In the middle of a race to the playoffs, the Chicago White Sox have focused all of their attention on attaining a left-handed power bat at the trade deadline. It has been no secret--the White Sox have struggled to find consistent production from the Designated Hitter spot. Certainly, they had that in Andrew Jones to start the season (he hit .259/.394/.630 in April with 9 HR and 3 SB). But he has fallen off miserably, only hitting 7 HR since and an average below .200. Mark Kotsay has been another DH stalwart, but he has just been consistently bad (.221/.305/.351).
The White Sox also have their share of right-handed hitters. Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin, Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez fill the middle of the order. However, they are very lacking in the left-handed hitting department, especially power. White Sox left-handed hitters have hit a combined 15 HR--that's less than Rios, Konerko, or Quentin. To make a long story short, the White Sox need left-handed power.
Perhaps that lack of left-handed power is why the Sox have been in rumors for Adam Dunn and Prince Fielder. But I am here to offer another solution--sign Carlos Delgado. Adam Dunn and Prince Fielder are both great players who will make big impacts, but they will also cost a lot of money and even more in terms of prospects. The Sox would have to part with at least two major prospects, most likely Daniel Hudson and Jordan Danks/Tyler Flowers. Signing Carlos Delgado would lose the White Sox a total of zero prospects and allow them to re-stock their crippled system.
What's more, Carlos Delgado will give production at least comparable to Prince Fielder and Adam Dunn. Here are likely projections for each of the three players for the remaining months of the season if all three played in Chicago:
Carlos Delgado: .265/.363/.502, 10 HR
Prince Fielder: .372/.395/.522, 14 HR
Adam Dunn: .355/.375/.512, 15 HR
Certainly, the other two will have better numbers and are better options, but are the 5 extra home runs and 10 points in average really worth the extra cash and prospects?
However I have yet to give the best reason of all--Carlos Delgado has not played a game this season. He has been working out and is in baseball shape, but has not played a game. Realistically, after signing him, he would go to the minor leagues for a week or two and come up in early to mid-August. Meaning that down the stretch and in those important divisional games at the end of September, Carlos Delgado will be in mid-season form. If the Sox were able to make the playoffs, they would have something no one else would--a veteran slugger without the wear and tear of an entire season under his belt.
I am usually all for big deals at the deadline, but the Sox need to keep their prospects. A Dunn or Fielder for a half of a season is just not worth a Dan Hudson, who could be a great #2 or #3 for years to come in the Sox organization, throwing to future All-Star catcher Tyler Flowers. All of this, while still being able to significantly upgrade the DH spot and make a serious run at the World Series.
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