We enter Day 35 of the offseason, and the days themselves have become drops in an unceasing ocean that does not so much meet the horizon as it fades into the sky, until they are one. The Winter Meetings are said to be drawing near, but they are not visible through the fog, and nothing stirs to disperse the haz--
Wha--what in the ding dong crap? That's what it took to scoop Saunders?
32-year-old J.A. Happ, in many respects, just completed his best season out of his last four. He threw 158 innings, had a 4.22 ERA, allowed 22 bombs, and posted a 93 ERA+ in 30 appearances, 26 of which were starts. It was mediocre, and it was his best. He'll give up a few less bombs in Seattle, and is left-handed, but the Mariners didn't yield Saunders--injury prone, inconsistent, possibly needing a platoon but offering the potential for above-average play--for someone with any real potential to be above-average.
Saunders is no great tonic (Even after three solid seasons in a row, just a 92 wRC+ career figure), but is better than Dayan Viciedo, since by reputation, he apparently takes less routine fly balls off his face (anecdotal evidence is inconclusive) and can hit right-handed pitching. The White Sox don't necessarily have a cheap and uninspiring innings-eater like Happ to spare, lest the Mariners want a Hector Noesi reunion, but Saunders was shown to be just as attainable as suspected. It will sting if there's not a better alternative.
Well, that's certainly not ideal, but hardly unexpected for the best corner outfield offensive option on the market. At least this deal would actually be for someone in their early 30's and not in obvious decline. The White Sox were not among the teams associated with by name with Cabrera on Wednesday, but they are rarely specifically tied to anyone or anything. Their rumors are more vague:
Yeah, Sox are going fix the hell out of their problems in thorough ways. Merkin's article finds Hahn promising the Sox will be aggressive specifically over the next few weeks including the Winter Meetings. Possibly betraying recent angst with the play of his alma mater under Brady Hoke, Hahn put the stamp on the Sox direction with the extremely non-specific statement that the Sox will "hopefully continue to address pieces that move the chains and get us closer to not only competing in '15 but in '16 and beyond."
As we've said before, at this point, the Sox are clinging to their 33-year-old shortstop, signed a 35-year-old 1B/DH and gave a big deal to a 31-year-old lefty specialist, but haven't really convinced everyone they're not still building more for 2016 until they start burning prospect resources in trades or sign a free agent that costs them a draft pick. Hahn sounds like they are still weighing their options, and checking to see if the best options are available for them for short-term or long-term solutions. If they opt for selling out for the short-term, however, might I suggest Melky? Sounds like it will wind up being a long-term move anyway.
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