The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

White Sox Should Trade Borchard

It’s time. The Joe Borchard experiment has failed. If the White Sox can trade Borchard now, he probably still has some value to other teams. Maybe he can be part of a package deal to Arizona for Randy Johnson. Maybe he can be used to help acquire a high onbase percentage guy.

The White Sox don’t need another high-power, high-strikeout bat in their lineup. Granted Borchard is arguably the most talented player in the entire organization. That’s what makes it so difficult to trade him. Well, that and that there’s a gaping hole in the Sox outfield, what with Magglio Ordonez all but surely departed from the right field spot he was previously cemented in.

There’s also the little thing about the team record, $5 million plus signing bonus that Borchard received to lure him away from the football field and baseball diamond at Stanford. Sure, it was and still is a lot of money. A huge investment in a player that they’ve seen little to no (or possibly even a negative) return on up to this point. But that money is spent – it’s a sunk cost that’s not recoverable. There’s no sense in continuing to invest in a player who isn’t going to make it happen for the White Sox this year or at any time in the near future.

This offseason, while playing for Mazatlan of the Mexican Pacific League (sit down and keep reading – it gets worse, much worse), Borchard hit an anemic .140 and had an astoundingly bad 21 strikeout to 2 walk ratio. Ultimately this led to his release from the club mid-season (surely this was the most ignominous release since Rick Vaughn's release from the California Penal League in Major League.

Borchard is surely not as bad of a baseball player as he appeared to be this year in the Mexican Pacific League. He is talented and capable of hitting 30, 40, or 50 home runs each year in the major leagues. But his confidence is shot and he needs a change of scenery.

And at this point the Sox can still likely get something – anything – for him. If they wait though, he may repeat his Mexican League performance somewhere in the minors for the Sox in 2005, and instead of being able to trade him as part of a package for a major leaguer or for another prospect, the Sox will be forced to give him his outright release.

Trade Borchard. It’s good for the Sox and good for Joe. Yes, he’s likely to go on to a solid major league career with some other team, but it sure isn’t likely to happen with the Sox. Hopefully the White Sox will cut their losses and Borchard will go on to success elsewhere.


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