I am not sure if it was all of the talk recently of the White Sox being “open for business”, or the continual poor play of some of our veterans that are about to have changes in their player rights/status, or the 4 RBI performance of “Razor” Ramon Castro last night…as the impetus for this random thought post today, but I suspect the answer is a combination of all these things. With all of the speculation that AJ Pierzynski would need to be dealt before his 10/5 rights kicked in, and the fact that he has been one of the biggest disappointments on a club full of them in the early returns of this 2010 season, I have only recently entertained the thoughts of moving some of our “favorite sons” to new addresses around Major League Baseball. When Kenny Williams recently publically acknowledged what was rampant speculation that the White Sox would be open to offers for a few of its players (big revelation there), I began to wonder what the new look of this team would take.
I will be forever grateful and appreciative for all that the original members of the 2005 World Championship team had provided us fans, and their achievement will forever be reverred as a monumental accomplishment, BUT…I believe the time is now to move forward in new directions without a few of our 2005 heroes. I propose that the club make deals to trade both AJ Pierzynski, and Mark Buehrle for as much of value in return as is possible. Players that are MLB-ready are not a necessity for me, as what their subtraction from our roster would mean financially to the payroll would more than off-set what their future contributions might potentially be. With AJP currently making more than $6M per, and MB set to earn $15M, the temptation to offer “feel good” extensions I hope will be avoided. Based purely on their current on-field disappointing contributions to this current team’s season, the subtraction of these two players could actually immediately make this a more competetive team. There I said it out loud.
Insert a platoon of proven veteran Ramon Castro, and young prospect Tyler Flowers from AAA Charlotte, and I would find it extremely unlikely that the production from the Catcher position could possibly get any worse. The need to find out what we have in Flowers alone would be solved, and next season’s starting Catcher could easily be solved when necessary in the off-season.
With Mark Buehrle, as good as he has been in his career, it appears that time is starting to catch up with his ability to continue pitching as effectively as he once had as recent as last season’s first half success. But with his ballooning salary, the concept of diminishing return should be causing this team to seriously consider cutting ties with Mark, especially with another young talented pitching prospect waiting in the wings, in Daniel Hudson. I may be going out on a limb here, but I am nearly certain that young Mr. Hudson could provide better than a 3-6 record and 5+ ERA…as these are what he would potentially be trying to replace.
I love the idea of keeping players who have been loyal and productive players with the franchise, but in the case of these 2 individuals, I see no other path but to move them while there is interest. It may not be necessary tomorrow, or even a month from today, but certainly there will be teams that will be looking for proven performers with post-season experience that would help any other contending club before the July trade-deadline. To be absolutely clear, this is not my version of raising the proverbial White Flag, or conducting a “fire-sale”…it is just one man’s opinion of what would benefit this White Sox team, today, the remainder of the season, and most specifically will provide tremendous flexibility in re-shaping the team for years to come.