Alexei Ramirez is the trade chip everyone will be talking about for the Chicago White Sox. However, for a team that will never fully commit to rebuilding, his $10 million salary for the next two years coupled with his value as a veteran leader means he's not going anywhere.
The White Sox could shop him, but expect the asking price to be astronomical, and in the end, Ramirez will still be suiting up on the South Side come August.
Instead, slugger Adam Dunn may be the most intriguing trade chip on the team, as he is almost certain to be moved at some point. Whether it is here in July or through waivers in August remains to be seen.
Now in the final year of his four-year, $56 million deal, Dunn managed to launch 75 home runs the past two seasons, posting a .781 OPS in the process despite hitting just .211.
He's a three-true-outcomes (home run, walk, strikeout) guy at this point in his career, but he has managed to put up a .798 OPS with 14 home runs and a strong .361 OBP here in the first half.
The market is incredibly thin on power bats, and Dunn has the added value of hitting from the left side of the plate. Whether he moves to an AL team as a DH/first base guy or moves to the NL as a platoon/pinch hitter, he has undeniable value as a power bat.
Dunn won't land the White Sox a top prospect, but he should be able to fetch a solid return and save them a nice chunk of what is left of his $15 million salary this year in the process.
While he is not nearly as sure a thing to be traded as Dunn, left-hander John Danks may be the player the White Sox could benefit most from unloading here at the deadline.
The 29-year-old is having a nice bounce-back season at 8-6 with a 3.99 ERA, but a 4.60 FIP suggests he could be in for some regression in the second half.
It's hard to say he's not worth the $28.5 million he is owed over the next two years given the ever-climbing price of starting pitching, but that money could probably be better used elsewhere by a White Sox team with plenty of holes to plug.
He's among the more attractive mid-level options on the market, and if nothing else, the White Sox should be able to unload that salary and land a couple of mid-level prospects in the process.