Royals, White Sox make 2-for-1 swap?
Teahen reported to be traded to Chicago for Getz, Fields
KANSAS CITY -- The post-World Series trading season is off to a quick start. Or is it?
According to reports on Thursday, the Royals' Mark Teahen has been traded to the White Sox in exchange for second baseman Chris Getz and third baseman Josh Fields.
But hold on.
Neither club would confirm the reports, which surfaced first in the New York Daily News and later appeared on the Chicago Sun-Times Web site.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore sent word before noon Thursday through the team's public relations department that there was "nothing to report right now." Moore left the office to attend a luncheon, then had a series of afternoon meetings scheduled. Apparently there was no announcement pending from the Royals.
In addition, Bob Beghtol, Chicago's director of media relations, said: "The White Sox have not confirmed anything."
However, it should be noted that neither team denied the deal either.
Teahen knew nothing about it Thursday morning as he headed to work out at the Royals' complex in Surprise, Ariz., and still had not heard anything official by mid-afternoon.
The premise was that Teahen would replace Jermaine Dye, expected to leave the Sox as a free agent, in right field.
But, as of 10 a.m. CT Thursday, Teahen hadn't heard anything from the Royals.
"Nope," Teahen said. "My text messages have been blowing up the last 30 minutes or so but until I hear something from a team official, to me it's just another one of those rumors. I don't know if it's just because it's the first of the offseason or if it's in print or whatever but it seems to have gotten more people's attention than previous rumors."
Teahen was headed to the Royals' complex for exercises to strengthen his back.
"I heard the rumor was the Red Sox first thing this morning but maybe they just had the wrong Sox," Teahen said wryly.
Teahen, who came to the Royals from the A's as a third baseman in the 2004 three-team Carlos Beltran trade, shifted to right field in 2007. Ironically, he tied Dye's Royals record of 17 outfield assists, set in 1999, that season.
In 2008, he played both corner-outfield positions as well as the infield. This year, he began the season as the starting second baseman but soon shifted to third base as injured Alex Gordon's replacement. When Gordon returned, Teahen played primarily in right.
He batted .271 with 12 homers, 50 RBIs in 144 games this past season.
Getz was the White Sox regular second baseman, batting .261 with two homers and 31 RBIs in 107 games. He also stole 25 bases in 27 attempts so he would answer the Royals' need for more speed. Although second baseman Alberto Callaspo hit .300 for the Royals, the club is interested in an upgrade defensively.
Fields hit .222 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 79 games. He lost the regular third-base job to rookie Gordon Beckham. Fields had a big rookie season in 2007, when he hit 23 homers and had 67 RBIs in 100 games but spent most of 2008 in Triple-A as Joe Crede reclaimed the job.
Teahen frequently was the subject of trade rumors in the last offseason, too, so he's used to it.
"Right up to the World Series there wasn't much talk but I'm glad they didn't waste any time. First thing in the morning and they're on it," he said.
"I really haven't debated getting traded. I felt like I did a good job in the role the Royals wanted me in this year. But I understand the way the pay scale goes and if I get paid more, it's tough for the Royals to hold on to a guy like me. I figured I'd be in some more rumors this offseason. I didn't figure they'd start on the first day of the offseason like this."
Teahen made $3.575 million this year and is again eligible for arbitration, which could kick his salary into the $5 million range. This year Fields made $410,000, Getz $401,000 and neither are eligible for arbitration.
The White Sox and Dye hold a mutual option for $12 million in 2010, so Teahen would offer a lower-priced alternative with less power.
Although Teahen was obtained in the June 24, 2004, deal, he didn't break into the Royals' lineup until 2005. In five seasons with KC, he compiled a .269 average while hitting 59 home runs with 293 RBIs in 676 games.
Just what such a deal would mean for Gordon and Callaspo, the incumbents at third base and second base respectively, is not clear. Gordon, who missed much of the season after hip surgery, is one of the Royals' top hitting hopes for the future. Callaspo's .300 mark was accompanied by 73 RBIs and a surprising 11 homers, eight triples and 41 doubles.
Getz, a left-handed batter, had his playing time limited in the last two months by a sports hernia which required surgery on Oct. 2. Regarded as having good plate discipline, he had an on-base percentage of .323. At second base, he made seven errors in 106 games.
Fields, a first-round draft pick by the White Sox in 2004, has also played the outfield and first base in the Majors. Both Fields and Getz are 26 years old; Teahen is 28.
If a deal is in the works, it's likely to hinge on the players passing medical examinations.
Teahen wasn't sure what was going on.
"I've just got to assume I'm coming back to the Royals and if something changes, I'll go from there," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.