The Cubs and A's blew the doors off baseball's trading season with Friday night's Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel blockbuster, and as the days count down until July 31 it'll be tougher and tougher for White Sox players to tune out the noise.
Entering Saturday, the White Sox sat five games under .500, nine games out of first place in the AL Central and six and a half games out of a wild card spot. If the White Sox indeed begin trading away players in the coming weeks, it'll mark the second straight year of midseason departures for a club not in playoff contention.
"There's not a lot you can do about it," manager Robin Ventura said. "That's part of playing professional sports."
The challenge for White Sox players whose names will pop up in trade rumors over the coming weeks is not worrying about the uncertainty that comes with this time of year.
Ventura hopes his players will keep their focus on preparing for and playing in games instead of on where they could be playing in a month, but acknowledged that's easier said than done.
"I don't know if you become accustomed to that stuff as a player because it's always there," Ventura said. "I think you can see guys that are older, even though they understand the business and your name being thrown out there at any time, that if can bug you, it can wear on you. Sometimes it doesn't bother a guy, sometimes it does. But it comes up every year, so as long as you play you're going to get used to it since it happens every year."
All the players who've been speculated about recently were members of 2013's 99-loss squad, which saw the departures of Matt Thornton, Jake Peavy, Jesse Crain and Alex Rios via trades during the summer.
These trade rumors represent an instance in which having veterans around the clubhouse can be helpful. Adam Dunn — a trade candidate himself this year — is a 14-year veteran who was dealt from Cincinnati to Arizona in August of 2008, while Paul Konerko's seen the White Sox as both buyers and sellers over his 16 years with the club.
"They're the ones that really do most of the talking," Ventura said. "… Their words carry a lot of weight with the experiences they have".