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Today in White Sox History: December 13

A day full of mostly poor moves

The White Sox would have been better served holding on to Kevin Tapani (who left the White Sox for the Cubs on this day, 27 years ago) than executing a de facto trade for Jaime Navarro.
| Focus on Sport/Getty Images


The White Sox dealt their star lefthander Gary Peters and catcher Don Pavletich to the Red Sox for Syd O’Brien and Billy Farmer. (Farmer retired instead of reporting, so as compensation Chicago received Gerry “Wheat Germ Kid” Janeski in early March 1970.)

Peters would win 33 games over the next three seasons. Janeski won 10 games in 1970, then was shipped to Washington for outfielder Rick Reichardt. His best outing for the Sox came on April 15 when he threw a three-hit, complete game shutout of the A’s in Oakland.

Peters had spent seven full and four partial seasons with the White Sox, winning 20 games once, making two All- Star teams, leading the league in ERA and winning the Rookie of the Year in 1963.


The White Sox outbid 16 other teams and signed free agent pitcher Floyd Bannister to a five-year, $4.5 million deal. Bannister had led the American League in strikeouts in 1981 with Seattle. In his five seasons with the Sox, Bannister won in double figures every year, with a high of 16 wins in both 1983 and 1987. The 1983 season saw him get off to a 3-9 start before completely turning it around to go 13-1 after July 12.

Bannnister’s signing angered Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who wasn’t used to losing out on talent. Steinbrenner was quoted as saying that he regretted voting against Edward DeBartolo in his bid to buy the Sox franchise from Bill Veeck back in 1980, and leveled verbal blasts at White Sox owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn.

Seattle ended up OK in the end, as well, netting minor-leaguer and future star Danny Tartabull from the Cincinnati Reds organization as compensation for losing Bannister.


Two days after the White Sox signed Jaime Navarro from the Cubs to help shore up a rotation that had lost Alex Fernandez, the Cubs signed away Kevin Tapani from the White Sox.

Although Tapani was injured at the time and would miss the start of the 1997 season, he proved a much better value than Navarro, who would end up being paid $15 million over three years to produce -3.7 WAR for the White Sox. Tapani ended up being nothing special for the Cubs, but did produce 7.2 WAR and go 51-50 over this last five MLB seasons, all on the north side.


In his quest to find reliable starting pitching, White Sox GM Ken Williams traded young pitchers Kip Wells and Josh Fogg and veteran hurler Sean Lowe to the Pirates for righthander Todd Ritchie and Double-A utilityman Lee Evans.

Ritchie would suffer a shoulder injury and have a disastrous 2002 season, going 5-15 with an ERA of more than 6.00! A free agent, the Sox let Ritchie go after the 2002 season; he only appeared in nine more games with Milwaukee and Tampa Bay before retiring.

Although the trade was a significant loss for the White Sox, in fairness to Williams none of the pitchers he gave up really asserted themselves over the ensuing seasons. Fogg perhaps came the closest to making an impact, going 62-69 with an ERA of more than 5.00 in nine big-league years.


On the third anniversary of his ill-fated Todd Ritchie deal, Ken Williams made good in a continued fine-tuning of his contending club: The White Sox GM sent powerful but defensively-challenged outfielder Carlos Lee to Milwaukee as part of a four-player deal after manager Ozzie Guillén lost patience with him and wanted to get away from the “home run or nothing” character the team had.

The player coming back to replace him, Scott Podsednik, energized the lineup, stole more than 40 bases for the White Sox twice, made the All-Star team in 2005 and hit a dramatic, walk-off home run in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series to win it for the Sox, 7-6.

After the fleet left fielder signed with the Colorado Rockies in 2008 as a free agent, the Sox brought Podsednik back as a free agent in April 2009, and he had another productive season, hitting .304 with 30 stolen bases in 132 games.


Melky Cabrera, best known for his 50-game suspension for testosterone in 2012, a month after winning the All-Star Game MVP — and the fake web site he created to try to duck responsibility for the test — signed with the White Sox for three years, $42 million.

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