This is according to a article on MLB.com. With the emergence of RHP Jeff Samardzija, a former WR for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Chicago Cubs feel that they have their bullpen help already in uniform. And while I like what Samardzija has done so far for the Cubs, let's be real here. He has pitched 4 innings in the major leagues so far. They were against a very good hitting team in the Florida Marlins and he did strike out their 1st and 2nd hitters yesterday on his way to his first career save, but he doesn't have the major league experience that you're looking for in someone to help you along the way towards October. Especially with Kerry Wood nursing a blister problem that has yet to heal fully. Their are two closers available on the pitching market right now that the Cubs could be looking at and it appears they have little interest in either, which I think is a bit misguided. It's one thing for the Cubs to say that they don't have the prospects to go out and get either of them, which I don't think the Cubs do. But to just say that they aren't expected to make a move for them is quite ludicrous. Especially since both of the pitchers are under team control for at least the next two years. The pitchers are closers Houston Street from the Oakland Athletics and George Sherrill from the Baltimore Orioles. Both are having decent, but not stellar seasons and one would think that the price for both of them might be a little down. Could either of them be had for less than what they might get during the offseason? Yes. But the Cubs are just "fine". And I haven't even brought up their anemic offense since the 2nd half started.
As for the Chicago White Sox, Kenny Williams said that the current trade climate is "awful". But where can the White Sox improve their team without giving up on a couple of players with big contracts? Their weakest spots so far this season on offense has no doubt been SS, CF and 1B. Orlando Cabrera has been a bust. But with him being a free agent at the end of the season, will any team be willing to pick him up from the Sox and part with a starting pitcher, especially with Jose Contreras starting to show his age, whatever that age may be? And, by the way, is still owed $10 million in 2009. And if you move Cabrera, do you move Alexi Ramirez to short, which he will play in a couple of years if he's still with the Sox when their #1 draft pick Gordon Beckham arrives. And if you do that, who do you plug into 2nd? Danny Richar didn't exactly wow people in his tryout at 2nd last season and he isn't exactly lighting it up in Charlotte for their AAA team right now? Make a move for Brian Roberts? That would likely mean that the Sox would have to part with Danks, something that team could ill afford. At 1B, moving Paul Konerko to the bench isn't going to be an option, not while he's still owed $24 million for 09 and 10 and trading him isn't very likely as he hit his 10-5 rights at the end of April this season and can reject any trade made. The White Sox could bench Jim Thome which would help them not be responsible for his 09 option, but again, you're paying him a prorated amount of $14 million to sit on the bench? Their bullpen has been very good up until this point in the season, but with the prices so high for some of the relievers the White Sox covet, I don't see them making a move there either. So, yeah Kenny, while the trade market is "awful", you're team doesn't have a lot of flexibility to begin with.