more firepower, but if he were to get cold again, one would have to think that they just added a more expensive Carlos Pena.
Market for Peavy
With Ryan Howard's injury - the Philadelphia Phillies might be forced to sell. That means the market for starting pitchers could see another addition in Cliff Lee.
Lee, who is 10-2 with a 2.73 ERA, WHIP of 0.98, and posting a 4.4 WAR could be yet again another attractive trade piece for the Texas Rangers. 2010, the Rangers sent Matthew Lawson, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke, and Justin Smoak to Seattle for Lee and Mark Lowe.
Lee did not have a spectacular regular season the Rangers in 2010, but he was lights out during the American League Play-off's going 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA vs. the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees.
If the Phillies do make Lee available, you can add him to the list that the Rangers would inquire about. As Rosenthal reported in the video link posted above, the Rangers are also very interested in RHP Matt Garza of the Cubs. That could spell doom for Hahn's chances of moving Peavy to the Rangers in hopes to acquire some of their highly touted minor league talent.
Peavy threw 53 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday. Depending on how Don Cooper and Robin Ventura feel about his progress there is still an outside chance that Peavy can start two more games prior to July 31st. One of those games, very well could be in Detroit and it would serve as an excellent gauge to how Peavy performs against a play-off caliber team. We'll see if Texas can wait that long. They are currently a half game behind the Oakland A's for 1st in the AL West, and tied with the New York Yankees for the two Wild Card spots.
Don't expect much change in the form of trade prior to the All-Star game. This could serve as a time that Hahn could be wheeling and dealing with fellow GM's during the four day break. What Hahn needs is his trade pieces to get healthy (Crain, Peavy) or get hot (Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez).