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More Swisher trade reactions

Some more reactions to the big deal yesterday...

The Oracle likes the deal, although he still doesn't think the ChiSox are a contender.

Rob Neyer praises Billy Beane for committing fully to a tear-down-and-rebuild plan, saying that Beane has turned his farm system from one of the worst to one of the best in near record time...

Keith Law talks about the deal at some length, but ends up noting the same problem from Chicago's side as I did:

The one confusing aspect to this deal is the White Sox's apparent insistence that they are, in fact, contenders for 2008, when they are still only the third-best team in a tough American League Central division. Swisher is a significant addition to any offense, and Chicago needed a hitter just like him, bringing patience and power to a lineup that was light on patience and is losing power to age. However, given the state of their rotation and the strength of their division, the White Sox have not closed the gap between themselves and Detroit/Cleveland, and they don't have an especially young roster that's likely to be better in 2009 or 2010.

Some columnist up in Illinois grouses about the price of a .251 hitter, while including some amusing quotes from Kenny Williams about why Swisher is a good fit:

"For us, [attitude] is almost as equal to the talent, because, in our particular market, it is such that you have to be a fighter, you have to be a tough son-of-a-gun to come in and perform at a high level.

"This guy fits in perfectly with what we're trying to do."

There is unhappiness over at South Side Sox...not ones to bury the lead, their headline is "White Sox trade farm, make run at 3rd place in AL Central":

With his moves this off-season, Billy Beane had the courage and foresight to forgo mediocrity in the present for a chance at future greatness. Kenny Williams, meanwhile, has lived in denial for almost a year, and now, thanks to a general lack of direction, has the Sox positioned for an extended run of mediocrity, perhaps worse.

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As for Swisher and the deal itself, I was surprised to see he was locked up for at least 4 years (with a 5th year option) on a very reasonable contract. The price of two very good pitching prospects and a an outfielder with an ETA of 2009 whom scouts adore seems about right for a player of Swisher's caliber and contract status. I really like what Swisher brings to the Sox. He's entering his age 27 season, can get on base, and hit for power all on a below-market contract. He's going to represent a large upgrade over his '07 counterpart no matter where he plays. I just question why the Sox thought they were in a position to deal that amount of talent for a large upgrade, but a large upgrade that still doesn't seem to get them close to the post-season.

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Overall, the Sox are a better team than they were yesterday. But they're still an organization adrift in mediocrity with no concrete plan to once again reach the shore of excellence.