Ken Williams is never shy about making big moves and the White Sox general manager said yesterday that he’s considering whether to “turn over the entire roster” if the third-place, 50-51 team doesn’t show signs of improvement between now and Sunday’s trade deadline.
Williams told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago that the White Sox have some proposed deals on the table that would kick-start a rebuilding effort by trading away veterans, but denied specific reports about offering Edwin Jackson and Matt Thornton to the Cardinals for Colby Rasmus.
I don’t want anyone to feel as though anything imminent is coming. I want the focus to be on these next number of games so we can put ourselves in position to maybe add rather than to subtract. I would much rather continue to fight the fight, but we need a little more consistency.
On one hand, you can look toward potentially adding. We’d have to add creatively because of the financial situation right now. And on the other hand, maybe this is the most opportune time to turn over the entire roster and get some young, exciting players in here and go that route.
An interesting subplot to Williams potentially dealing away multiple veterans is whether he’d still want Ozzie Guillen around to manage the rebuild and/or whether Guillen would want to go elsewhere rather than suffer through some lean times with a much younger roster.
In addition to Jackson and Thornton, some other White Sox veterans who could potentially appeal to contenders include Carlos Quentin, Gavin Floyd, A.J. Pierzynski, Omar Vizquel, and Jesse Crain. Paul Konerko and Mark Buehrle presumably aren’t going anywhere and it’s tough to imagine any teams pursuing Juan Pierre, Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, or Adam Dunn.
In a recent interview with Jon Greenberg of The Athletic, White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier took a swipe at the Reds’ front office. The rebuilding Reds traded Frazier to the White Sox as part of a three-team deal this past December.
After the season, Frazier will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility. Frazier told Greenberg he’d like to stay with the White Sox. He praised the club’s ownership and then, unprompted, he decided to castigate the Reds’ front office.
I would love to stay here. It’s a great club, great ownership. It was very different in Cincinnati, it wasn’t good. The bottom line here is these guys know what they’re doing. I see the guys [Hahn] gets, he’s not afraid to pull the trigger. You’ve got to have a guy like that. Whether it turns out to be for the best or not, you take a chance sometimes, and I think he’s done that a lot. It’s up to Jerry [Reinsdorf, owner] and Rick [Hahn, VP/GM] and their team to figure out what they want to do and it’s up to them.
It’s not clear if there are specific incidences to which Frazier could be alluding, but it’s a very obvious piece of criticism.
Frazier, 30, has regressed a bit offensively compared to the previous two seasons, batting .213/.295/.448 with 32 home runs and 81 RBI in 532 plate appearances. The White Sox could pursue trading him during the offseason.
Update (7:20 PM EDT): John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports that Crisp has indeed been traded, but there won’t be an official announcement until Wednesday. Crisp has already left the Athletics’ clubhouse.
Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Athletics and Indians are making progress on a trade that would send outfielder Coco Crisp to Cleveland. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirms Adams’ report. Crisp, who has 10-and-5 rights, has waived them in order to facilitate a deal.
Crisp, 36, is owed the remainder of his $11 million salary for the 2016 season and has a $13 million option for the 2017 season that vests if he reaches 550 plate appearances or plays in 130 games this season. He has already played in 102 games and logged 434 PA, batting .234/.299/.399 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.
The Indians are still looking to bolster the outfield. Michael Brantley is expected to miss the rest of the season, Bradley Zimmer may not yet be ready for the majors, and Abraham Almonte is not eligible to play in the postseason after testing positive for boldenone in February.