It was widely known that the Chicago White Sox were going to make moves during the MLB winter meetings but whether they were attempting to rebuild was unclear. Today, GM Kenny Williams showed his cards as he traded White Sox closer Sergio Santos to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitching prospect Nestor Molina. Williams then told reporters what most Chicago White Sox fan didn't want to hear.
“It is the start of a rebuilding,” Kenny Williams said. “You guys know I have not used that word in 12 years. It's the start of a rebuilding now. Is it the start of a falling-domino-type rebuilding? No. Absolutely not.”
The rebuilding process has officially begun and Santos is the first to go. There is a very good feeling out there that Matt Thornton, Carlos Quentin, John Danks and Gavin Floyd will be following Sergio out out of town very shortly.
Sergio Santo started 2011 as a reliever but was given an opportunity to close after Thornton blew four straight saves in April. Sergio recorded his six save in a row on May 17 and took over as the White Sox number one closer.
Santos ended the season with 30 saves, 92 strikeouts and a 3.55 ERA. However, there was criticized after he blew two crucial late season games to the Detroit Tigers. At the time the White Sox were in a tight race for the division crown and seemed to crumble with those losses.
The 28-year-old right-hander has a lot of upside considering how well he did in his first year as a closer. Santos showed that he can overpower hitters with his fastball and catch them off guard with the off-speed stuff.
In return for Santos, the Chicago White Sox get 22-year-old Nestor Molina. He was regarded as a great pitching prospect that has been playing in the minors for six years now. Molina is reported to be a six foot one, 180 lbs. right-hander from Valencia, Venezuela.
Molina started as an outfielder/third baseman but was converted to a pitcher because of his great arm. He played in the Venezuelan and Dominican Summer Leagues for the Twins/Blue Jays from 2006-2008 before entering the American Minor League system.
Last year Nestor Molina had a combined record of 12-3 with a 2.21 ERA for his work between Class A Dunedin and Double-A New Haven. Prior to being traded Molina earned himself a spot on the Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster.
The upside for the White Sox is that this youngster has the potential to be something great in the near future. Molina can gas it up to the mid 90's and collected 148 k's and only 18 walks last year.
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