Jim Hickey mentioned yesterday that the Mariners have been all over White Sox pitchers lately. Assuming Jose Contreras isn’t helpful and Javier Vazquez doesn’t want to go west, that leaves Jon Garland as the most reasonable target.
The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers adds some color to that scenario, noting that one of Bill Bavasi’s henchmen used to work for the White Sox and loves Garland. Rogers believes the right match would be 23 year-old right fielder Wladimir Balentien. Wlad has a robust .310/.381/.557 line in Triple A this year.
The two GMs roles were reversed on June 27th, 2004, when the White Sox acquired Freddy Garcia, Ben Davis, and cash for Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed, and Michael Morse.
No matter what you think of Garland, there’s no arguing that he’d be a huge improvement over Horacio Ramirez. Plus, he’s more than just a rental. This appears to be a move that makes sense for both teams, though Kenny Williams may require more than just Balentien.
The Tribune’s Mark Gonzales notes that the White Sox have scouted the Yankees’ entire farm system, and they’re still in the mix for Garland as well.