White Sox Asking For Top Prospects For Rios; Have Interest in Dickerson

The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago White Sox have been linked in the Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez trade discussions all throughout the trade season. Today Travis Sawchik and Rob Biertempfel reported that the White Sox asked for Jameson Taillon or Gregory Polanco for Rios.

Fortunately there was a quick “no” from the Pirates. So it doesn’t look like the Pirates are going to over-pay for Rios. Sawchik does say that the White Sox have an interest in Alex Dickerson.

The White Sox have interest in Alex Dickerson.

The White Sox have interest in Alex Dickerson.

Dickerson is having a big year in Altoona. Since the start of June he has a .360/.398/.640 line and 11 homers in 186 at-bats. On the season he has a .298/.342/.522 line and 14 homers in 339 at-bats, which includes a poor April and a decent May. If you chalk the first two months up to adjusting to a new level and making one of the hardest jumps in the minors (high-A to Double-A), then Dickerson is looking good right now.

The Pirates have a long-term need for a first baseman, and while Dickerson has been playing in the outfield this year, he could be the top option to fill that need if he continues this production. At the same time, he’s not untouchable, and he would be easier to deal than Taillon or Polanco. If the price for Rios came down to Dickerson, that would be fair value. It might hurt if Dickerson is actually breaking out and does become a future first baseman with power. At the same time, there’s a chance the Pirates could be selling high on him. Last year Dickerson had a huge June/July, where he hit for a .317/.374/.541 line with eight homers in 205 at-bats. He faded some in August, with a .300/.327/.440 line and three homers in 100 at-bats. That doesn’t mean he could fade again, but it does add the perspective that we’re only looking at two strong months out of an entire season.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ToddSm66 Todd Smith

    Bwahahahaha

  • coloneldickweed

    They want one of the top 8/9 Pirates prospects and Dickerson is probably right on the fringe of that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ToddSm66 Todd Smith

    I wouldn’t mind adding Rios – he’s an upgrade over Snider at this point – but I wouldn’t give up more than a Oliver or Pimentel. And I’d expect the White Sox to still pick up a significant portion of his salary. After what the Cubs got for Soriano, I don’t know how Chicago can ask for much more than that.

    • BostonsCommon

      Soriano was a 10 and 5 player, mean he had to sign off on any deal the Cubs wanted to make, or he could veto it. I’m sure that played the biggest role in the lack of return that the Cubs received. The basically got about $7M in salary relief through the end of next season.
      .
      Rios is not in the same situation.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ToddSm66 Todd Smith

        He can’t veto a trade, but his production is very similar to Soriano this season, and his contract is almost as bad.

  • meatygettingsaucy

    White Sox may be one of the worst run teams in baseball. Did anyone else read what allegedly they wanted for Peavy from the Athletics? Russel, Gray, and cover his entire contract. Rick Hahn is crazy if he’s going to get the returns he’s asking for.

  • deacs

    Are they possibly asking for Dickerson straight up? Plus or minus some salary? I guess I would do this but our 1B depth in the minors is lacking unless a Bell or Lambo can move over there. Not writing off Allie but still…….

  • Born4rf

    I hate to be a Chuck Lamarr here but I cringe at the thought of trading Dickerson for Rios. I see a player with huge upside for a player with demonstrated mediocrity. Rios is a solid defender who can bring some offense but he is not a difference maker, he has been on the decline since the spring and his own coach thinks he’s a malingerer. I’ll take on his whole contract but I won’t give up a top 20 prospect. StoleMy Pimento if they eat some 2014 bucks.

    • Born4rf

      Think Bagwell for Larry Anderson…… UGH!!

  • HamburgBucco

    I’m not keen on Rios either, and anyone of Rios’ status or better will cost top prospects and in that respect I’m a bit peculiar: I don’t want to lose our top prospects, not a single one, I want to see them in a Pirate uniform and see if they can make it and how far up.

