After a surprisingly uneventful July on the trade front, the Chicago White Sox have now completed two deals in August, successfully offloading a pair of dead weight veterans from their roster.
First it was Gordon Beckham being sent to the Angels, and now Alejandro De Aza, who is on his way to Baltimore.
The clumsy outfielder and base runner will serve as outfield depth for the O’s as they make their playoff push over the next month. Simply put, the deal makes total sense – De Aza is still someone who presents value in a complimentary role, but was past his days of making a significant impact on the south side. He’s clumsy on the base paths and in the outfield, and although he served as a replacement level lefty bat in the Sox’ order, that’s just not something a rebuilding team needs to hang onto.
So best of luck to Alejandro, but enough about him … let’s talk about what this deal means for the good guys moving forward.
In return for De Aza’s services, the White Sox have acquired two 22 year old pitchers, Mark Blackmar and Miguel Chalas.
On those two hurlers from Yahoo! Sports…
Chalas and Blackmar are basically the definition of minor league organizational depth that probably will never matter. Chalas was pitching in relief in Frederick, putting up a 4.48 ERA. Blackmar, in his fourth season in the organization, had a 3.18 ERA in 26 games for the Keys, 18 of which were starts. If they turn into something, congratulations to Chicago.
Fair enough. I will just add that it’s nice to see the Sox getting 22 year old prospects rather than older guys past their days as true prospects.
Freed Up Playing Time
Obviously with the 30 year old De Aza outta town, there is a roster spot and potentially significant playing time up for grabs. Yes, we’ll see a bit more of Dayan Viciedo, but at this point I’m not sure what getting him in the lineup that much more does for this team moving forward.
The obvious names to look to when predicting where the minutes go are Jordan Danks and Moises Sierra, both of whom we’ve seen plenty of before. Sierra is a solid bat, but we’ve never seen him play left field. In fact, he’s only played there for four innings while with the Sox and a combined 19 games over his MLB and MiLB careers.
Danks would be the best defensive option, but by now we know his ceiling is that of a fourth big league outfielder. So if either of those guys are given the nod, good for them … but as far as long-term implications go, it really wouldn’t mean much. Just an audition to fill a bench role in 2015, if anything at all.
As far as more intriguing options go, there really aren’t tons of guys to look to. We’ve heard that Marcus Semien has looked solid when patrolling the outfield for the Charlotte Knights (he’s played 11 games in LF this year), and he’s been great at the plate for them of late, so a call-up for the soon-to-be 24 year old would make some sense (keep in mind with September call-ups just around the corner, he’d likely be up anyway).
Overall Marcus struggled in April and May in the big leagues, but he did show some flashes and is considered to be a very well-seasoned young hitter. Still, he is certainly behind both Micah Johnson (long-term) and Carlos Sanchez (now) in line for playing time at second base, so it’s starting to look like if he is going to make it with the Sox, it’ll have to be in a Josh Harrison-like super utility role.
If the team really does trust him in the outfield, that makes him awfully valuable considering he can fill in nicely at second, third, and even shortstop. Hopefully he’s given some time in left field, because otherwise I’m not sure manager Robin Ventura will be able to work him into the starting lineup more than about twice a week.
I think all Sox fans would agree that trading De Aza is a good thing. I mean, no disrespect to Alejandro … it was great that we got as much out of him as we did. But it was clearly time to move on, and the more playing time available that could help the club get answers regarding its future, the better.
Andy Wilkins, who would’ve been called up September 1 anyway, will take De Aza’s roster spot for now … but he’s a first baseman, so this deal shouldn’t really affect his September in the big leagues.
Andy Wilkins is Chicago bound, called up while stretching pic.twitter.com/V2gxKJOoJY
— The Josh (@thejosh20) August 30, 2014