White Sox get Teahan from Royals for 2 infielders
Mark Teahen has a new team and a new city. Happily for him, he's got his old position back.
The Kansas City Royals sent Teahen to the White Sox on Friday and Chicago will find a home for him at third base.
"That's really my comfort position," Teahen said. "It's huge. The past three years I haven't known where I'm going to play and the past 24 hours I haven't know what city I'm going to play in."
The Royals got Chris Getz and Josh Fields from the White Sox in exchange.
Teahen was established at third base in Kansas City, but three years ago the Royals called up Alex Gordon, who'd been the No. 2 overall draft pick two years earlier.
Thus began a trip around the diamond for Teahen and he never really settled in at any position.
Teahen batted .271 with a 12 home runs and 50 RBIs in 144 games with the Royals in 2009, battling a sore back in the final month of the season. He made 99 starts at third base, 31 in right field and three at second base.
Chicago general manager Ken Williams said Teahen would be the White Sox's starting third baseman and last year's rookie star, Gordon Beckham, would be switched from third to second. Williams said Beckham, who was a star shortstop at the University of Georgia before being a first-round pick in 2008, was OK with the change.
Teahen said he can handle the outfield but prefers to play the position where he broke in with the Royals in 2005.
"It is tough when you are coming to the ball park every day just kind of checking the lineup card and seeing where you're playing and figuring out where you are hitting in the lineup," Teahen said.
"I've always produced better when I've just been left alone," he said. "And playing third base I've been most productive there. My hope is settling back in there I can put up some bigger offensive numbers and not have to worry about as much stuff."
Teahen is a career .269 hitter with 59 home runs and 293 RBIs in 676 career games, all with Kansas City. The White Sox also got cash considerations in the deal.
"He's a delight to be around day in and day out. We're going to miss him," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "But at the end of the day we believe this was a good baseball trade for both organizations. We're happy to be able to make the deal."
Teahen could make as much as $5 million through arbitration. Was that a consideration?
"Obviously, we're in a time in baseball where the economics are very, very important. I would not discount that as a part of the equation," Moore said.
Kansas City also declined 2010 options for outfielder Coco Crisp, catcher Miguel Olivo and right-hander Yasuhiko Yabuta. Crisp and Olivo are eligible for free agency.
Getz became Chicago's starting second basemen last season, batting .261 with two homers, 31 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 107 games. He impressed manager Ozzie Guillen with his gritty play.
Fields, a former college quarterback at Oklahoma State, appeared in 29 games and batted .222 with seven homers and 30 RBIs last season. Fields show immense promise as a rookie in 2007 when he filled in for injured Joe Crede and hit 23 homers in 100 games.
But his career with the White Sox never took off after that. And after Beckham was called up, it was clear he had no future with the team.
The trade was announced shortly after the White Sox said they had declined a 2010 option on right fielder Jermaine Dye.
Williams said he talked with Dye on Friday and there was no way at this time to fit him in. The White Sox gave the veteran a $950,000 buyout instead of $12 million in salary next season.
But Williams did not rule out the possibility of Dye returning, saying it would be a long offseason. He said the White Sox were still in the market for another outfielder and that it likely will not be Scott Podsednik, who rejoined the White Sox last season and gave them a lift from the leadoff spot.
"Money is tight all over the world and certainly on the South Side," Williams said. "We're going to spend whatever we have available, but it's not much."
The left-handed hitting Teahen is a player the White Sox have watched for a while and even inquired about his availability last season, Williams said.
Teahen had a career-high 34 doubles last season and the White Sox figure that in homer-friendly U.S. Cellular Field some of those will clear the fence.