Sox worth watching - on trade front
The White Sox are preparing to open the (unofficial) second half of the season tonight against the Braves at U.S. Cellular Field.
With a 37-55 record they are going nowhere fast in the AL Central, and there is still a very strong sense that players including Jesse Crain, Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez and Matt Lindstrom are all going to be traded before the July 31 nonwaiver deadline.
"I don't know what direction they're going to go," Crain said earlier this afternoon. "I'm not sure if they're going to sell some guys off in trades."
General manager Rick Hahn traded veteran reliever Matt Thornton to the Red Sox one week ago, and he indicated more deals are coming.
If anything, watching the trade front should be more interesting than watching the White Sox play baseball.
Their failure to hit, play defense and run the bases turned off a lot of Sox fans during the first three-plus months of the season, and big changes obviously need to be made.
I think Hahn is right to rebuild around pitchers that are contractually "under control," namely starters Chris Sale, John Danks, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago along with relievers Addison Reed and Nate Jones.
Rebuilding the offense is Hahn's obvious challenge. And with no immediate help waiting in the minor leagues, it's going to be interesting to watch how he goes about acquiring impact position players.
-Peavy (fractured rib) was activated off the disabled list today, and the right-handed starter will take the mound vs. the Braves Saturday.
If Peavy shows he's healthy - and effective - don't be surprised if he makes one more start for the White Sox before being traded.
"I haven't heard any trade talk, to be honest with you,” Peavy said. “I'm not going to worry about it because it won't do me any good to speculate on what I hear. That does nothing but take your mind and focus away from what it should be. That's here, right now. I'm excited to be here right now. We'll let whatever happens over the next couple weeks happen."
-Crain is still on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, but he did throw for the first time in a week Friday.
The veteran relief pitcher has a 0.74 ERA and is a prized trade chip.
Crain said he hopes to come off the DL in a week, but he likely needs a rehab assignment and might not be activated until right before the trade deadline.
“Today I felt good throwing,” Crain said. “Today was my first day back and I think I felt better today than I did all last week. Hopefully that's a step forward.”