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WSI News - Sox Fans Sound Off!

Your Chance to Sound Off about the Sox!  Learn more here!

Trade Clayton Now!!!

by Sox Fan Mark Guziec

            The decision to keep Royce Clayton as the everyday starting shortstop is absolutely horrible.  Clayton hurts the White Sox short term and long-term future.  Clayton does not improve the White Sox chances in 2002.  The decision to keep Clayton will cause a chain reaction of moves that weaken the White Sox lineup starting in 2003.

            The decision to keep Clayton adversely affects Joe Crede.  Clayton is not as good Crede.  Last year, Clayton had an OBP of .315 and an SLG of .393.  A prospect of Crede’s credentials should at the very least, match this level of offensive production.  Crede is considered a future gold glove winner at third base.  Playing Valentin over Crede at third base will offset any defense you gain with Clayton at shortstop.

            This is Royce Clayton’s free agent year.  If the White Sox are not going to resign him, they should play Crede.  This is a very important year in Crede’s development.  Crede needs to establish himself this year!  It makes no sense to move Jose Valentin to third base if you plan to play him at shortstop next year.

            I believe that the White Sox will attempt to sign Clayton long term.  This would be a disaster.  Keeping Clayton makes Valentin your permanent third baseman. Joe Crede is completely written out of the White Sox long term plans.  I find it hard to believe that Crede can go from top prospect one year to an afterthought in the next.

            Signing Clayton guarantees Ray Durham leaves as a free agent.  The cost conscience White Sox cannot afford both Durham and Clayton.  If they can only afford one, it should be Durham.  With Roberto Alomar out of the league, Durham may be the best hitting second baseman in the league.

            With Clayton at shortstop, Willie Harris and Joe Borchard play positions that are not their best.  How good is Harris at second base if the Orioles felt compelled to try him in centerfield.  Harris is better suited for the outfield. With hard work, Harris could be the next Lance Johnson.  Scouts believe Borchard is an average CF.   Borchard better suited for leftfield.  By 2003, both Harris and Borchard will be ready to play in the Major League.  The White Sox should keep Valentin and Durham up the middle.  Trade Carlos Lee for pitching.  Then play Harris and Borchard in the outfield. 

            The bottom line cost of Clayton is the following: giving up the luxury of a power hitting shortstop; letting your all-star second baseman walk; writing off your top prospect; and going with a defensively challenged outfield to compensate for the power you just gave up in the infield.  Anybody that thinks this is worth saving 20 errors a year at short should have their head examined!


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