The Sergio Santos trade wasn't the start of a grand rebuilding project. It was the start of something that wasn't rebuilding, even though Kenny Williams used that word in talking to reporters after the deal.
In trading Santos, the White Sox bolstered a barren farm system while opening the door for Addison Reed (or Matt Thornton, or Jesse Crain) to take the reigns as the team's ninth-inning guy. They dealt from a position of depth, a position at which they could afford to deal an established player.
If the Sox deal Carlos Quentin, it'll be the same thing. Dealing Quentin opens the door for Alejandro De Aza to play every day while -- hopefully -- adding some much-needed depth to the minors.
But had the Sox traded John Danks? There'd be no mistaking it. The White Sox would be rebuilding.
The same goes for Gavin Floyd. If the Sox wind up trading Floyd on the coattails of this Danks extension, they'll replace him with one of two unproven commodities in Zach Stewart or Dylan Axelrod. Neither of those players are close to the caliber of Reed or De Aza. After the team's current starting five, there's little depth coming through.
So dealing a starter would be a pretty good sign the Sox are serious about rebuilding. They haven't dealt a starter yet, and with Danks inked to a long-term extension, they only have one starter who's likely to draw interest from other teams. Floyd also happens to be a reported organizational favorite (which is good -- he's pitched better than his numbers indicate in the last three years).
This doesn't look like a rebuilding project. Not yet. And there's a good chance it'll stay that way.