Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Blogosphere Reacts To The Deal

Y2Kornhusker compiled a list of the reactions to the Freddy Garcia trade from the blogosphere - even mentioning a little ol' blog I like to call Black Betsy. Now, he cut my excerpt off when I started talking about why the trade made sense for the White Sox, so it's a little misleading.

The blogosphere, with the delightful exception of Bat-Girl, is generally filled with statheads. And, statheads will think this is a great deal for the Mariners. Without a doubt, the Mariners got quality from the Sox, and probably more than they would have gotten from another team.

A couple of things, however. The Sox are not now, nor in the near future will be, short on corner outfielder prospects. We do have corner outfield incumbents in Carlos Lee (signed through '05) and Magglio Ordonez. If the Sox resign Magglio, there's no place to put Jeremy Reed. So, he's the equivalent of our Mark Teahan - blocked at the major league level. Even if Magglio Ordonez is not resigned, the Sox have Joe Borchard to fill the RF spot. I've never been that high on Joe, but he's shown some improvement in AAA this year and is, by reputation, one of the hardest workers around. We'll see. And I remind everyone that Jeremy Reed hasn't played a single major league game yet. He's likely to be good, but there's that thing about the birds and the bushes.

If Magglio departs and Borchard is his (cheap replacement), the Sox gain a lot of salary flexibility. Billy Botch's $6 million will be off the books, and with Magglio's $14 million coming off, that's $20 million right there. Buerhle, Lee, Crede, Rowand etc. all get raises, but there's still a lot of payroll freed up. That gives the Sox room to resign Freddy Garcia (probably at $8 million per year) and Esteban Loaiza ($5-$6 million - a net $1-2 million add). The rotation can be back for next year, and hopefully, pitching will win championships. A long run into the playoffs also may mean that the Sox take on an additional player in free agency next year - hopefully a left-handed power bat - and 2005 starts looking pretty good.

All in all, the Garcia trade is hard to see as a "bad" trade for the Sox. Sure, the Mariners got a lot of quality, but that doesn't mean that the Sox weren't trading from strengths. I doubt the uproar would have been great had the Twins given up Morneau for Garcia given the depth of LF/1B prospects in the Twinkies' system. In the meantime, the Sox should be positioned to compete with (and hopefully beat) the Twinkies for the AL Central title. And then to the playoffs, where who knows?

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