As usual, much of the reaction of the blogosphere has come down against the White Sox. But I think Kenny Williams made a nice little trade sending Loaiza to Ney York for Jose Contreras and cash.
I've read more than one Yankee commentator call it a steal. But the numbers hardly bear that out. Loaiza has actually been pretty mediocre this year and downright awful the past couple months. Take a look at his ERA splits:
Even worse, take a look at his opponents batting average splits:
At this rate, hitters will be flirting with .400 against Loaiza by September.
Contreras hasn't been pitching well this year either. But his problems stem mainly from a lack of control. I would say Contreras is more likely to turn things around.
The bottom line is that I don't think that the Sox are any worse off this year for making this trade and definitely improved their ballclub beyond 2004.
As for the future, the Sox now have four starting pitchers signed for the 2005. Garcia and Buerhle are both good, Garland is consistently mediocre, and Contreras may have the best talent of all four. It's definitely not as good as the pitching talent assembled on the North Side, but it should be the top rotation in the AL Central for the next few years.