Trades can make or break a contender

July, 5, 2010
Levine By Bruce Levine
To trade or not to trade, that is the question the White Sox will be faced with with 3.5 weeks before baseball’s trading deadline.

Last week talking to the team’s beat writers, manager Ozzie Guillen pointed out that chemistry is a key to every club’s ability to win.

[+] EnlargeGeoff Blum
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty ImagesGeoff Blum hit a 14th-inning home run in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series for the White Sox.
Although there’s been rumors about the White Sox going after some home run-type hitters, in 2005 a little move ended up being a big addition to the team when the White Sox purchased infielder Geoff Blum from the Padres late in the season.

Guillen pointed to Blum’s addition as a key element to the team’s success in the last six weeks of that season.

“Kenny [Williams] was blasted by the Chicago media and fans for getting Blum here,” Guillen said. “What people didn’t realize is we needed a player like him to protect our other guys. I needed a player to play three positions [second, third and shortstop] and give a couple of other guys a day off. He batted from both sides of the plate. You don’t make moves to make people happy, you make moves to fill needs.”

Blum was the hero of Game 3 of the 2005 World Series, connecting on a 14th-inning homer which eventually stood up as the game-winner.

“I know Kenny’s been working on [trades],” Guillen said. “Kenny and [assistant GM] Rick Hahn have a chance to watch everyone in Major League Baseball. I don’t. I only watch this ballclub. They have a better idea than us.”

I asked Guillen if the Sox needed a left-handed run-producer.

“Why should he be left-handed?” Guillen said. “We just need a good one. Right now, we’re fine. We’re playing the way we think we should play. Hopefully we don’t need anyone. Right now, we’re not missing too much.”

Adam Dunn, Lance Berkman and Luke Scott have been confirmed as possible trade prospects the White Sox would be interested in. However, if Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder becomes available before the trading deadline the White Sox would certainly have interest.

Projecting Fielder at U.S. Cellular Field, the lefty slugger, only 26, would be a 50 -homer threat and, more importantly, a home-run producer who people would pay to see.

A case could be made that Fielder would be the biggest gate attraction the White Sox have had since Frank Thomas left the team as a free agent after the 2005 season.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.



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