Crain's inactivity not ideal for Sox

Opportunities seem to be slipping away for the Chicago White Sox to acquire their ideal return from the trade that sent Jesse Crain to the Tampa Bay Rays just before the non-waiver trade deadline.

Crain, who was sent to the Rays in late July for a player to be named later or cash considerations, still hasn’t pitched for his new team as he works through shoulder tendonitis.

After the Rays acquired Crain, they put him on the 60-day disabled list which will keep him out of action until Aug. 29 at the earliest. He still is expected to take longer to return, though.

The more Crain is able to contribute to the Rays, the better the return for the White Sox from a pool of prospects the Rays will make available. When the July 29 trade was made, there were no specifics on what Crain needed to do in order to get the White Sox the best return package, only that the general managers of both teams would wait until the end of the season to determine the remainder of the deal.

But certainly the White Sox aren’t helped by Crain still trying to work his way through shoulder discomfort.

There doesn’t seem to be much incentive for the Rays to keep Crain out of action in order to reduce their compensation to the White Sox. Tampa Bay is pushing toward a playoff berth and could use all the help it can get. The Rays started the day Tuesday one game out of first place in the American League East and led the wild card standings by a half game.

One sign that Crain’s health is improving is that he joined the Rays for their current road series at Baltimore. From there the team will better be able to monitor his progress.