The White Sox traded lefty reliever Neal Cotts to the Cubbies today for righty reliever David Aardsma and a minor league pitcher. My, how things change in just a year, particularly in the world of middle relief. I think it's safe to say that the White Sox wouldn't have a World Championship without the likes of guys like Cotts, Cliff Politte, and Dustin Hermanson coming out of the pen in 2005. This year, all three of these guys suffered precipitous falls--Hermanson due to injury, Politte due to injury and general suckiness before he was released, and Cotts due to... well, who the fuck knows. It's middle relief. There are no predicting these things.
From that perspective, this has got to be a good move on the part of the Sox. Cotts had worn out his welcome (although not as much as someone like Damaso Marte did a couple years ago), and he's always made noise about wanting to be a starter. I'll be really interested to see if the Cubs undertake a conversion project with Cotts, especially considering their shaky rotation (after Zambrano, they've got big question marks in Prior, Rich Hill, and Wade Miller).
My uninformed guess is that Don Cooper and Kenny Williams saw something they liked in Aardsma (although it must not have been that roster photo that ESPN has; that motherfucker looks like a pederast) and took the chance to unload Cotts while his value was still moderately high. Coop has had pretty good luck with middle reliever projects in recent history... well, with Matt Thornton at least. That's good enough for me.
It's nice to see Kenny start his offseason acquisitions; I was getting tired of reading stories about the Cubs signing all their shitty and overpaid players back. Keep up the good work, Kenny.