Chicago White Sox Morning BP: To buy or sell?

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The Chicago White Sox are 5.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot, but in saying that with a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs starting today at Wrigley FIeld, the “Good Guys” are still last in the AL Central and have eight teams ahead of them fighting for that second spot.

Of those teams ahead of the White Sox, one of those teams is the current holder of the second spot, the Minnesota Twins. Others the White Sox will have to pass are the Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox.

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Yes, even the Red Sox are ahead of the White Sox in these standings, though it is by just a half game. Only the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics trail the Pale Hose.

Now are you all in for the White Sox trying to overcome that deficit, knowing the remainder of the AL Central is ahead of them in the Wild Card race?

It has been exciting with the White Sox winning seven of their last nine games and winning 3-of-4 in the recent series against the Blue Jays.

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Chicago won the series with scores of 4-2, 7-6 and 2-0. In the 7-6 win, Adam Eaton hit a walk-off home run, making the White Sox 8-2 in extra-inning games.

Should the White Sox buy or sell? That is the question that will not only shape this season, but will also begin the process of shaping the ’16 season as well.

Since the Sox are just 5.5 games out of the AL Wild Card race, maybe the team should wait and see how things go after the All-Star break. On the other side of that argument, Jeff Samardzija is hot right now, his value the best it has been all season, so if the front office wants to be sellers, it makes sense to start with Samardzija while he’s pitching his best baseball of the season.

Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune wrote this after Samardzija’s complete game shutout win on Thursday, including a quote from Blue Jays manager John Gibbons:

"“If the Sox dive into the sellers’ market before the July 31 trade deadline, Samardzija upped his stock in front of many scouts — and one of several teams that potentially could covet the durable starter.“Yeah, we’d love to have him,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said before the game. “He’s more than just a good pitcher. He brings a toughness.”"

Samardzija in his past seven games is 2-1 with a 3.10 ERA (52.1 IP) with 44 strikeouts. His past two starts have seen him pitch 16.2 innings, allowing one earned run on seven hits and three walks.

If you want my honest opinion, I don’t see the White Sox being buyers when the trade deadline rolls around unless they are within two or three games of that second wild card spot.

The thing with Samardzija is if he continues to pitch like he’s been the past month or so, they can add some parts that will help for next season and seasons after. If they keep him, there are no guarantees the “Good Guys” leave with anything since he’s a free agent at the end of the season.

The decision is very tough to make, and however the White Sox make their decision, it will be one that will have a ripple effect for the remainder of this season and for the future.

WHITE SOX HEADLINES

Cubs vs. White Sox: What if Joe Maddon managed on the South Side? By Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago.

• Gregor: Chicago White Sox suddenly thriving under pressure: By Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald.

• Harrelson disappointed with White Sox output: By Scott Merkin of WhiteSox.com

• White Sox need to make statement at Wrigley, not Cubs: By Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Next: Melky Cabrera proving White Sox right

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