One year removed from finishing second in the American League Central, the Chicago White Sox are sitting at 29-41 and looking up at the rest of the division (because the Royals are so threatening!). If they can't turn it around it'll be time for a fire sale, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
The list of potential players for trade includes basically everyone you can name: Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez, Matt Lindstrom, Gordon Beckham, Jesse Crain. Basically everyone not named Adam Dunn, I mean. Which players actually draw interest is the question, though.
Trading Peavy might have to wait until teams can see that he's healthy following a broken rib which will keep him out for the next four weeks, giving him just enough time before the deadline to make a start or two. Heyman notes that Rios and Ramirez will be considered:
Observe that, on paper, they're basically the same guy except for a glaring difference in power (HR, .SLG):
People with connections to the White Sox suggest Rios and Ramirez will at least be talked about, and Rios in particular should draw interest. "Rios more than Ramirez," one competing GM responded when asked about the attractiveness of the two position players.
Rios, a curiosity when he came as a surprise midseason waiver claim a few years back, carries a $12.5 million annual salary through next year, which now seems more than reasonable in light of the fact that he has 11 homers, 12 stolen bases and a .280 batting average. Ramirez, due about $25 million through 2015, looks a little more pricey at the moment, as he has just one home run to go with 15 stolen bases and a .277 batting average.
Heyman says that Crain will probably draw the most inquiries:
Righty set-up man Crain might well draw the most interest of all, considering his monster year and an expected lack of top relievers on the trade market. Some see the White Sox marketing him as a potential closer for teams in need of one, such as the Tigers and Red Sox. Crain carries a $4.5 million salary, a major bargain considering his 0.55 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings.
Depending on whether or not the Royals remember they're the Royals and join the Sox in the basement (and whether the Sox would be willing to deal within the division), Rios might make perfect sense for Dayton Moore's club. No doubt you're having nightmare visions of Jose Guillen and Jeff Francoeur like me, but a .280/.339/.465 stick out of RF would be the best the Royals have had in a decade.