<
>

Trade market at a standstill

White Sox general manager Ken Williams has had trouble finding a reasonable price for adding talent to his roster. Ron Vesely/Getty Images

SEATTLE -- Call it “The White Sox Effect,” a growing mindset around baseball that the play of the American League Central leaders has made an impact on the trade market throughout all of Major League Baseball.

Indications are that teams on the fringe of respectability are looking at the White Sox’s recent run of 26 victories in 31 games and saying, “we need to give ourselves one last chance to do the same.”

At the very least, they are hoping for an 11- or nine-game win streak, like the ones the White Sox put together recently, to give themselves a shot in the arm.

Instead of the blockbuster Cliff Lee deal to the Texas Rangers starting a flurry of trade activity, the climate for wheeling and dealing is stuck in traffic.

"If I’m being honest and completely transparent right now, of the price that is being asked for some of the players that we’ve inquired about, for us, it’s more detrimental to our present and our future than we’d like,” general manager Ken Williams said. “We’ll see how that develops. But right now, I don’t see anything materializing.”

Could the White Sox’ own play be hindering the general manager from making moves? The concept gets Williams to raise an eyebrow.

“Well if I’m a general manager on the other side, I don’t know if I’m going to count too much on winning 25 of 30 games,” Williams said. “That can be dangerous.”

Asked then if clubs like the Florida Marlins and Cubs are being naïve to think they could get hot like the White Sox did, Williams backed off just a bit.

“That’s what you said,” Williams shot back.

There are two ways to look at other clubs wanting to emulate what the White Sox did to close out the first half. On one side it’s a compliment that people are looking at the White Sox’s play and want to emulate it.

On another hand, there is an idea that clubs are saying, “well, if that group can get back into contention then we should be able to.”

Of chief concern to Williams though, is that of the limited names he said his staff is pondering , if and when a deal is made, the players remaining in the White Sox clubhouse instantly recognize the impact that acquisition can provide when it is made.

"[It has to be] the right fit, both skill-set wise, fit in the lineup or fit, whether it be a bullpen piece, a starter piece. Is it the right fit?” Williams said. “Are you going to gain exponentially by making that move in lieu of staying with what you have?

“And I’m very mindful of how this team has banded together and overcome a mountain of hurdles to get to where they want to get right now, so I think you have to be very cognizant of doing something that isn’t exponentially better and making sure it’s not disruptive at the same time.”

Ultimately, though, what is stalling the trade market might only have a little to do with the “White Sox Effect” and more to do with the July 31 trade deadline still over a week away. Teams are content to sit back and ask for “a king’s ransom,” as one source put it.

"For those [targeted] guys the price is admittedly, as we sit here today, too high of a price for our present and too high of a price for our future,” Williams said. “So unless something changes and changes pretty dramatically, I don’t know if there will be [a deal].”

Quentin sits again: Carlos Quentin was out of the lineup Monday, a day after he aggravated a hand injury and had to be taken out of the game against the Twins. Quentin was originally hurt Thursday in the second-half opener, when he took a pitch square off the meat of his right hand.

“He could have played,” manager Guillen said. “But in the meanwhile, I’m not going to [have it) be an in and out, in and out thing. I’m going to get him good rest and make sure that the hand is good.”

Quentin has missed two starts in the past four games because of the hand injury after missing three starts on the last homestand because of a sore knee. He is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday.

Off the hook: Turns out that Bobby Jenks does not get a blown save in Sunday’s game, even though he was charged with the runs that cost the White Sox a chance at the victory against the Twins.

According to the rule book, it is Sergio Santos gets the blown save even because when he entered the game with two of Jenks’ base runners aboard the White Sox were still leading.

It means that Jenks’ streak of 15 consecutive saves since May 9 is still intact even though he was the losing pitcher in the game against the Twins in a game he entered with the lead.