UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the White Sox received $1.5MM in the deal. It certainly seems that the Sox are clearing payroll for Torii Hunter. Mark Gonzales notes that while the Sox hope to sign Cabrera long-term, they’ll still benefit from this trade if they don’t. Cabrera is likely to be a Type A a year from now while Garland will probably be a B.
According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, the White Sox acquired shortstop Orlando Cabrera for starter Jon Garland today.
In a vacuum, this seems like a pretty even swap to me. Just comparing the two players involved, it’s fair. Garland is a solid if not spectacular starter, and Cabrera is the same at shortstop. Both players’ contracts run through 2008. Garland is at $12MM and Cabrera $9MM, so the Sox save a few bucks here. Plus, they will get some cash from the Angels.
But trades aren’t made in a vacuum; you have to look at their effects on the teams involved.
The White Sox will seemingly put Juan Uribe at second base, if they don’t trade him. They could potentially have one of the game’s finest defensive double play combinations. And Cabrera’s .345 OBP last year, while nothing amazing, is good for a shortstop and looks great for an OBP-starved team like the Sox. The question is whether the Sox can sustain the loss of Garland in the rotation. They’ll now go with Buehrle, Vazquez, Contreras, Danks, and maybe Gavin Floyd or Gio Gonzalez. That group could work but you could see Contreras and the kids flopping and Buehrle coming back down to Earth.
Kenny Williams has shown some ability to dig up starting pitching, so maybe he’s playing to his strength. How about the return of Bartolo Colon?
The Angels now have an embarrassment of starting pitching. They’ve got Lackey, Escobar, Weaver, Garland, Saunders, and Ervin Santana. Nick Adenhart should be around soon also. The Angels may now be compelled to flip Santana for a bat. Meanwhile they have plenty of solid options at shortstop with Brandon Wood, Erick Aybar, Chone Figgins, and Maicer Izturis.