If you hadn't heard, Ken Williams was looking to trade a starting pitcher this winter. Specifically, Jon Garland.
Garland has only one year remaining on his contract, making him a free agent after the 2008 season. While gathering 46 wins over the previous 3 seasons, Garland sported a pedestrian 4.2 ish ERA and low K totals.
In other words, he's not a 12 million dollar pitcher.
The good news for Kenny is that there is a major shortage of quality arms available this winter. This made Garland's consistency in putting up 200+ innings per year a very valuable commodity.
Today Kenny pulled the trigger, sending Garland to the Angels for Gold Glove SS Orlando Cabrera. A short survey of scouts and organizational folks around the league brought a consensus of puzzlement at why the Angels would deal an All-Star caliber SS for a #4 starter.
Cabrera is also in the last year of his deal, and at 33 is 5 years older than Garland. Still, Cabrera is a much larger upgrade at his position for the White Sox than Garland is for the Angels. Trading for Cabrera brings to an end the Juan Uribe era, which was highlighted mostly by really bad offensive production masked by some pretty good defense.
Cabrera will fill the #2 slot in the batting order, likely behind Jerry Owens, who should be starting in LF and leading off. Expect Torii Hunter or Aaron Rowand to be manning CF.
So where does this leave Josh Fields? There's really only 2 options. He will either be playing 3B, replacing a traded Joe Crede, or he'll be in Florida as part of a package that would bring back Miguel Cabrera, who would also replace a traded Joe Crede. In either case, expect Crede to be somewhere else before January.