Originally Posted by SCCWS
Boston may take the approach that they can sign him beyond this season if they are interested. That may not help the White Sox though in getting a better prospect for him.
Perhaps, but that might be contingent on Crain agreeing to a contract before the trade is completed. I'm not sure what his value is as a free agent and whether what he is looking for is better than a team trading for him might be willing to give him. He is having his best season, but he has never been his team's closer. He is over 30 and has never been a very durable pitcher, never pitching 80 innings. There were GMs who questioned the contract he got from the Sox. But a free-agent year is a great year to have a career year.
If you're going to give up talent you believe you need in your system, you generally want more innings than Crain should be expected to give you. It could be a matter of the White Sox looking at someone specific they want who may be under the radar. Another possibility would be talent considered minimal talent or low minors longshots and cash in addition to Crain's contract coming off the books. Former White Sox minor leaguer Javier Lopez is a very important set-up man in the Giants bullpen in two World Series championship runs. The Giants acquired him late in 2010 from the Pirates for two players with some potential but no place in the Giants plans. Neither has played for the Pirates since 2011.
If you have a player that a lot of teams are asking about, you generally don't agree to get rid of him for a relief pitcher (because they pitch so few innings) if you can get more out of him, even if you don't make a trade for something more. You should be able get more in the offseason. It's a smarter use of your resources.
But GMs sometimes do things that make you question if they are smart.