That Actually Might Work, But ...
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 12, 2006 5:31PM
Chicagoist long ago stopped fantasizing about our beloved teams landing each disgruntled superstar, whether via free agency or trade. We've been teased by Kobe and Garnett, Deion Branch and Carlos Beltran, too many times. And sure, sometimes we've landed the big names, but for every Ben Wallace or Jim Thome there have also been Albert Belle and Nomar Garciaparra.
So at first we kind of rolled our eyes when we heard talk about the White Sox acquiring Alex Rodriguez from the Yankees. Just as we did last week, when we heard people talking about A-Rod and the Cubs.
But maybe A-Rod could work for the Sox.... He's been playing third base for the Yanks, but is truly a shortstop. The White Sox want to move one starting pitcher and may have a surplus of third basemen. Joe Crede proved himself this past season, hitting 30 home runs, driving in 94 and raising his average to .283. But prospect Josh Fields is clearly ready to move up to "the show." He's put up excellent numbers in the minors the last couple years, and showed he's ready during his September call-up.
Do the White Sox send Crede and Freddy Garcia to the Yankees in return for A-Rod? Fields plays third base, Rodriguez moves back to shortstop, and Brandon McCarthy gets his shot in the starting rotation. Hmmm....
On paper it sounds good, but in reality it's a tough call. Crede seems to be part of a core that provides the team with its character and cohesiveness. There was a noticeable difference when Aaron Rowand was traded, even as Jim Thome came in. Would adding the private A-Rod to the locker room further mess with the team's chemistry? On the other hand, Crede will be a free agent in a year and could leave the Sox, with them getting nothing in return. And the Sox clearly need to move one of the starting pitchers.
Financially, the moving of Crede and Garcia's salaries would pretty much offset A-Rod's giant contract. With two young guys filling in, the Sox could probably make it work without adding to the payroll. And maybe the Yankees would even pitch in some of the contract, freeing up some cash for bullpen help.
But we're by no means sold on A-Rod trading his blue pinstripes for black. We're sure Kenny Williams will inquire about A-Rod, and we're also fairly confident he won't do anything stupid. Guess we'll just wait and see. And hope Ben Wallace pans out in the mean time.