Gavin Floyd is with the White Sox for now but theright-handed pitcher might not last the offseason.With limited money to spend and several spots to fill,including a large gap at third base, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn saidhe would be creative this offseason to address his teams roster needs. The White Sox have nine players under contract for 89.25million and are expected to open the season with a 97-100 million payroll.The White Sox picked up Floyds 9.5 million club optionlast week, leaving them flush with starting rotation depth. Part of Hahns strategy to complete the White Sox mayinclude a trade of one of his starting pitchers. With the GM meetings set toopen in Palm Desert, Calif. on Wednesday, Hahn thinks he may hear from otherclubs interested in the White Sox starting pitching depth.I suspect given this market for pitchers that is out thereright now, I think were going to hear from a lot of teams about our startingpitching depth, Hahn said. I think were going to be pretty popular in thatregard vis-a-vis trades because were in a better position than a lot of clubsright now.In terms of starting pitching, Hahn has a comfortable seat. The White Sox retained Floyd and Jake Peavy earlier in theweek and thus far, John Danks, who is under contract, appears to be on track topitch in spring training after he had shoulder surgery on Aug. 6. The team alsocontrols the contracts of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago, whocould move into the rotation.Hahn also believes Triple-A starters Simon Castro and NestorMolina can contribute in the majors soon.Those factors make Floyd -- who went 12-11 with a 4.29 ERAin 29 starts and is a free agent next season -- a strong candidate for a trade.Floyd has made at least 29 starts the last five seasons andis 70-66 with a 4.46 career ERA. He also finished the season strong after hemade an adjustment to his delivery, going 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in his final fivestarts.Those numbers might appeal to a team in need of a solidshort-term addition to its rotation for the 2013 season. Not only would theWhite Sox free themselves of Floyds 9.5 million of salary, they potentiallycould package the veteran pitcher with another player to acquire a thirdbaseman.Floyd is no stranger to trade rumors. In 2009, Floyd for Baltimores Brian Roberts was anoft-floated rumor while last offseason it was speculated he was headed to theToronto Blue Jays. The trade gossip isnt likely to go away soon thisoffseason, either. Asked on Thursday if hed consider trading a startingpitcher, Hahn didnt shy away from the suggestion.Its absolutely conceivable, Hahn said. Nothing is set instone in terms of, Heres our starting five. Heres our back end of therotation and this guys here. We will absolutely listen on any ideas andtrades will be one of the avenues we pursue to potentially fill some of ourholes.
It'll be tough for Chris Sale to be humble when he makes his return to Chicago and faces his old teammates on Tuesday, but he'll do his best.
The former White Sox ace will face off against his old team as a member of the Red Sox (coverage begins at 6:30 on CSN with White Sox Pregame Live) and Dan Hayes and Siera Santos discussed what the atmosphere will be like on this week's Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers. Sale has dominated in his first season in Boston, going 5-2 with a 2.34 ERA.
Sale met with the Chicago media on Monday morning, and Hayes said the biggest takeaway from that presser was just how much Sale appreciated his time in Chicago.
"I think the fact that he realizes how important this was, how much he grew up with the White Sox," Hayes said in the video above. "He talked about that at length. Obviously last year was a little bit of a rouigh year, there were quite a few incidents, he said there were some blips on the radar, but mostly (he) had good times here than (he) had bad times and he said it's what has made him who he is. and he realizes that he apprecaites what he was able to accomplish here. misses the fans buit he's also moved on and he's doing well with the white sox."
See what else Siera and Dan had to say in the video above.
The majority of the talk surrounding Tuesday night's pitching matchup at Guaranteed Rate Field will be focused on the guy pitching against the White Sox.
Chris Sale returned to the South Side for the first time since being traded to the Boston Red Sox this past offseason, and he'll take the mound against his former teammates Tuesday. But the White Sox, who traded away one of the best pitchers in baseball, will be sending another All-Star hurler to the mound to oppose Sale.
Jose Quintana gets the ball for the White Sox, and while the attention will be squarely on Sale — and the emotions he does or does not show and the reaction he receives from the fans — Quintana will have his own emotional roller coaster going on, pitching against a guy who served as a mentor of sorts for the first five seasons of his career.
"Throwing on the same day will be a different feeling for me because he was the best teammate I ever played with," Quintana said. "It will be a different feeling watching him go against me after the last four years when he was my teammate. We talked last night. He said, ‘Hey, I’m in town. I can’t wait to see you guys.’ So I’m excited to play against him."
Sale had a few years on Quintana in major league service, but the duo looked like they would be a near-untouchable 1-2 combo at the front of the White Sox pitching rotation for years to come.
They both represented the White Sox at the All-Star Game last season and both finished in the top 10 in voting for the American League Cy Young Award.
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Sale was shipped to the Red Sox to start the White Sox rebuilding effort, breaking up that duo leading the staff. But as is often the case, it's not the performances and the statistics that Quintana misses the most about Sale but rather the qualities he brought as a teammate.
"I learned from his focus on the game and his passion for baseball," Quintana said. "We talked a lot over the years. But the first thing I learned from him was focus.
"I miss him. He was one of my best teammates ever that I played with. I understand it was part of the game. It’s a business and that happens. ... I miss his energy. We have a lot of guys here with energy too, but I miss the energy he had every time we talked in the dugout, watching the game."
Sale is having one of the best campaigns of any pitcher in baseball through the season's first two months. And while Quintana's start has been shaky at times, he's still the White Sox ace. It's that standing, though, that has had his name the subject of plenty of trade rumors during the offseason, spring training and since Opening Day. There is an expectation, warranted or not, that he will soon join Sale in departing the White Sox for a big prospect haul.
Until then, though, Quintana is taking over for Sale as the team's No. 1. The two old mates will go head to head Tuesday night in a monumental matchup, and Quintana is already projecting that focus he learned from Sale.
"I have just one game, and I have my focus on throwing the ball well for my team, to get a 'W.' That’s my focus every time, to do my job," Quintana said. "It will be a different feeling because I’m pitching against him, but I don’t want to pay attention to the other team. I just want to do my job."