Kenny Williams made the first big move of the 2011 season on Wednesday afternoon with a 4 player deal involving the Toronto Blue Jays. The trade sent Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen to Toronto in exchange for relief pitcher Jason Frasor and minor league pitcher Zach Stewart.
Many people were wondering if a move was coming soon when, last night, Alejandro De Aza was pulled in the middle of a AAA game and he was not injured. The immediate speculation was that he was going to be called up to the big league club, but there was no corresponding move made.
What does it mean?
Sending Jackson to Toronto takes about $9.5 million dollars off of the pay roll for next year and the rest of this season. The Jays also took Teahen and agreed to pay the rest of his $7.1 million dollar contract. This was a move that, White Sox owner, Jerry Reinsdorf wanted done. With the White Sox being “All In” this year, they committed $127 million to the payroll this season. Unfortunately, the attendance has been down, largely because the team has underachieved all year.
Who did the Sox get?
The White Sox get back middle reliever Jason Frasor. In the 2011 season he has posted a 2.98 ERA in 42.1 innings pitched. He is a solid right hander that will give Jessie Crain some much needed days off as he has been used a lot this season. Frasor is a local guy born in Chicago and went to school at Southern Illinois.
The Sox also received relief pitcher Zach Stewart. Stewart was drafted by the Reds in the third round in 2008. In 2009 he was traded to the Blue Jays. He has bounced around AA and AAA most of his career. His first MLB start came earlier this season against Baltimore where he pitched 7 innings only giving up 2 earned runs. He went on to make 3 starts total in 2011 before going back down to AAA. His stats for the 2011 season was 0-1 with an ERA of 4.86. He is a 24 year old who will most likely spend some more time in the minors before he gets some time on the big league club.
What happens next?
The way Kenny reacted to this trade, my personal opinion is that he is not done. He mentioned that now that the Sox have some more money to work with they can try and get creative and possibly make another move. As for the call up of De Aza, he was inserted into the lineup of Wednesday’s game. Williams said that Rios would be benched, and it would be longer than just one game. He has told Ozzie that the size of the contract does not matter. If the player is not producing, then he does not want them on the field. De Aza spent no time before Chicago fell in love with him. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but he did hit the game winning home run against the Tigers on Wednesday. In fact, it was the only runs the Sox scored Wednesday afternoon winning the game 2-1 behind some great pitching, both by John Danks and the bullpen. De Aza was hitting .323 in 97 games in AAA Charlotte with 29 doubles, 5 triples and 22 stolen bases.
The White Sox are just 3.5 games back of first place, and the Boston Red Sox come into Chicago for another big series starting Friday.