Earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN reported that the White Sox told other teams that they’re “open for business” and willing to trade veteran players, and yesterday general manager Ken Williams basically admitted as much:
Some changes need to take place. I don’t know what and I don’t when but some changes need to take place. Things aren’t happening the way that we envisioned and when they don’t happen the way you envision you’ve got to make an adjustment.
I guess I’m not so much on my own time line as I am on other clubs’ time lines. It’s still the early part of June and a lot of clubs are trying to figure their situations out and determine whether they’re in it or not in it or what kind of money they have to spend. There are a lot of variables that go into the mix so even if I want to do something, it’s not always in my control. … It is what it is. I have to listen. It’s not that I want to, but I’m not blind.
Williams added that “other teams seem to want our players,” which certainly seems to indicate that he’s already been shopping various veterans around. Paul Konerko has been linked to the Angels following Kendy Morales’ broken ankle and last week A.J. Pierzynski said he’d be open to a trade, although Monday the catcher will have the service time needed to become a “10-and-5 player” with the ability to veto any deal.
Matt Thornton and to a lesser extent Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz, and Scott Linebrink could be targeted by teams in need of bullpen help and perhaps Andruw Jones would be a fit on a contender’s bench, but with Jake Peavy’s contract already looking untradeable Williams seemingly doesn’t have a ton of other marketable pieces unless he wants to start unloading guys like Mark Buehrle or Carlos Quentin.
Given his history of bold moves I certainly wouldn’t put anything past Williams, especially considering the team’s 104-116 record since the start of 2009.
With just over a month to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, trade rumors are beginning to crop up. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Red Sox and Yankees have each reached out to the Marlins about infielder Martin Prado.
The Marlins enter play Wednesday 35-40 and in third place in the NL East. They are expected to continue to sell after trading shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays. However, as the club itself is in the middle of rumors with a handful of prospective new owners, major pieces like Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich probably won’t be moved until that is settled.
Prado, 33, is hitting .277/.299/.398 with two home runs and nine RBI in 87 plate appearances. He has played in only 21 games due to calf and hamstring injuries. When he’s healthy, though, he is typically productive and he can play all four infield positions as well as the outfield corners. Prado is under contract for the next two seasons as well, at $13.5 million and $15 million.
With either the Red Sox or Yankees, Prado would likely assume third base. The Red Sox have gotten a major league-worst .562 out of its third basemen while the Yankees have gotten a .678 OPS, 24th out of 30 teams.
The Cubs oddly made an extra visit to the White House on Tuesday. After winning the World Series, the team visited then-President Barack Obama — a Chicago sports fan — in January before he left office. But they went back today for an “informal” visit with President Trump.
The Cubs, however, have ties to the Republican party and to Trump. The Ricketts family are Republican donors and Cubs owner Tom’s brother Todd was Trump’s nominee for deputy secretary of commerce. Manager Joe Maddon is also longtime friends with Lou Barletta, the Republican representative from Hazleton, PA.
Some players chose not to join their Cubs teammates for a trip to the White House. 10 players, to be exact, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. None of those players declining to go offered a political reason, understandably so. But reliever Carl Edwards, Jr.’s excuse made a lot of sense. He said, “I’m trying to go see like the dinosaur museums.” Indeed, Edwards could have spent the afternoon at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
Other players declining to visit the White House included Jake Arrieta, Hector Rondon, Jason Heyward, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, and Addison Russell.