The deal came 12 days after the White Sox re-signed shortstop
Juan Uribe to a $4.5 million, one-year contract. Now, he could wind
up on the bench or with another team.
"We saw an opportunity to acquire one of the best shortstops in
the game and one of the smartest shortstops in the game. Somebody
who can fit into the No. 2 spot in our lineup for 155 games,''
Chicago general manager Ken Williams said, adding the trade frees
up money that could help the White Sox pull off another deal.
"We're not done yet. We're still out there trying to land some big fish,'' he said.
The Angels, too, may have more deals ahead. Los Angeles has
talked with Florida about a trade for Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera. Los Angeles also is believed to be interested in Baltimore
shortstop Miguel Tejada.
"What this means is it gives us opportunities to strengthen our
club in other areas,'' new Angels general manager Tony Reagins
said. "It gives us flexibility to look at other things.''
The 33-year-old Cabrera batted .301 with eight homers, 86 RBIs
and a career-high 101 runs for the AL West champions this season.
He also led AL shortstops in fielding percentage (.983) and won his
second Gold Glove. The other came in 2001 with the Montreal Expos.
"For me it's a great opportunity, growing up in the Southern
California area, to come home and show the West what my
capabilities are,'' Garland said. "I'd love to bring a
championship back to Southern California and enjoy it back home.''
The 28-year-old right-hander is 92-81 with a 4.41 ERA in 246
games, including 223 starts, over eight major league seasons, all
with the White Sox. Chicago also receives cash from the Angels as
part of the trade.
Garland's salary is $12 million next year, then he can become a
free agent. Cabrera's salary is $9 million in 2008, and he also
will be eligible for free agency after the season.
Garland pitched a four-hitter to beat Lackey 5-2 in Game 3 of
the 2005 AL Championship Series, giving up a two-run homer to
This isn't the first time Cabrera has been involved in a
noteworthy deal. He was shipped from Montreal to Boston at the 2004
trade deadline as part of a four-team swap that included Nomar Garciaparra.
Cabrera helped the Red Sox win the World Series that season,
snapping their 86-year title drought, before signing with the
Angels. He is a .273 career hitter in 11 big league seasons.
"Orlando brought a presence on the field,'' Los Angeles manager
Mike Scioscia said. "We're very confident with what Erick brings
not only in the future, but now, and what Maicer brings. You have
to give to get, and Orlando was the piece they wanted.''
Garland was a key member of the deep rotation that pitched
Chicago to the 2005 World Series championship, ending an 88-year
title drought. He went 18-10 with a 3.50 ERA and three shutouts
that season, earning a trip to the All-Star game. He was 18-7 with
a 4.51 ERA in 2006.
"Pitching depth today is at as much a premium as it has been in
baseball,'' Scioscia said.
Garland has been a reliable starter for the White Sox, throwing
more than 208 innings each of the last four seasons. But Williams
said his club has ample depth in the minors.
Chicago will likely begin next season with a rotation of Mark Buehrle, Javier Vazquez, Jose Contreras, John Danks and Gavin Floyd. The White Sox tumbled to fourth place in the AL Central this
year and Williams has vowed to make changes.
"Last year did not sit well with any of us. I'll be damned if
we're going to go through that again. We will aggressively pursue a
championship,'' he said.
The White Sox also hope to bolster their bullpen, and they need
help in the outfield. Reports said they met with free-agent center
fielder Torii Hunter.
"This is just a start,'' Williams said.
Uribe ranked second among AL shortstops in home runs (20) and
fielding percentage (.976) this year, but he batted .234 with a
paltry .284 on-base percentage. The White Sox plan to go with
youngster Danny Richar at second base next season, so Uribe's role
is uncertain. He could wind up as a utility player.
Williams said he tried to leave a message for Uribe, but his
mailbox was full.
The Angels appear more in need of offense than pitching. They
ranked 12th out of 14 AL teams with 123 homers this season, but
finished fifth in ERA at 4.23. Oft-injured ace Bartolo Colon, the
2005 AL Cy Young Award winner, is a free agent.
"Tony's not done. He's going to keep pushing forward,''
Scioscia said. "I'm certain he's going to look at the offensive
end, and every club he talks to is going to be interested in
pitching. I know Tony's in a terrific position right now going into
the winter meetings with a legitimate six-man rotation.''