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2015 trade deadline preview: Chicago White Sox

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While Rick Hahn's attempt to rebuild the White Sox in a single offseason was admirable, it hasn't worked and will likely force them to be sellers at the deadline.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

As of today, the White Sox are dead last in the AL Central, and sit ten games out of first place at 30-38. According to Fangraphs, Chicago has a 2.3 percent chance of winning the division, and just a 1.7 percent chance of making the playoffs via the Wild Card game. The writing seems to be on the wall for the White Sox, and are likely to sell off a few pieces before the July 31st deadline. They're not as well positioned as the Padres or A's might be, but GM Rick Hahn has a couple valuable assets that teams would jump at should he make them available.

Who are the likely candidates to be traded?

The two biggest names that the White Sox have to entice other teams with are Jeff Samardzija and Adam LaRoche. On the surface, it doesn't seem like Samardzija would carry much trade value with a 4-4 record and an accompanying ERA of 4.67, but there's a factor at play that's causing his numbers to inflate; the horrid defense of the White Sox. If we use UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating), they're the 27th worst fielding team in baseball with a rating of -22.0, and if we use DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) they're the absolute worst in MLB, and have cost themselves 50 runs thus far. A win is roughly worth 9 runs, meaning that based on defensive ineptitude alone, Chicago has lost roughly 5.5 games already. Although Samardzija hasn't been as good as he was in 2014, his FIP of 3.66, and his SIERA of 3.74 suggests that he'll perform much better if he can find himself on a team with better defenders.

One thing working against the White Sox and trading Samardzija however is that he's a rental player. He'll be a free agent at the end of 2015, and isn't likely to sign an extension with whatever team acquires him. That being said, Hahn should still be able to bring back at least one impact prospect. Samardzija's already 30 years old, but with the way he was treated at the outset of his career, his arm has considerably fewer miles on it than some of his contemporaries. Matt Cain for example is only four months older, but has almost 1,000 more innings pitched. Samardzija can undoubtedly help a team for the stretch run, and should attract a lot of interest assuming Hahn makes him available.

Chicago's other major asset is LaRoche, who can fill a team's need at either first base or as a designated hitter. He got off to a slow start in April, and despite not reaching his expected levels of production, LaRoche has been an above average hitter. With offense at a premium in the current run scoring environment, teams would jump at the chance to trade for someone up that has proven to be able to hit for power. While Samardzija's contract situation was working against the White Sox, LaRoche's should help, as he's signed through 2016 and would be more than a rental player.

Of the teams still looking to push their way towards a playoff spot, the Rays, Pirates, Twins, Mariners, and Cardinals could look to trade for LaRoche, and upgrade their offense.

Do the White Sox have any other movable pieces?

The answer is yes, but just barely. Hahn could look to deal Geovany Soto, Gordon Beckham, and potentially even Alexei Ramirez, although he's the most unlikley of this group. Soto is a free agent at the end of the year, but teams are always looking for catching depth, and Beckham can play multiple positions in the infield. Neither will bring back any top level prospects, but could at the very least help with their organizational depth.

Ramirez is signed through 2016 (however it's a team option that will undoubtedly not be exercised), but with his contract and rapidly declining offensive skill set, it might be hard to convince a team to take him on. However he plays at a premium position, and there may be a team out there looking to fill a need in the infield.

The White Sox don't have much to work with in this year's trade deadline, but Hahn has just enough to to be able to help soften the blow of what's becoming a lost season. If he can acquire any impact talent from the aforementioned players, they can start looking towards 2016 and competing again.