Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Don't trade Beckham

I am in favor of the White Sox making some sort of trade deadline deal to help strengthen the most inconsistent spot in the line-up: DH. If you are going up against Tampa or New York or Texas in the play-offs, you need every bat in the line-up to produce, because as good as the Sox pitching staff is, it can't be expected to completely snuff out the three most impressive offensive attacks in the American League.

And, they may even need that DH before they get to the play-offs. They have been playing with the confidence of a team that is running away with the division--only they aren't. Sox fans know all too well that Minnesota isn't done with us yet. 11-0 wins like we saw last night are still the exception, not the rule. Just ask Gavin Floyd, who at 6-8 has rarely gotten run support like he did last night.

There are DHs to be had on the trade market, too. National Leaguers like Adam Dunn and Prince Fielder would more than fit the bill. Jose Bautista leads the league in homers and reportedly is available.

I think almost any deal to get Dunn or Fielder would be worth doing--they are that good. However, both the Nationals and the Brewers reportedly are asking for Gordon Beckham in return. I only have one deal-breaker, and unfortunately, that's the one. Beckham was barely surviving in the line-up a couple months ago, and the Sox showed extraordinary patience--not only by running him out there more days than not, but by keeping him at the major league level. There were times when I thought he needed to be sent down to get the seasoning he didn't get last year when the Sox promoted him earlier. Now, the faith is paying off, as Beckham has been hitting like last year.

Beckham simply is too valuable now as a middle infielder, and will be too valuable over the long-term for the Sox to trade him for a chance at a title this year. Both Dunn and Fielder could help the Sox this year, but in the long-term would like be too expensive to keep.

The problem is that there seem to be few other alternatives. Do you trade Tyler Flowers and Daniel Hudson? Even if you do, you need to throw another more proven name in with them to get Fielder in particular--J.J. Putz? After the Jake Peavy deal, the Sox don't really have any minor league arms left that make other teams salivate, and Putz is part of the multi-arm back-up plan for the shaky Bobby Jenks.

As much as I think the Sox need a better plan at DH, I think they have to pass on any deal that calls for Beckham. That may mean no deal at all.

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