Being a Chicago baseball fan hasn’t been easy the past couple years. The Chi-Sox and Cubs both finished in the bottom five in wins last season. Yet Chicago’s fan base stands strong and for a good reason: Both organization have a lot of young talent.
Unlike the Cubs, a good portion of the White Sox’s talent is already in the Majors as opposed to the Minor League. For example, White Sox rookie, the Cuban Cannon Jose Abreu leads the Majors in home runs, RBI’s, and has an 18-game hit streak coming into the day.
As a whole, the White Sox are a top 10 offensive team. They are ranked 7th in the Majors in home runs and runs scored while also 13th in batting average. Their weakness this year has no doubt been their pitching staff, more specifically their bullpen. They have had no stability at the closer position all year long. They rank in the bottom five in ERA and strikeouts which is a reason why they have let so many close games slip right through their fingers.
With the trade deadline approaching, it is obvious that the Sox need to bolster their pitching staff. But in today’s league you’re going to have to give something up in order to get someone that can make a difference to your ball club. Entering the 2014 campaign, the White Sox had a surplus of talented outfielders on their roster. Their highly talented prospect Avisail Garcia, who is an athletic 5-tool player, went down for the year after tearing his labrum in the first month of the season. This cleared up room for players like Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo to play almost everyday.
The Sox also have a lot of outfielders that were former early draft picks that are in their minor league system. Chicago should consider looking towards the future at the July trade deadline so trading De Aza or Viciedo this month seems like a real option. De Aza is a natural lead off man with some power. He has very good speed and base running ability. He also has a lefty uppercut swing which leads to a lot of strikeouts. He is more likely to be traded since Chicago already has their lead off man in Adam Eaton and a handful of lefties on the team. Viciedo is also one of the hotter hitters in the Sox’s lineup and has more upside.
A potential landing spot for one of these outfielders is the Seattle Marniners. The Mariners have Dustin Ackley, a traditional second baseman as their corner outfielder. The Mariners are very interested in Viciedo and are willing to give up relief pitcher Brandon Maurer and another player to obtain him. White Sox GM Rick Hahn says he is not finished reshaping the roster so I wouldn’t be surprised if this deal happened in the next couple weeks. Especially because it fills a need for both teams that are trying to get over the hump.
Also the New York Yankees have showed interest in John Danks who has been a quality left handed starter for most of his career. Chicago would most likely look for some sort of bundle that involves pitching prospects if they were going to give up Danks.
The Chi-Sox have the best pitching coach in the game in Don Cooper. If they can add some talented pitchers to their staff, Cooper can mold them into aces. Look for Hahn to be very aggressive this month.