CHICAGO -- While the non-waiver trade deadline heats up to scorching levels around baseball, all is quiet with the Chicago White Sox, whose most recent swelter has come in the form of a baseball-best seven-game winning streak.
A major-league source described the White Sox’s front office as "confused," with just over 24 hours remaining before the deadline.
That confusion tag came not because the club’s front office doesn’t know what it is doing, but because the White Sox continue to weigh the options of replenishing the farm system by trading a guy like right-hander Jeff Samardzija, or making a run at the postseason, which seemed an unlikely scenario as recently as a week ago.
Nothing like seven consecutive victories and a potential 8-0 road trip to boost your prospects. And the White Sox have staff ace Chris Sale on the mound Thursday night at Boston in an attempt to win eight consecutive road games for the first time since 2012.
Samardzija always seemed a prime candidate to trade, only recently rebounding from a slow start. But it is not as if teams have lost interest in the right-hander who was acquired via trade from the Oakland Athletics this past winter.
A baseball source said that as of Thursday afternoon, the White Sox "are not fully engaging" with clubs interested in seeing what it would take to pry Samardzija away from the team.
That would seem to fly in the face of the White Sox’s long-standing tradition of always seeing what clubs are willing to offer for their own talent, no matter how untradeable a player seemed. But it could also be a sign that the White Sox remain at a point where they were at the end of the all-star break, when general manager Rick Hahn said the club had not committed to being buyers or sellers.
"This is the only championship they’re giving out this year, is the 2015 championship," Hahn said at the time.
Recent speculation has the White Sox now adding pieces instead of subtracting them, but addition still takes some sort of subtraction when it comes to a baseball trade.
Over the past few years, the White Sox have not wavered in the concept that additions will be considered if they have future impact, like a player on the rise that can grow his talent with the club. They are less interested in a rental player heading into free agency.
Less than two weeks ago, Hahn talked about doing what is in the best interest of the organization and not "invest in something that might not make the most sense for the long-term health of the franchise."
Thursday night’s game is the last the White Sox will play before Friday’s deadline. They started Thursday 2 1/2 games out of an American League wild-card spot, and a victory would give them an even 50-50 record. Is that level enough ground to make them at least moderate buyers instead of sellers?