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Monday, July 19, 2004
Evaluating the Trade (Everett/Rauch)

Trade Specifics: White Sox send John Rauch and Gary Majewski to Montreal in exchange for Carl Everett and cash.  The cash is about $1.3MIL, which covers all but $150,00 of Everett's remaining salary.
 
Everett is signed through next season.  Or rather, Everett has a player option at $4MIL next season, which he is likely to activate.  If the player option is activated, there is then a team option for 2006, or a $500,00 buyout.  The team option is not likely to be picked up, meaning for the next year and a half, the White Sox have the services of Carl Everett for the price of $4.65MIL. 
 
I'm sure some are wondering why we didn't just sign Everett last off-season.  Well Everett was arbitration eligible, which means in order to sign him, we would have had to offer him arbitration.  He made $9.15MIL last season, and even if he lost his arbitration case, he would have been awarded a salary much more that his current $3MIL/yr; think $7-8MIL/yr.  Also, it was clear that Everett didn't have a place on this season's team during the last off-season.  The Sox already had established RF,LF, & DH's, the position Everett would likely play.  He proved last season that he shouldn't be counted on defensively in centerfield. 

What the Sox gave up
Jon Rauch -- Once considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, Rauch has struggled since an arm surgery that cost him a season.  He has been up with the Sox on two different occasions; in 2002 he was relatively ineffective, save one outing vs. the Twins,  This season he had only two starts, yet showed flashes that he was learning what it takes to become a big league pitcher. He had lost his favor with the Sox, and was considered a selfish player, as evidenced by his leaving the clubhouse early after his initial call-up this season.
 
Projection for the Future: Rauch figures to have an extended big league career.  He has learned how to pitch since coming off of surgery.  He was once a strikeout pitcher, but has now become more of a finesse/control guy.  His success at the big league level will largely be determined by his ability to avoid the longball.  I don't know if he will stick in the Montreal rotation, as he had not been working deep into games earlier this season.  I don't know whether this was a White Sox decision to keep his arm healthy, or whether he just didn't have the stamina to work deep into games.  He's likely to see plenty of action this season in Montreal.
 
Gary Majewski -- This is the third time the White Sox have traded Majewski, and that is all you have to know about him.  He has put together the best of his minor league seasons this year at Charlotte.  He struggled in spring training, getting lit up versus major league hitters. 
 
Projection for the future: I don't know what Majewski will do at the major league level.  The last time I didn't have a good feel for a player who we traded it was Josh Fogg .  He promptly put up an incredible first season in Pittsburgh, but has been unimpressive since.  I have a feeling Majewski will be the same way, flashes of brilliance tempered with prolonged moments of mediocrity.
 
What the Sox get
Carl Everett, and hopefully the Carl Everett from last season, not the one from this season
 
Carl Everett is a competitor.  I'm sure that he did not feel at home traveling around 3 countries playing for a non-contender.  He thrived last season with the Sox, and seemed to be one of the only players who really fought hard for the playoffs.  He crushed the AL central, with the exception of the Tigers.  He hit's well at USCF.  Most importantly of all he hits well w/RISP, even this season, while batting a terrible .252, he has managed a .273 average w/RISP.  He is a career .297 in this situation.

The Sox also get a (somewhat)versatile replacement for their top two injured players.  Magglio is still likely to DH for a little while, as it appears that he is not fully healthy. If Frank had not gone down, I believe Maggs would just now be making his rehab starts in Charlotte.  Carl will start for the Sox in right field until Maggs is ready to lend his superior defense to that position.  At that point Carl will DH for the rest of the season.  That's right the rest of the season.  As I stated earlier, I don't believe Frank will be back anytime soon. 
 
Next season is where the acquisition of Carl becomes a curious one.  With Rowand and Lee both established in CF and LF respectively, and Frank due back to DH,  it seems that his only position would be RF, which is currently occupied by Magglio Ordonez.  This would seem to signal that Magglio is on his way out of town, but I don't think that necessarily has to be the case. 

I'm sure that the Sox will still offer Maggs a contract in the off-season.  They are not going to let him get away for nothing.  It would be a PR nightmare to let him go without putting forth an effort to sign him, especially with all the interest he is getting on the North side of town. 
 
The way I see it playing out is Magglio getting offered a contract, which at this point I feel he is 50/50 on signing.  He had made it clear he wants to test the market, and he may or may not find that market to be to his liking.  He is not going to be the best OF available this season in FA.  In the event that we do sign him, that leaves us with 4OFers and 2 1B/DH's -- One of them has to go.  The likely candidate would be Carlos Lee, who's due to make $9MIL and puts up roughly the same numbers as Everett.

The other trade candidate would again be Everett, who would likely bring AAA starter in return, someone who is just short of the Bigs, but has potential. That would make the rental of Carl Everett for this season cost us only Gary Majewski.  I think that is a good price to pay for Jurassic's services.
 
The success of this deal is again going to be whether the Sox make the playoffs or not.  I like what Kenny Williams is doing, by trying to bring in players to help the Sox win, and win NOW.  He's going to have to be careful if this approach backfires, he could be without a job if it does.