    Knowing full well that not every top prospect will live up to their potential.
    Taillon, Polanco, Bell, Heredia, Lambo, they might turn out to be average major leaguers or might not even make it, but I want to see them give it a try for the Buccos, so Rios can stay where he is.

    For the rest of the season I could live with a platoon of Tabata, Presley, Jones, Snider and probably even Lambo in RF. Not spectacular, I know, but good enough in my opinion to keep this season going.

    • BostonsCommon

      The platoon in RF has produced a combine OPS of .649. That’s over 100 points below the MLB average of .756. It’s not working. Why does everyone want to ignore that. Running out more of the same is not the solution here.
      .
      Rios is an above average major league baseball player. No one is claiming he will be the savior, or suddenly turn into Clemete. But he’s better than Snider, better than Tabata, better than Presley, better than Lambo, or anyone else the Pirates have tried to run out to RF.
      .
      If you don’t want to give up Dickerson, fine, pick someone else. Just get the deal done. Seriously, because the RF platoon is pathetic at this point.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nate.rose2 Nate Rose

        Seriously. So many people just want to say “Well, I don’t want to trade anybody.” Look, to get a quality player back, you have to give up a quality prospect. Not everyone in the system is going to be a stud or even a solid Major Leaguer. In fact, the vast majority of them won’t. Would I trade Polanco or Taillon for Rios? Hell no. Would I trade Dickerson for Rios? Probably.

        Right field needs to upgrade. Tabata and Snider have combined for a -0.7 WAR this season. The platoon has been *worse than replacement level.* That’s not sustainable production from a power position. Rios has 1.7 WAR this season, which means that he alone is more than twice as valuable as Tabata and Snider combined. Rios would fill a massive hole in this team.

        • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

          Agreed. Dickerson is an OK prospect, but he’s already 23 and he’s probably two years away, and it’s far from a given that he’ll hit enough to paly everday at first. If it’s Dickerson and another OK-but-not -top-shelf prospect to get Rios, I make that deal everday and twice on Sunday.

  • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

    Rios for Dickerson is something that finally makes sense compared to the other rumors around. Alex is a nice B/C prospect who doesn’t walk enough or field well enough to jump into top prospect status.

    • buster09

      Neither does Lambo jalcorn. Plus he strikes out at a rate of one out of three.

      • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

        Lambo’s K rate is being overstated around this site the last week or so its 25.3% this year, about what Pedro did in the minors. Its a career high as it seems he is trading contact for power. Dickerson is still a better prospect, but both have plenty of flaws to be OK to part with for a key upgrade.

  • buster09

    deacs : after watching Lambo for 3 seasons + or -,and Dickerson for about 5 months,I would NEVER trade Dickerson for Rios. I would offer them Lambo or Pimental,and that would be it. Rios in my opinion isn’t worth any more than that.

    • smurph

      I agree buster. I would rather keep Dickerson than Lambo. Oliver or Stolmy or Lambo, would be fine. If the Pirates add a second mid level prospect, Sox would have to eat some salary.

      • Alley2Maz

        I don’t like Rios for Dickerson, either.

        Bucs would owe 4.2 for the remainder of this year, nearly 13M next year and the same in 2015 (or a 1.5M buyout).

        Red Sox can have their choice of arms on Indianapolis (now that Cole and Black are up), their choice of DeJesus or Harrison, their choice of Presley or Snider, and they throw in 9M cash to pay for half of Rios salary/buyout.

        Or, they can pay Rios and the Bucs will move on.

        Our RF stats are bad because the organization insisted on playing Snider and because Tabata was hurt. We’re a half game behind the best record in baseball and we don’t need to make deals with anyone.

        • BostonsCommon

          The RF stats are bad because the players in RF are bad. None of Tabata and Snider just flat out are not good baseball players. Their career numbers are practically the same.
          .
          The best thing that you can say about either is that they are below average baseball players who have never sustained success in the majors.

        • http://www.facebook.com/nate.rose2 Nate Rose

          “Our RF stats are bad because the organization insisted on playing Snider and because Tabata was hurt.”

