Full disclaimer: I’ve seen 0 rumors in regards to Asdrubal Cabrera being traded to the White Sox. What I have seen is that the Indians are shopping Cabrera, though apparently his no-trade clause won’t hinder his okaying a trade to teams listed on it. I’ve also seen it loosely suggested that Cabrera would be a candidate to move from shortstop to third, though the linked article makes the suggestion for the Yankees. Dan Hayes says that if A.J. is gone, the Sox will be looking for a left-handed bat, and I don’t even need a link to convince you that the White Sox are in serious need of a third baseman.
What I’m getting at is what about if the White Sox traded for Asdrubal Cabrera provided he’d be willing to play third base? Cabrera is a switch hitter and is due $6.5M in 2013 and $10M in 2014 for what will be his age 27 and 28 years (read: prime). In 2012 he dropped a .270/.338/.423 line for the Indians, which surpasses what Kevin Youkilis provided in 2012 (.235/.336/.409), not to mention we can expect Youk to continue his decline at 34 years old.
Youkilis would be just money, though, and something would have to be given up in exchange for Cabrera. Oh poor Gavin Floyd. This is where I throw Gavin’s name back in the trade bin. Teams like collecting pitchers; that’s why his name comes up in trade talks all the time. I don’t know what the Indians interest in Floyd would be, but if they were open to such an exchange, replacing Floyd’s $9M with Cabrera’s $6.5 nets the Sox a couple million in 2013 salary while plugging their corner gap. As would be the case with nearly any trade involving Floyd, it’s putting a lot of pressure on a young, lefty heavy pitching staff. After right-hander Jake Peavy the Sox would be left with Chris Sale, a hopefully recovered John Danks, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago. Maybe such a trade opens up an issue the front office would rather not deal with. Or forces their hand in moving Nestor Molina or Simon Castro into the rotation. Further, teams don’t seem to like trading in division, Liriano/Escobar trade aside. It’s a stretch, no official rumors have surfaced to support it, but a move like this would make me extremely happy about Rick Hahn’s offseason if it occurred.