White Sox: Buyers, Sellers or Observers?

badraus
Jun 20, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Jose Abreu needs more help on offense if the White Sox are going to compete for a wild card berth. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Jose Abreu needs more help on offense if the White Sox are going to compete for a wild card berth. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /
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White Sox must decide if they will be buyers or sellers at the trading deadline. With a .500 record, the White Sox could also stand pat and not make any trades by August 1

With the White Sox hovering around .500, they are in a bit of a conundrum as the trade deadline approaches. The big question is what to do: buy or sell? Or would it make sense to do neither, just stand pat. Here is the big problem for the Sox, they are stuck in the middle. When a team is stuck in the middle, that is baseball hell.

There is basically one way for the club to add top level talent without bankrupting their farm: take on bad contracts. While that is an option, there will be a major drawback to that in a few years when that player is older and you are still paying him. While the White Sox could do that, it doesn’t make a lot of sense unless they want to be the Chicago Cubs pre-2015 in a few years.

Assuming the White Sox sell, they have some extremely valuable chips. The problem is the team likely wants to compete in the near future, meaning it would be hard for Chris Sale to be traded. Jose Quintana could also be dealt, however if they choose to move either of these pitchers, they need to haul a hefty return from whatever teams they trade with. The White Sox cannot deal afford to miss on any prospects they might receive in a trade for Sale or Quintana.

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On the topic of selling, first baseman Jose Abreu needs to be brought up. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to move Abreu right now, just due to the fact his value has never been lower. Plus, the team still has control over him for a few more years, meaning he still has a chance to bounce back. Abreu isn’t done, and when he bounces back it makes sense to deal him at that point, not now.

What makes sense for the White Sox to do is to stand pat for the most part. If they are able to bring in a player that can help them over the next couple of years, go get him without destroying the farm. However, it doesn’t make any sense to deal any players from the core of the team, just due to the fact it means they would have to start all over again. With a strengthening minor league system, not to mention an improving MLB roster, it doesn’t make sense to revert back to 2013-type results.

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From what I have been reading from fans and the press, they want to start over completely. That isn’t necessarily the best plan, when the team is finally getting back to a place of stability. While they may not be a playoff team just yet, going back to 2013 type results isn’t going to please the same people that want a rebuild. The main problem with a rebuild is who knows when the White Sox would be good again. If the White Sox want to sell, move players that are not a part of the long-term plan. However, it is unlikely that the White Sox will fully rebuild anytime soon regardless of what some of the fans want. So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see no major action over the next couple of weeks at 35th and Shields.

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