This has been an odd week for the Chicago White Sox, all things considered. While Thome and Konerko continue to slump their way through the season (with Swisher still bringing up the rear of the terrible threesome), Jermaine Dye has suffered a (for now) minor injury, while Jose Contreras has found his way to the DL.
In addition, the pitching, which used to be the one thing the Sox could rely on, has been bad, especially in regards to the bullpen. Defensively, the Sox haven't been much better.
While I don't like ragging on the guy, I do believe someone swapped Crede's golden glove with a glove made of lead. He's been atrocious this season.
With all that in mind however, the Sox are still (somehow) in first place, and honestly, they don't need much more than a bit of a tweak. So without further ado, I present you the Chicago White Sox's trade-deadline wish list.
1) A.J. Burnett Toronto Blue Jays, P
Yes, I know that Burnett has been less than stellar this year, but he's still much better than Contreras. Assuming that call-up Clayton Richard doesn't work out, the Sox could certainly use the arm of Burnett, who at the very least will rack up some innings for the Sox.
With a change of scenery, and an opportunity to work with Don Cooper, I think trading for Burnett would have shades of the 2004 deal the Sox made with the Yankees where they traded Esteban Loaiza for Jose Contreras.
This time around, the Sox would have to give up a bit more, but I doubt very seriously if they'd have to give up Josh Fields. Plus, with the Blue Jays looking for a SS, the Sox could also finally dump Juan Uribe.
2a) Frank Francisco Texas Rangers, P
While everyone is talking about Huston Street and other former White Sox pitcher Jon Rauch, I've got my eyes on another former Sox pitcher. Frank Francisco's got the kind of power arm that GM Kenny Williams tends to fall in love with, plus he's been able to get ahead of hitters for the most part this year—a weakness of his in the past.
While he wouldn't come dirt cheap, I think he'd be a relative bargain compared to what Rauch and Street would probably command.
2b) Dave Weathers Cincinnati Reds, P
Yes, Dave Weathers is old. Yes, Dave Weathers has pitched in the National League for most of his career. But you know what? It doesn't matter. If Scott Linebrink can make the transition as well as he has, Weathers should also perform admirably.
He's still a crafty veteran, who may not have the best stuff all the time, but he knows how to outsmart hitters (think Dustin Hermanson without the injuries).
He's also a good clubhouse guy to have and could, along with Linebrink, bring some more experience for the young guys—which is always a good thing. Best part, I'm pretty sure the asking price isn't too high.
3) Clint Barmes Colorado Rockies, SS/2B
While it's true that Barmes hasn't hit that well away from Coors Field, the Sox's park is also rather hitter friendly and could actually play to Barmes' strengths.
Furthermore, Barmes can play a bit of third if necessary, and his defense has improved tremendously this year, compared to years past. With Pablo Ozuna gone, the Sox could definitely use another guy on their bench that can play multiple positions, and Barmes would be perfect in that spot.
So there you have it.
The Sox really don't require much as of right now. There are a lot of nice things they could do, but it would be hard for Williams to do any of that now without ruining the team chemistry.
In the meantime, here's hoping that Clayton Richard works out for the Sox, but if not, I really hope to see Burnett in Sox pinstripes soon.
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