Trade Deadline speculation heating up

Trade Deadline speculation heating up

CHICAGO -- The White Sox might make a trade with the Atlanta Braves in the three weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Then again, the organization that famously went "all in" during the past offseason and raised its payroll to a franchise-record $127 million might stand pat with what it has. But nothing should be considered as imminent simply because Dave Yoakum and Bill Scherrer, special assistants to general manager Ken Williams and highly respected talent evaluators, have been watching the Braves over the past two or three series.

Atlanta stands as one of 29 Major League destinations covered by Yoakum and Scherrer, who are not special-assignment guys. So their respective location could be the basis of a trade or could just be part of their regular travels.

Making a deal with the Braves would make some sense for the White Sox. Dayan Viciedo is ready and waiting at Triple-A Charlotte, hitting his 16th home run on Thursday night and raising his RBI total to 62. The White Sox could potentially move a piece such as right fielder Carlos Quentin, who becomes a free agent after the 2012 season and would give the pitching-rich Braves a boost on offense, and the White Sox could get young, Major League-ready pitching in return.

But it was Williams who told in early June that Viciedo and Quentin don't have to be an either/or proposition and ultimately could play in the same outfield. So, there's a strong possibility the White Sox remain as they are when July 31 passes.

"I never get in involved with deals," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't have any money or the power. I just manage what I got. If any deal is being made, Kenny will tell us what he has in mind. We have a pretty good ballclub. We just aren't playing good."