The thought of trading young talent away is always a scary one.
“But what if he comes back and kills us for years?”
“Who knows how good he’ll become!”
“Uhhh…two words, Lou Brock.”
Those might be some of the thoughts running through White Sox fans’ heads when the news about a possible Adrian Gonzalez to the Sox for Gordon Beckham and others came across the wires on Sunday. I’ll confess that I too was slightly worried at first as well about the Sox possibly trading the young second baseman with the impossibly good head of hair.
However, the light has turned on, and now I want this trade to get done—now.
Taking nothing away from Gordon Beckham, but the hype surrounding the once shortstop, then third baseman, and now second baseman stems more from his newness to the team, than it does from his actual on-field production.
As a rookie he hit 14 homers and had 63 RBI to go along with his .270 average and .347 OBP. He had a UZR of -2.0, but that could be due to his inexperience at third base. Overall good numbers for a rookie, but are they untradeable numbers? No.
On the flip side, last season Adrian Gonzalez had 40 homers and 90 RBI while playing half his games in PETCO Park. Not to mention he had an OBP over .400.
Now, you might be thinking, “Beckham is still a rookie, he’ll develop.”
My response to you is, develop into what?
I can imagine Beckham hitting something like 20-25 homers with an average around .300, all while playing moderately good defense at second or third base during the prime years of his career. That’s obviously very valuable, hence why the Padres want him in a trade for Gonzalez.
However, by getting Adrian Gonzalez you are getting a proven power hitter who is just entering the best years of his career. And I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that the Sox play in a park where power is at a premium.
I know it’s tough to trade away young talent. But I hope fans as well as Kenny Williams keep in mind that you have to trade something to get something. And if you can take advantage of a team that wants to have a roster full of cheap, young players, and is willing to trade its best and most expensive players away to accomplish that goal, then you should.
Time will tell if Kenny Williams and the Sox have the guts to pull the trigger on this deal. If they do, it could be the deal that we all look back on as the one that made the difference for the 2010 White Sox and beyond.