Santos Deal Signals Major Rebuild
By Chris Hannum
The Chicago White Sox have dealt affordable closer Sergio Santos to the Toronto Blue Jays for AA starter Nestor Molina.
As I have mentioned before, despite their spectacular failure in 2011 the Chicago White Sox have a lot of talent on the roster and – if they stood pat – could easily be division contenders in 2012. Nonetheless, most of the rumors we have heard since season’s end have been of veterans on the block. It would have come as no surprise to anyone to see Matt Thornton, Carlos Quentin or John Danks traded for younger and cheaper players. This deal, however IS a bit of a surprise. What it seems to signify is that the White Sox are not only willing to trade their overpaid vets, they are also more than willing to trade away guys who are young, productive and cheap (like Santos).
This may well signify that something big is going on in Chicago, something which could take them out of the division picture entirely in 2012. If not an outright fire sale, the beginning of a transition period. What it seems like to me is poor direction from above, though one can understand how Sox ownership must feel after the expense and embarrassment of last season. The problem is that the Sox will continue to be constrained by albatross contracts, and can only feasibly trade away the players – like Danks or Santos – who are earning their pay. If they have no choice but to hope that Jake Peavy, Adam Dunn and Alexis Rios rebound then why leave the team in a position in which they are unable to compete even if they do?