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White Sox Won't Trade For Prospects

White Sox GM Kenny Williams spoke to reporters yesterday, indicating that his phone lines are buzzing but he won't be trading his future free agents for prospects.  Talent for talent is the name of the game, though the Jermaine Dye/Bobby Abreu talks have apparently died.

The Sox are given a meager 1.7% chance to make the playoffs, according to Baseball Prospectus and PECOTA.  And I rounded up.  They're in fourth place, seven games back in the AL Central.  They're in fifth for the wild card, 4.5 games out.  If we try this exercise without PECOTA projections, the chances still seem bleak at 4.1%.  Using a third method, Elo, the Sox have an 11.2% chance.  I'd lean toward the latter; while the competition is fierce, 4.5 games doesn't seem insurmountable.

Williams is an optimist, which fans have to appreciate.  He even mentioned that he's up for the "rent-a-player scenario."  That could mean acquiring even more impending free agents, like perhaps Adam Dunn.

Like all other teams, Williams has almost two months to decide if his team is truly a contender.  The worst outcome would be treading water for that time period.

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hmmm

I think Pecota broke. It has the cubs as a 36% chance to make the playoffs.

36% chance. That seems about right. The NL Central is horrendous and the Cubs record should start progressing to the mean.

>I think Pecota broke. It has the cubs as a 36% chance to make the playoffs.

The Cubs are an easy punchline these days, but there's plenty of empirical evidence to suggest that if they can continue to lead their division in run differential, their chances of making the postseason are pretty decent.

I haven't been following the central much this year so, can anyone tell me why the White Sox are struggling and how they can improve themselves in free agency next year?

I still think the Whitesox are a sleeping giant. They certainly have the talent to win.

I also like the fact that Williams isn't a seller yet. You wait soooo long as a fan for the season to start, the last thing you want to do is throw the season away with 100 games left and your 7 games out of the division and 4.5 out of the wildcard.

coolpapabell -

I'd look for the White Sox to go into an all out rebuilding mode this offseason. They will be losing Crede, Dye and Buehrle of which two will be replaced from within with Fields and Sweeney. They still need a centerfielder so I guess its possible they aquire either via free agency or trade. Via the latter, Aaron Rowand seems the most likely.

The Sox will never go in a full rebuilding mode. Frankly financially they cant ever afford to do it.

Everybody said they would go into rebuilding mode after they lost Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Lee. I think Kenny Williams will try to catch lightning in a bottle like he did in 2005.

>36% chance. That seems about right. The NL Central is horrendous and the Cubs record should start progressing to the mean.

Yeah, the Cubs are progressing to their mean. Like 80-90 losses.

The NL Central stinks so bad, even the Astros with thier 1.5 starters have a slim chance.

greenbaydude, crede isn't a free agent until after the 2008 season. if they lose him, if will be via trade.

dude true the central sucks...but the stros problem is still hitting and not starting pitching. although the offense does have a lot more talent that the starters do

What "empirical evidence" is there that run differential is a measure of team strength? To call that 8th grade analysis "Pythagorean" is an insult. BP types are okay when evaluating the quality of players offensively, but terrible on pitchers (strikeouts the best measure - what a howler that is); terrible in evaluating teams (72 win predicted teams dominate the league); and terrible in defense (they only recently admitted that it mattered).
A lot of work to be done in the PECOTA/BP world.
That said, the Cubs do have a chance because that division is so horrible. But it isn't because of their run differential. Taking on needless runs when a game is out of hand proves zero.

Circa 2005, 2006 Indians

i personally wouldnt mind seeing them trade dye and crede for prospects, and resign buehrle at the end of the yr. obviously they have to be high ceiling prospects that are somewhat close to being MLB ready. work with the giants, dodgers, or angels would make sense. we need to replace dye and crede with ppl that have SOME pop, but speed as well. since the middle of that order is so logjammed on the base paths. fields stepping in for crede will help dramatically (great power and speed). maybe even a run at andruw jones in the FA list in the offseason since he fits that profile as well (great D, power, and decent speed.)

I can't think of a better fit than Dye to the Angels. Dye should be DHing now, and the Angels will cut Hillenbrand. Likewise, the Angels have a large number of prospects to bargain with here.

Dear P.E.Overbrook,

You wrote: 'What "empirical evidence" is there that run differential is a measure of team strength?'
Answer:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=342
or, if that's too "8th grade" for you, try the following theoretical justification:
http://www.math.brown.edu/~sjmiller/math/papers/PythagWonLoss_Paper.pdf

You also wrote: 'BP types are[...]terrible on pitchers (strikeouts the best measure - what a howler that is);[...]'
This sentence is quite inaccurate. It sounds like a gross misunderstanding of DIPS. Try reading this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIPS
In any case, please obtain some information about how 'BP types' evaluate pitching before criticizing it.

'...terrible in evaluating teams (72 win predicted teams dominate the league);'
If you read all of this article you'll find out that PECOTA has done pretty well at evaluating teams:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5609

'...and terrible in defense (they only recently admitted that it mattered).'
Your parenthetical comment is completely false. I defy you to find a reputable 'BP type' who claimed that defense doesn't matter.

Before criticizing the 'BP/PECOTA world', you might want to get a clue about what it is.

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