White Sox Are Overrun With Shortstops

Javier Vazquez was traded to the Atlanta Braves, and the change is welcome for all involved. The Sox shed some payroll and a whiner from the clubhouse, and Vazquez moves to a place that needs his starting pitching. Boone Logan will also be wearing a Braves uniform this coming season. The lack of return to the Sox, on the other hand, shows that the Sox really didn't want Vazquez to come back this year.

The curious thing is about what the Sox received in return: a catching prospect in Tyler Flowers, and a shortstop in Brent Lillibridge. Flowers will add depth and when he's ready, offer relief to A.J. Pierzynski, who at 32 is no spring chicken. Acquiring Flowers makes sense. But Lillibridge is another shortstop on a roster that is already chocked-full of them.

Alexei Ramirez had a standout year with the Sox last year, batting .290 and driving in 77 runs; not too shabby for a rookie season. The Sox used their first pick in the First-Year Player draft on a shortstop prospect with Gordon Beckham, who is turning heads in the Arizona Fall League with on-fire hitting. Now, why is another shortstop needed?

Lillibridge is not better than either Ramirez or Beckham. He batted just .200, and had six errors at shortstop with a .943 fielding average. The Sox really don't gain anything in the trade, so that shows just how much Kenny Williams and Co. wanted to get rid of Vazquez.

No matter what, it was the right move to get rid of Vazquez. He never quite clicked on the South Side, his time here was manic, and he was hardly well-liked by the fans. Either Williams couldn't, or didn't try hard enough, to get a better return than a third-rate shortstop.

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