Several years ago, Billy Beane described Erubiel Durazo as his "Holy Grail". Beane had been in pursuit of the young slugger, coveting his plate discipline and projecting him as a middle-of-the-order type for the A’s lineup.
At this point, White Sox general manager Kenny Williams’ pursuit of Aaron Rowand is beginning to reach similar status. From Phil Rodgers in the Chicago Tribune:
If the Phillies are willing to try to get Mike MacDougal straightened out, the reliever could be a centerpiece in a White Sox deal for Aaron Rowand. The Phillies desperately need bullpen help and are letting teams know Rowand could be available in the right deal. The speedy Michael Bourn seems ready to move into a regular role in Philadelphia’s outfield.
The outfield is one of the few places the Phillies actually have some depth/interchangeable parts, and with Aaron Rowand’s average hovering around .325 for most of the season so far, the Phillies may be thinking it’s time to "sell high" on the centerfielder.
However, it isn’t Michael Bourn who would take over in center, more likely Shane Victorino would shift to centerfield while Greg Dobbs and Jayson Werth would probably platoon in rightfield. Bourn shows promise but right now, he is still too raw for anything more than Pat Burrell’s caddy for late-inning defensive/pinch-running and the occasional start. Really, he would be better off playing in AAA everyday and honing his skills on a regular basis.
Having said that, it will probably take a little more than Mike MacDougal to get things done in a deal like this. A slumping middle-reliever for a streaking everyday player isn’t very even.
Tom Goyne is the author of Balls, Sticks, & Stuff, a Phillies-centric site, and maintains the Phloggers’ Pheeds page, a source for the latest commentary from around the "phlogosphere". Recently, he teamed up with his brother to launch Roto Front Office.