Gavin Floyd was hit hard again in the Chicago White Sox's loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. Cardinals hitters chased Floyd for five runs on eight hits and four walks in 4.2 innings. White Sox fans may wonder if the White Sox would still be able to get value for Floyd if Kenny Williams remains inclined to trade him.
Floyd was a hot name on the trade wire during the offseason. The Boston Globe reported that the Boston Red Sox looked into a deal for Floyd in the winter. At the same time, the Baltimore Orioles were looking at Floyd, per the Baltimore Sun.
Floyd's numbers to this point this season are bad enough that his trade value looks like it will take a big hit this summer.
Floyd has had a dismal start through his first 12 starts of the season. He's 4-7 with a 5.63 ERA. Only five of his 13 starts have been quality starts, and he hasn't had one in his last six starts.
He has walked 2.7 batters per nine innings, a significant jump from his remarkable 2.1 walks per nine innings last year.
Also, Floyd leads the American League in hit batsmen with eight. That's three short of his 2011 total.
Floyd's control had been a great credit to his trade stock, but the number of walks he's issued and batters he's hit thus far hurt the White Sox's shot at getting something pleasing in return.
Also, his ability to log a good number of innings each start has been questionable this season. Floyd is averaging just 5.9 innings per start. He had pitched 6.4 innings per start in 2009, 6.0 in 2010 and 6.4 in 2011.
Part of what made Floyd attractive on the trade market during the offseason was his ability to eat up innings. Floyd's ability to consistently pitch six innings made him more valuable than other back-end starters.
What the White Sox would be looking deal Floyd for at the trade deadline depends on where they are in the standings in late July. Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweeted that Williams may seek a veteran reliever if the White Sox remain in contention.
The White Sox, which were expected to be in the cellar this year as they rebuild, have amazed baseball fans by taking the front seat in the AL Central.
If the White Sox just want bullpen help, they probably wouldn't move Floyd.
Now, if they want something more, like Kevin Youkilis, who the White Sox have scouted (per Knobler), but currently aren't interested in (per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com), Floyd may have to be in the deal.
However, if the White Sox fall out of contention, the White Sox could conceivably become sellers. That would likely put Williams in a position to try to trade Floyd for a prospect. If Floyd continues to pitch like he has, then the White Sox wouldn't get a high prospect for him. A turnaround by Floyd may help the White Sox get more for him.
The trade possibilities for the White Sox will be interesting to see in the next six weeks. Much of it depends on their place in the standings. As it pertains to Floyd, who will be up for a $9.5 million option after the season, the outlook depends on his performance.
Teams would be less inclined to pay the remainder of his $7 million if he continues to pitch poorly.
Clarity should come in Floyd's next five to eight starts.
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