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White Sox give up De Aza for… nothing.

August 31, 2014

Alejandro de Aza was headed into his final year of arbitration next winter. He’s making $4.25M this year after 17 HR, 20 SB, and a fairly typical .726 OPS in 2013. This April and May were brutal, and Curacao Littleleague got him off the wire in late June. He’s our Monday/Thursday guy and the first guy off our bench, unless he’s leading off, in which case we try to find a place for him in the utility slots. So we play him 2/3 of the time.

De Aza, CL Team log: 38/149 (.255), 0 HR, 9 RBI, 8 SB, .329 OBP, 10 XBH, 17 R

He hasn’t hurt us. The RBI are awful but since he either hits eighth or leadoff, and we try to get him extra leadoff at bats, that’s not why he’s there. The runs are OK, especially on a bad team. 

Now I didn’t have to call KW to know he wasn’t looking at my team log when he traded De Aza. Here’s his full 2014 for the Sox, which, sure, is disappointing:

De Aza 2014: 96/395 (.243), 5 HR, 31 RBI, 15 SB, .309 OBP, 29 XBH, 45 R

(CL has missed out on 5 HR in 246 AB, but gotten better ratios and disproportionate speed.) 

For the season, De Aza’s OPS is .663. One would think, in arbitration, a corner outfielder with an OPS of .663 and average-plus speed wouldn’t be on for much of a raise on this year’s $4.25M. 

And yet he cleared waivers and KW dumped him for two pitchers who have had cups of Sanka in the high minors. 

De Aza came across my desk this week from an MLB team, and I urged them to put in a claim. They are not in contention this year so they decided not to, but they hope to be in contention next year after a long drought, and I told them I saw nothing wrong with either a $4-5M rental next year, or a 4-for-$20M deal plus PA incentives that buys De Aza through age-34.

I think the Orioles fleeced KW with a story that they saw De Aza as the backup to David Lough (he of the Lough Lough .603 OPS). I think De Aza is more useful than Lough and will play more. We’ll see.

The White Sox were clearly going to non-tender De Aza this winter, and there appears to be little interest around the league, so maybe KW did well to get something, anything for him. I think he could have gotten something more. Like fan favourite Mark Buehrle plus cash.

The Jays rate to lose at least one of Rasmus and Melky. De Aza covers some of that off, and even if the Jays have to eat some Buehrle money, they would still have something left over to go shopping this winter. Talking out of my hat here but Buehrle is owed $19M in 2015. Send Buehrle and $9M to the White Sox to De Aza. So the Sox get a year of Buehrle for $10M, which seems OK and is almost certainly better than the two scrubs they got from Baltimore. The whole things cost the Jays $13-$14M ($9M to the White Sox, plus whatever happens with De Aza next year) but that’s $5M less than they are paying Buehrle. And if De Aza shows 15/15 form next year they’ll look awfully clever for letting Melky leave. (In my opinion, the Jays need to not just qualify Melky, but tie him up for three or four years.)



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