An odd alternative to Torii Hunter for the White Sox

I am a big White Sox fan. If I picked my favorite team in any sport, it would be them. So don’t be surprised to see a fair number of White Sox related posts on here.

Mark Gonzalez via Buster Olney via MLB Trade Rumors has alerted me that the possible trade of Joe Crede for Johnny Damon not only has some validity but is actually gaining steam.  Damon is owed $26 million over the next two years but the assumption is that the Yankees will help out with that. I would assume Hunter will cost more, plus getting rid of Crede rids us of his contract and opens the door to Josh Fields.

But let’s look at this way. In the Hunter scenario we end up with (presumably) Crede @ 3B, Fields in LF, and Hunter in CF. In the Damon scenario we end up with Fields @ 3B, Damon in CF/LF and (one of the following): Jerry Owens, Andy Gonzalez, Brian Anderson, Ryan Sweeney, etc.

Offensively there isn’t a real distinstion between the two. Hunter provides more power (not what the Sox need) but Damon is better at getting on base (the Sox need this).  Damon had a down year in ’07 (he was hurt) after three really good previous seasons. Hunter is coming off of back to back career years. Defensively, Damon was a lot better than I thought. After consulting The Hardball Times it looks as if Hunter who is known for his spectacular plays, but Damon is the better overall fielder. Seriously stunning. Both can steal bases, but since Ozzie likes to run us out of games that not necessarily a good thing.

Then of course, there is the age thing. Hunter is 31 and Damon is 33. But if we got him for 2 years at under $10mil/year that’s a better deal than Hunter (all the way to his age 36 year) for $15mil/year. Hunter might be slightly better over the next two years but by then we might have a cheaper solution internally and wouldn’t be stuck with three more years of Hunter at that price. By trading Crede and not signing Hunter, we might save ourselves five to seven million, which could be a big help.

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