Brian Anderson got his wish to be traded, and in the process, the White Sox apparently have added a valuable veteran piece to their bench for the playoff push over the next two months.
Anderson, 27, was traded to Boston in exchange for Mark Kotsay and cash considerations on Tuesday. Kotsay, 33, is a .281 hitter with 110 home runs and 614 RBIs over 13 Major League seasons. He batted .257 with one homer and five RBIs in 27 games for the Red Sox in 2009 before being designated for assignment on July 24.
Kotsay’s arrival now makes either Dewayne Wise or Josh Fields expendable for Chicago. Kotsay ranks third among all Major League outfielders with his 113 assists since the start of the 1998 season, trailing Bobby Abreu (117) and Vladimir Guerrero (115), but also can back-up Paul Konerko at first base.
Of even greater importance is Kotsay’s .373 career average as a pinch-hitter, an extremely weak area for the White Sox at present. Wise had been serving as a defensive replacement and a left-handed hitting reserve outfielder, while Fields had been spelling both Jim Thome at designated hitter and Konerko at first base.
It was just five days ago when Anderson told MLB.com that he would like to be traded so he could get a fresh start at playing regularly somewhere else. For the moment, that start doesn’t look as if it will come in Boston, as the White Sox top pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft will be sent to the Minors. He hit .238 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 65 games before being optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on July 20. Anderson is a career .225 hitter, with 20 homers and 75 RBIs in 334 games.
The first major deal of the period leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline took place Friday, with Matt Holliday moving to St. Louis. As far as the White Sox adding a major piece to their playoff pursuit puzzle, or any piece, for that matter, manager Ozzie Guillen doesn’t see it happening.
“To be honest with you, we haven’t even talked about that,” said Guillen prior to Saturday evening’s game in Detroit. “What we have is pretty good. We got six, seven starters right now.
“Obviously, people have talked about (Roy) Halladay, but we’ve got something going good right now, and for the future very good. To break that up now, that’s a chance you would have to take if you break that up. Right now, everything is quiet with the White Sox. Unless something crazy happens in the next couple hours, we’re going to go with what we have.”
Halladay has been loosely linked to the White Sox due to the aggressiveness of general manager Ken Williams and his utter lack of fear in making the big move to help his team. See Williams’ attempt to acquire Jake Peavy earlier this season, as an example. But with top young players such as Gordon Beckham, John Danks and/or Gavin Floyd figuring to be part of the return package, don’t look for Halladay on the South Side of Chicago.