The Cubs stood pat at the trading deadline and seemed content with what they have. With Kerry Wood and Daryle Ward due back from the disabled list in the coming days, general manager Jim Hendry figured they were better additions than anyone available — and at considerably less cost in prospects and salary.
If the presence of Tadahito Iguchi on the visiting Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field this week reminded Chicago fans that not everyone was so content, still the White Sox surprised with how little they actually did to break up and rebuild the 2005 World Championship team. Only weeks ago Mark Buehrle seemingly had his ticket stamped out of town, with Jermaine Dye and Jose Contreras soon to follow. Yet once Buehrle signed an extension, Sox GM “Trader” Kenny Williams suddenly seemed reluctant — or unable — to move anyone else. The Sox got little for Gooch in the form of minor-league pitcher Michael Dubee, and even less for Rob Mackowiak at the deadline. Meanwhile, Dye, Contreras, and Jon Garland, also mentioned as possible trade bait, stayed in place.
The Cubs could afford to rest content: with tonight’s win over the Phillies they remain just one game back of the Brewers for first, and they’d be tied if Milwaukee hadn’t rallied to beat the Mets in 13 innings. The White Sox couldn’t. There was probably no market for Contreras after the way he’s pitched lately–now at 5-14, he was the loser in tonight’s 16-3 drubbing at the hands of the Yankees, just the worst of a string of games in which he’s looked washed-up. On the other end of the spectrum, Garland, at 8-7, would have to be considered the team’s de facto ace at this point and a potential piece of the long-term puzzle.
Not so Dye, I’m afraid. Game Four World Series hero or not, he’s a player whose skills and fielding range are diminishing rapidly at a position relatively easy to fill on the free-agent market. Williams should have moved him, if not for another young outfielder, then to clear the way for the Sox to test out Ryan Sweeney once and for all. Unless he can pull off a waiver-wire miracle, Williams is looking to be disappointed this off-season with how he failed to address the team’s problems when he still had the chance. You know it’s bad when even Paul Konerko gets himself tossed out of a game.