Things were finally looking up for the White Sox after a terrible start to 2010. Since June 9, the club is an astonishing 24-5, and their ace, Jake Peavy, seemed to have rebounded to his usual Cy Young caliber form. He'd allowed just seven runs over his last 36 innings of work (1.75 ERA) while striking out 29 prior to a start last week that ended his season with a detached latissimus dorsi muscle.
According to this tweet from SI.com's Jon Heyman, the White Sox made a big play to replace their injured ace last week, when Sox GM Kenny Williams tried to swing a deal for Cliff Lee before his trade to Texas. The White Sox, however, were unwilling to part with Gordon Beckham, in spite of his terrible sophomore slump (.564 OPS). Now, Heyman says, the White Sox continue to look around.
Williams is typically one of the more active, aggressive general managers in baseball, so it's unlikely that missing out on Lee will spell the end of his trade thoughts. It's been known for months that Roy Oswalt will accept a trade, though there have been reports that the Houston ace would veto a deal sending him to Chicago. Keep in mind that these things can change, though. Peavy himself vetoed a deal to the White Sox last year before eventually accepting a trade in July. We've heard about Dan Haren's availability as well, though Arizona would need to be "blown away" to trade him.
There's plenty of other non-ace starters who could also be moved. Bronson Arroyo has pitched well lately and the Reds have a great deal of pitching depth, while names like Jeremy Guthrie and Ben Sheets figure to be available as well.
The White Sox do have some help available in Daniel Hudson, who was recently recalled from the minors and is starting today. Hudson was ranked by Baseball America as the game's 66th best prospect, and third-best in the White Sox system. The 2008 fifth-rounder appeared in six games for the Sox last year, totaling 18.2 innings and a 3.38 ERA, though he struggled with his control at the big league level. In 2010, Hudson owns a 3.47 ERA through 17 minor league starts, with a strong 10.4 K/9 to just 3.0 BB/9.
It's a known fact that the White Sox are very interested in Adam Dunn's big bat as well, so Williams may focus his energy on that department. One thing remains certain -- with the White Sox surging to just a half-game out of first in the AL Central, Williams will be on the phone and inquiring on just about everyone under the sun as the deadline nears.