Baseball: Sizing Up White Sox’s Most Valuable Trade Assets

Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports Avaisail Garcia stands to have a good future for the Sox but he may need to get shipped out for the Sox to have a better future overall.

Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports
Avisail Garcia stands to have a good future for the Sox but he may need to get shipped out for the Sox to have a better future overall.

WARR baseball writer Kevin Luchansky writes about the Cubs and the White Sox

Also, check out Kevin’s daily baseball betting picks on NorthSideWire.

The White Sox front office staff — namely Rich Hahn and Kenny Williams — find themselves in an all too familiar predicament for the second season in a row. With the trade deadline looming a few short weeks from now, Hahn has to decide if his club will be buyers, sellers, or just sit tight.

No matter how you slice it, the decision is not an easy one and it’s sure to be met with criticism from all angles. The decision first effects how the club will look for the rest of the season. It also – and this is where it gets tricky – can effect the look, feel, and ultimately, success – of the club over the next few seasons.

The most obvious and recent example of a deal changing the look and feel of a club for the next few seasons is the Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily deal last July made between the Cubs and the Athletics. The former players no longer even wear Athletics uniforms while the latter (one of the three, for sure) could star in a Cubs uniform through 2020 and beyond. That’s quite a lasting ripple effect from a single transaction made on July 5, 2014.

But that’s neither here nor there right now. Here, right now, is the “at 42-46, are we sellers?” question. Though I’m almost certain there can be reasonable cases made for arguing to buy or sit put, if I’m Hahn, I’m selling.

I’m selling for a few reasons. First and foremost, I don’t think the White Sox are playoff contenders this year, even if they were buyers and made good moves. I also don’t think mortgaging your future to win now is a smart decision given how bare the cupboard is on the White Sox minor league farm. In other words, lets not make the climb out of the basement steeper than it has to be in 2016 and beyond.

Back to the selling part. The next question is always: who? Not just who can we live without next season (or the next time we plan on contending), but who can we get the most in return from? Who has the most value?

It’s not a perfect science, but to try and determine who the most valuable trade assets on the current White Sox roster are, I listed categories a GM from a potential trade partner might consider, and then gave each player a score 1-5 in said category.

Avisail Garcia

  • Contract (Team-Friendliness): 5
  • Age: 5
  • Injury History: 3
  • How in demand is their position: 2
  • Splits: 3
  • Performance this season: 3
  • Overall: 21/30

Jose Quintana

  • Contract: 4
  • Age: 4
  • Injury History: 5
  • How in demand is their position: 5
  • Splits: 3
  • Performance this season: 4
  • Overall: 24/30

Jeff Samardzija

  • Contract: 4
  • Age: 4
  • Injury History: 5
  • How in demand is their position: 4
  • Splits: 3
  • Performance this season: 3
  • Overall: 23/30

Alexei Ramirez

  • Contract: 2
  • Age: 2
  • Injury History: 2
  • How in demand is their position: 4
  • Splits: 3
  • Performance this season: 2
  • Overall: 15/30

Adam LaRoche

  • Contract: 4
  • Age: 3
  • Injury History: 3
  • How in demand is their position: 3
  • Splits: 3
  • Performance this season: 2
  • Overall: 18/30

It’s a little tough to stomach, because I see a good deal of promise in Garcia, but there isn’t any sense having him waste his prime years on a roster that’s a few seasons away from contending. As for Quintana, if the Sox are to make him “available,” I think he’ll be one of the most sought after pitchers on the market.

In the case of Jeff Samardzija, it’s actually pretty simple. If the White Sox have no intentions of signing him this offseason — and he will be expensive — they need to deal him now and at least get something in return from him, rather than losing him altogether to free agency this winter.

As for Ramirez and LaRoche, it will all depend on whether or not a contending team wants a veteran bat to use off their bench during a playoff run. Time will tell.

Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio; follow Kevin on Twitter @kpLUCH

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