With the moments ticking down to first pitch in San Diego on Sunday, some folks in Chicago were paying very close attention.
The buzz about the White Sox picking up Jason Schmidt hit a crescendo as he approached his start. Would he be scratched? Are the Sox that close to acquiring another ace for their stud rotation? Chet Coppock of Sporting News Radio in Chicago was reporting Sunday that the Sox were close to making a deal for Schmidt. No deal came to pass before or directly after Sunday’s game, a relatively lackluster performance by the struggling ace right-hander.
But it was good buzz, and it’s worth wondering: Are Schmidt’s days in SF numbered?
Giants GM Brian Sabean has said Schmidt’s not being considered as trade bait, though in the next breath he says that everything depends on how the team is competing. Even though they remain afloat in the primordial ooze the NL West has become, the Giants are 10 games out and 12 games under .500 with Barry Bonds’ return still undetermined. Teams are clearly interested in Schmidt — both Soxes, the Orioles, the Yankees and Rangers have been mentioned. Schmidt has a $10.5 million club option for 2006, and this might be a good time for the Giants to get something for him and use that money to replace him. Let someone else bank on him returning to his 2002-2004 form.
It’d be a white flag the Giants don’t seem willing to fly — yet. If or when they do, Schmidt’s the most valuable guy they have to deal.