If this report is true, then this deal is classic Kenny Williams. By acquiring Homer Bailey, Williams would be acquiring yet another potential stud player, who is coming off a tough season. Williams did the exact same thing in 2007 by acquiring SP Gavin Floyd and 2008 by picking up MVP candidate OF Carlos Quentin. Each guy was at one point a highly touted prospect, but because of struggles (Floyd) and injuries (Quentin), neither was able to reach their vast potential. However, these deals have paid large dividends for the White Sox who now have quality, young players at cheap prices. Consider this another "buy low" attempt by Williams.
I assume that Kenny Williams sees the same kind of potential in Homer Bailey. Entering the 2007 season, Bailey was regarded as the Reds best pitching prospect and one of the best prospects in baseball. However, two sub par seasons and questions about his passion for the game have lowered Bailey's standings amongst baseball people.
This could be a fantastic move for the White Sox in the long term, but could hurt their chances to succeed in 2009. However, at the same time, I don' think that the White Sox were going to have a legitimate chance to compete for a title in 2009. By identifying this now, Williams has a real opportunity to build a team that can be a winner for a long time to come. Not too mention that this move clears out even more salary for the White Sox to spend in the future.
There is no doubt that this move is a risk. No one knows what Bailey is capable of accomplishing in the majors, which should be a scary notion for White Sox fans. However, if Bailey pans out, this move will be a major boon for the White Sox.
As for the Reds, this move has me quite perplexed. Gm Walt Jocketty must think that the Reds can compete with the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals next season or else there would be no point in acquiring Jermaine Dye for one season. Dye is only signed through 2009 for $11 million, which is a good price, but the Reds really should be focusing on pitching right now. Even with Dye, I don't think that the Reds have enough pitching depth to compete for a playoff spot next season. That's a major problem.
I understand that Jocketty wants a right handed power hitter in between lefties Jay Bruce and Joey Votto, but in Great American Ballpark, offense will not be too difficult to come by. Pitching has been noticeably absent in the organization for along time and they need to smartly invest in young arms, not give them away.
Update: So Hal McCoy was wrong. Should have seen that coming. This deal is not official and does not look close to being completed.
(Side note: Maybe it's because of blogs, but more and more rumors are begin mistaken for facts as reporters rush to get the latest scoop. Just last week we saw three different versions of the Javier Vazquez trade from three different websites, all of which claimed to be true. Hopefully this is just a trend, but I won't hold my breath.)
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