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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
White Sox - White Flag II
Chicago White Sox - Traded DH Jim Thome to the Los Angeles Dodgers for SS Justin Fuller; Traded P Jose Contreras to the Colorado Rockies for P Brandon Hynick.
Is this a white flag trade? Yes. Is there anything wrong with that? No.
There comes a time where yes, it’s smart to pull out that white flag and wave it furiously. Fighting to the last man, in many cases, including this one, where the result of losing doesn’t mean that the Tigers will disembowel the wives and children of White Sox players, is nothing but romantic nonsense.
The White Sox are simply a mediocre team that would have to play the best ball of their lives to have a shot at the playoffs. The team has to essentially outplay the Tigers by the seasonal equivalent of 72 games and the Twins by the seasonal equivalent of 48 games. This is not a team full of sleeping giants, ready to pummel the division into submission in September, but team that’s closer to the Indians, a team that essentially threw in the towel by Cinco de Mayo, than they are the Tigers.
Thome would not put up a 2008-esque Manny performance and carry to the team through the month. There’s nothing that Joe Contrariwise could do that would result in the Sox filling their glasses with champagne or treacle and ink.
The White Sox live to fight another day and pick up a decent arm in Hynick and a utility player with a bit of pop for Thome. If some of these wags demanding blood from “Traitor Kenny” at Appomattox, they probably wouldn’t surrender, because after all, the Confederates could totally march to DC in less than a week if things like supplies and manpower weren’t an issue!
They didn’t get a lot for Thome or Contreras, but they’re only losing a month of their services, after all, and what they got in return is a lot more likely to help them win meaningful games in 2010 and beyond than warm memories of that time they let it all hang out so they could go 79-83 and finish 8 games behind the Tigers.
For the other teams, the Rockies will gamble that Contreras can fool the NL for a month or so and the Dodgers have Thome as an emergency 1B/pinch-hitter and a DH for a possible World Series. The Rockies probably overpaid a skosh, but these are two teams that actually have something realistic to fight for.
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