MLB Trade Speculation: Can the Chicago White Sox Obtain a Front-Line Starter?

Jon FromiSenior Analyst IJuly 19, 2012

Kenny Williams is likely looking to make a deal for some help on the mound. What can we expect from the White Sox GM?
Kenny Williams is likely looking to make a deal for some help on the mound. What can we expect from the White Sox GM?David Banks/Getty Images

Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams is almost certainly eyeing a move to keep his team in the thick of the playoff hunt. Saying that Williams is willing to make a trade to improve his club is a no-brainer based on his history.

The key question is whether or not the White Sox have enough to offer for the pieces they need.

The focal point of upgrading the roster for the stretch run is the pitching staff. Even before Pedro Hernandez endured a rocky initiation to the big leagues in a 10-1 loss to the Red Sox, the mound has been left to a mostly inexperienced group of hurlers.

As much as Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and, to a lesser extent, Dylan Axelrod have contributed, picking up a dependable starting pitcher remains at the top of any South Side wish list. There are names out there that could be had for the right price.

Can the White Sox deliver the necessary goods to obtain one of the top starters? Especially with AL Central rival Detroit also looking to add pitching help?

If there is anything Williams has proven in his tenure with the White Sox, it is that he does not hesitate to try to make his team better if he believes it can win. He also isn't afraid to take chances to do just that.

Williams has traded for big names like Jake Peavy and Ken Griffey Jr. He has taken on a huge contract in Alex Rios when Toronto offered him on the waiver wire. No matter what he says about attendance or payroll, he will make a deal if he thinks the White Sox can win this thing.

Williams is not the possessor of a lot of minor league talent that could pry Zack Greinke or Ryan Dempster away from competing teams. Most of Chicago's young pitching talent is currently up with the White Sox. Jordan Danks is a potential bargaining chip, having hit well since being called up.

On the other hand, Williams picked up Kevin Youkilis for a pittance by striking quickly. However, it seems unlikely that he'll get lucky enough to find another motivated seller like the Red Sox.

What should we expect from Williams before the trade deadline?

It's hard to say, because he is usually tight-lipped about potential deals. He could make a move for a solid third or fourth starter and some bullpen help. Not high-profile names, but ones that could still bolster the pitching staff.

Williams has surprised White Sox fans with his dealings in past deadline deals. It is a good bet that he'll pull off another move few see coming in the next 10 days.