UPDATE 2 (12:31 PM, Tommy): The trade has been confirmed by the Chicago Sun-Times.
UPDATE (12:05 PM, Tommy): According to ESPN's Buster Olney, talks between the Royals and White Sox are "not that far along," although he adds that "the expectation of rival GMs is that the Royals at some point are going to trade Teahen, who is expected to make about $5 million next season and has become too expensive."
Kansas City receives: 3B Josh Fields & 2B Chris Getz
Chicago receives: INF/OF Mark Teahen
A Bill Madden report has Teahen pegged to replace Jermaine Dye in right field next year. Throughout his career he's logged nearly 2,500 innings in the outfield - mostly the corners - and has a -1 UZR to show for it. That's not horrible, especially not when contrasted to Jermaine Dye's dead-horse act the past few seasons. His bat is what it is. Over the last three years his wRAA have ranged from -8.5 to 1.4, with a -3.9 year thrown in for good measure. Given the move to a more hitter friendly park, Teahen's raw offensive numbers should improve. He is 28-years-old and Cot's accredits him with service time of 3.155 (years.days). Add a year and Teahen will become a free agent for the first time following the 2011 season.
In return, the Royals are dealt two players who fit into their puzzle somehow.
Fields is a former top prospect who struggled in 2009 offensively and defensively. He's torn up Triple-A enough to show he's got some bat, but outside of 2007, it's yet to translate. Fields has a penchant for striking out one-third of the time and while he walks at a league average rate, there's only so much offense you provide when making contact less than 70% of the time (like he did in 2009; 71.1% for his career). He's shown some pop, mostly in 2007, and the Royals are banking on Fields at least taking Teahen's role as a super-utility player. Maybe he puts it together with a change of scenery, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Getz meanwhile failed in his first season as a Major League second baseman. His minor league track record suggests he can hit better too, and unlike Fields he's not a boom or bust hitter. He walked a fair amount in the minors and strikeouts were rarely an issue (nor was power). Scouting reports suggest he's a decent defender at second base, although they also peg him as a future utility man.
This doesn't seem like a win for either club. The White Sox get the better player for right now and shed players without roles, but at the same time Teahen is unlikely to morph into something more than an average player at best. Meanwhile the Royals free up some cash and get players who may replicate Teahen's performances over the past few years at a reduced cost.
Interesting way to start the off-season.