From the weekend:
The White Sox picked up minor league starters Simon Castro and Pedro Fernandez from San Diego for Carlos Quentin, officially freeing up -- in addition to some cash -- a starting spot in the outfield for Dayan ViciedoAlejandro De Aza. Tom Fornelli some great analysis of the increased roles both players will see in 2012. Castro and Fernandez both struggled in Triple-A in 2011, and while that's concerning, both are low-walk guys who the Sox could mold into quality major-league options.
The other trade news of the weekend involved Jason Frasor being sent back to Toronto in exchange for a pair of low-level minor league pitchers. Dealing Frasor was pretty clearly a salary dump, but in doing so, the Sox freed up over 10 million over the weekend.
That's not an insignificant development, as 10 million per season may be what it takes to sign Cuban free agent Yoenis Cespedes. The White Sox reportedly have serious interest in the outfielder, who is likely to become a free agent fairly soon.
Two more notes on Quentin and Frasor -- first, the trade of Quentin was the second time Kenny Williams and Josh Byrnes have made a swap involving Quentin; and second, the move of Frasor means the Sox, as of right now, will have two open spots in their bullpen going into next season.
The Wizard passed along a pair of notes on Sox prospects Jeff Soptic and Rangel Ravelo, both of whom are a long way off but are somewhat worthy of keeping an eye on in the coming seasons.
James recapped the trades of Quentin and Frasor at White Sox Observer, while Jim at South Side Sox did the same -- even finding video (one of which is awesome) of the two pitchers the Sox got from Toronto.
Around the division:
Royals Review looks at the "bonafide expectations" Kansas City has for 2012. That offense is looking downright scary, and if the Royals can get their starting pitching in order, they'll be right there competing for the AL Central this summer.
And speaking of getting starting pitching in order, Detroit may be interested in trading for the Cubs' Matt Garza. A rotation of Justin Verlander, Matt Garza, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello would be phenomenal, with only the Angels potentially topping it. As it stands, Detroit already has a great rotation, but adding Garza would make them an elite bunch.