The White Sox made a lot of actual moves Thursday that will have tangible impact on their roster, but that doesn't do a thing for me compared to the vague rumors.
WOOOO THE MELK MAN. Melky Cabrera has been a contact-oriented plus-hitter for all of the last four years.
Except for that year where he had a tumor in his spine.
And one of those years he got busted for PEDs.
And last year he ended the season on the DL.
AND YET, when it comes to track record of performance, age and utility, Cabrera is undoubtedly the best option for the White Sox. He puts the bat on the ball (12.6% career strikeout rate), his power has flashed average or better when he's not wildly out of shape or gravely ill, and while he hasn't been a centerfielder for a while for good reason, he'll be a breath of fresh air taking over for Dayan Viciedo.
Cabrera would be an ideal signing next offseason. When the Sox know they are ready, know what they are shooting for, and would be seeking maximum output for the first season of the deal. Instead, they have consider Cabrera's worth as a long-term solution, and consider whether they are at the point in their rebuild/retool to be punting away second round draft picks.
I offer Cabrera is young enough and the Sox outfield crop is bare enough, that it's a worthwhile pursuit, but there's a reason for hesitance.
The White Sox actually picked up left-hander Onelki Garcia on Thursday off waivers from the Dodgers. I cannot pretend to have intimate knowledge of the Dodgers farmhand, nor particularly moved by the 25-year-old's performance record that includes being hurt for most of 2014 and being wild otherwise. So, we're taking the qualified words of others as gospel here.
Middle reliever isn't the highest ceiling in the world. It might even be one of the lowest. Dodgers write Mike Petriello typifies Garcia as someone he'd rather the Dodgers not have lost, but won't mourn the loss of. The Sox are desperate for left-handed relievers in the organization, even after signing Duke, so would be more than happy to traipse into a minor win.
Speaking of actual roster stuff
Ronald Belisario--who was actually up for arbitration this whole time!--was DFA'd. Curiosity that he was unlucky last year and could right the ship probably doesn't go beyond the $1 million mark.
Jared Mitchell--Let's not make this entirely necessary and overdue measure any more painful than it already is. Mitchell was outrighted.
Prospects getting protected on the 40-man in turn included throw-in live arm turned hot pitching prospect Francellis Montas (who we may be calling Franke now) was added to the 40-man. Also included was rehabbing utility man Tyler Saladino, single-hitting first baseman Rangel Ravelo, and catcher Kevan Smith, whom I guess the Sox are hoping will be too old for the MLB-level at some point.