White Sox Pursuing Jason Schmidt?

Of couple of ESPN columnists seem to have independently arrived at the same trade rumor in their blogs in recent days.  Buster Olney’s source is a "talent evaluator" while Jayson Stark got word from "an executive who has heard this talk." 

According to Olney and Stark, the White Sox would trade Brandon McCarthy and Brian Anderson to the Giants for Jason Schmidt.  The Sox would then acquire a center fielder in a separate trade.

Schmidt, 33, has been the NL’s second best pitcher this year behind Brandon Webb. This is his contract year and he’s making $10.5 million.  Anderson and McCarthy were ranked #1 and #3 among White Sox prospects entering the 2005 season.  McCarthy has had superb control at the big league level, with his one flaw being too many home runs allowed.  U.S. Cellular inflates home runs by about 35%, while AT&T Park deflates them by around 10%.  It’s been a rough 81 games for Anderson with the Sox, but the 24 year-old remains in high regard.

Freddy Garcia, Javier Vazquez, and Jon Garland haven’t performed as well as the Sox would’ve liked; all three own ERAs near 5 entering the All-Star break.  Chicago would stand to gain an estimated three wins by replacing one of them with Schmidt.  Olney speculated that Kenny Williams could consider using one of his surplus starters to acquire a center fielder.

Names that have come up in center include Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, or Aaron Rowand.  None of the three seem feasible for various reasons.  The Sox could also consider players like Luis Matos, Willy Taveras, Brady Clark, Juan Pierre, and Ken Griffey Jr.  Clark would be a good fit if Doug Melvin makes him available.  It certainly wouldn’t hurt to add Clark’s .380 OBP to the top of the lineup, and he plays capable defense.  He’s signed through 2007.    

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