          No, it’s because they’re both bad and there aren’t any immediately apparent better options.

          Tabata and Snider have combined for a -0.7 WAR this year. That means that they’re not merely bad, they’re almost a full win worse than what you’d expect a scrub from the minor leagues to produce.

  • rsborelli

    To me, Rios is absolutely an upgrade over current options in RF. I would never trade Polanco or Taillon for him – or likely would not trade any of the top prospects in the system for him. I would be willing to part with Dickerson to get the upgrade with Rios. He hit over .300 and was 20-20 last year. Average not as high this year, but still respectable. And he is still on pace for close to 20-20. Maybe even 20-30, considering he already has the 20 on SBs.

    • BostonsCommon

      “To me, Rios is absolutely an upgrade over current options in RF.”
      .
      +1. This is the whole point of what we’re talking right?

  • buster09

    rsborelli : what do you consider a ” Top Prospect ” ? Top5,Top 10 or Top 15 ? Dickerson is probably right on the fringe of the Top 10 at this point.

    • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

      He wouldn’t be very close to top 10 for me. Tim and Co. didn’t even have him top 20 on the mid season list a few weeks ago.

      His walk rate has declined badly each year and it is now at a level far too low for a bat-only prospect. At the same time his K rate has been climbing. He’s an interesting guy, but he wouldn’t sniff the the top 15. Lambo is 1 year older at the higher level and is strikingly similar overall.

    • rsborelli

      Dickerson is not currently in the Top 20. I would not move anyone in the current Top 8, for sure. Beyond that, I would be OK to maybe having some mixed feelings, depending on the player. I am gauging the Top 8 based on the listing in the Daily Prospect Watch updates.

      • rsborelli

        And maybe not even all that upset over someone like Josh Bell. he would be the only one in the Top 8 I might not want to at least slightly feel like losing my lunch over.

        • rsborelli

          And we do have to remember, Pirates would be getting a 20-20 guy last two seasons. And hopefully are getting some help with the $$ if they get him. I would absolutely pencil him in at #5 in the lineup and feel very good about that!

  • brilemon

    What did AD rank in pirates system? 20ish?
    This is fair- do it. Rios is ABOVE average. Right now right field is vomit worthy. Less than .650 OPS on the year is horrendous.
    Let’s not get too attached to our farm products that we won’t sell them high for a profit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nate.rose2 Nate Rose

    I’m curious: Is there a prospect anybody here WOULD trade?

    We’re talking about someone who’s not a top 10 prospect, didn’t make the midseason top 20 on this site, and is a bat-only prospect in AA at age 23. We’re looking at a Brad Eldred type “interesting player who might turn into something but probably not” and refusing to trade him for ALEX RIOS, who is coming off a 4-win season and has a 1.7 WAR so far this year when we’ve been putting up *below replacement level numbers* in right field.

    Let me break that down for you.

    Replacement level is what you would expect some incompetent minor league bum that you go to in a dire emergency to produce in the Majors.

    Tabata and Snider are worse than that. Almost a full win worse than that.

    Anyone who says right field doesn’t need to be upgraded is deluding themselves.

    • CalipariFan506

      Anybody who thinks the Pirates are a world series contender with Alex Rios in RF as opposed to the current options is doing the same.

      • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

        You have seen Tabata and Snider’s numbers haven’t you? That’s not even Quad-A production. Rios is not an elite player, but he’s a major upgrade over what the Bucs are trotting out there now.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nate.rose2 Nate Rose

        Really? Because they’re currently sitting on one of the best records in baseball with combined right field production of -1 WAR. That’s worse than what you’d expect a AAA hitter to produce. An upgrade from worse than replacement to Alex Rios (currently at 1.7 WAR) would represent the single biggest upgrade the Pirates could make from acquiring a player that we know for a fact is on the market.

  • moose7195

    I wish the tweet told more if Dickerson is just a piece or the headliner of this potential deal. If Dickerson is the headliner, then I could live with the deal. Otherwise, its an overpay