Trade deadline update: Tigers, White Sox improve

Posted on July 31st, 2008 – 9:33 AM
By Joe Christensen

The Tigers and White Sox appear to be making themselves better as we approach today’s 3 p.m., non-waiver trade deadline. We’ll see if the Twins do anything to counter.

(*) Yes, the Tigers traded future Hall of Fame catcher Pudge Rodriguez to the Yankees for a reliever who has struggled mightily in the past. But the Tigers had really soured on Pudge and actually aren’t losing much with Brandon Inge ready to catch every day.

Meanwhile, Kyle Farnsworth has been pitching very well. He throws hard, and the Tigers were desperate for relief help.

The Detroit Free Press reports today that Todd Jones’ shoulder injury could send him to the DL. Joel Zumaya had arm trouble the other day, so the bullpen was a glaring need for the Tigers. They addressed it.

(*) Now, from Ken Rosenthal, there’s word the White Sox have a deal in place to land Ken Griffey, Jr., pending Griffey’s approval.

Should we really be surprised? Kenny Williams is one of the most daring GMs in the business.

The White Sox were supposed to be over-budget with their hands tied with few top prospects they could afford to deal. I have yet to see who they would give up in this deal, but they’re probably taking on salary, with Griffey still on the hook for $4 million this season.

(*) Finally, it sounds like the Astros gave up very little to get LaTroy Hawkins from the Yankees. Here’s Rotoworld’s take on second base prospect Matt Cusick: A 2007 10th-round pick, he was hitting .285/.356/.462 as a 22-year-old in low-A ball. He’s unlikely to ever see the majors.

And, here’s Astros GM Ed Wade in the Houston Chronicle: “I want to say (in) the deal he had in excess of a $1 million remaining on his contract. They ended up taking a significant portion of the money back.”

By that assessment, the Astros gave up virtually nothing to get Hawkins. The one most obvious move the Twins could make, and Houston beat them to it.

(*) La Velle’s story in today’s editions mentioned several trade discussions the Twins have had, and the conclusion is this: The biggest move they might make is adding lefthander Francisco Liriano to the major league roster.

Stay tuned…

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