CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Ken Williams began 2012 the same way he ended 2011 -- trading a veteran for young pitching.
The deal announced Sunday sent right-handed reliever Jason Frasor back to the Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed Minor League hurlers Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb. This move is interesting in that it marks the second of the offseason between the two teams, with the White Sox trading closer Sergio Santos and his potential six years of contractual control to the Blue Jays for right-hander hurler Nestor Molina during the 2011 Winter Meetings at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.
Molina has a higher-end talent projection than either Jaye or Webb, with neither of these hurlers being ranked in the Blue Jays' Top 10 Prospect List by MLB.com. Jaye did just turn 20 on Dec. 28 and pitched in his first professional season during 2011, posting a 3-3 record with a 3.00 ERA for Rookie level Bluefield of the Appalachian League. The 6-foot-3, 170-pounder started nine of his 13 appearances and fanned 49 in 54 innings, while holding opponents to a .239 average.
Jaye was taken by the Blue Jays in the 17th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Webb, 22, came to the Blue Jays in the 18th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft from Northwest Florida State College. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Webb had a 4-5 record with a 5.59 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 66 innings and 18 games for Class A Lansing. Twelve of those 18 games came as a starter.
Since joining the Blue Jays, Webb has produced a 5-12 record with a 5.11 ERA in 34 games (27 starts).
Whether Jaye and Webb develop into viable Major League hurlers for the White Sox probably won't be decided until well down the line. For now, this move is more about getting the White Sox increased payroll relief, gaining the two young hurlers through the somewhat surprising move of picking up Frasor's $3.75 option for 2012 back on Halloween.
Frasor, a local product from Oak Forest High School and Southern Illinois University, was part of the July 27 deal with the Blue Jays sending Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen north of the border. Right-handed hurler Zach Stewart also came to the White Sox.
In 20 appearances with the White Sox, Frasor struggled, with a 1-2 record and 5.09 ERA in 17 2/3 innings. The 34-year-old combined to finish 3-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 64 relief appearances.
This move of Frasor means the White Sox have just over $97 million committed to 13 players for 2012. With right fielder Carlos Quentin being shipped to the Padres on Saturday, the White Sox also have no arbitration-eligible players on their roster.
Frasor's departure means Jesse Crain is the only experienced right-handed reliever on the White Sox roster. But Stewart, Addison Reed, Dylan Axelrod and Greg Infante will figure into the relief mix.
As for future moves, right-handed starter Gavin Floyd and left-handed reliever Matt Thornton could be potential targets. Then again, both players figure to be needed parts of any White Sox plan to contend in 2012.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.