One theory going around in Chicago is that the Edwin Jackson trade can be interpreted as a sign that Tony La Russa is returning to manage the White Sox next year.

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One theory going around in Chicago is that the Edwin Jackson trade can be interpreted as a sign that Tony La Russa is returning to manage the White Sox next year.

Here’s the reasoning: The Sox could easily have used Jackson as a chip to acquire Colby Rasmus from the Cardinals. Instead, Rasmus wound up in Toronto as part of a three-way deal.

La Russa’s disenchantment with Rasmus is well known. The theory goes that the White Sox would not want to saddle him with Rasmus if he is indeed coming back to manage next year.

According to this line of thinking, an opening will be created in Chicago by Ozzie Guillen leaving to manage the Marlins, who are unlikely to bring back 80-year-old Jack McKeon. Guillen coached under McKeon in 2003 when the Marlins won the World Series. And La Russa began his managerial career with the White Sox in 1979.

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Considering that both La Russa and Guillen always seem to have an unsettled future with their current teams, it’s a scenario that bears watching.

Derby causes another power outage

Many players over the years have blamed the Home Run Derby for messing up, at least temporarily, their swing.

It’s a small sample size, but the American League’s squad members are in a collective power slump.

Entering the weekend, the Derby winner, Robinson Cano, had one homer in 14 games since the All-Star Game event. Adrian Gonzalez had no homers in 13 games, David Ortiz had one in 10 games, and Jose Bautista had none in nine games.

Notes and quotes

• Cubs manager Mike Quade got a little carried away after his team swept the Astros in three games last weekend. He declared that the Cubs could get back in the NL Central race.

“I’m not a lunatic,” he told reporters. “I understand there’s a lot of work to do ahead of us. But we’re playing the right clubs, and let’s see if we can’t put something together.”

The Cubs, however, responded by getting swept in three games by the Brewers to fall 21 games under .500 and 14 ½ games out of first place.

For the 103rd consecutive year, the Cubs’ rallying cry is “Wait ‘Til Next Year.”

Ervin Santana‘s no-hitter against Cleveland on Thursday wasn’t so surprising when you consider that it capped an eight-game stretch in which the Indians scored just 13 runs and hit .166 while losing seven of them.

Twenty-three of the 27 outs recorded by Santana never left the infield. The Indians also had the indignity of committing five errors in the game.

• Santana’s no-hitter was the third in MLB this year, and all three pitchers had a losing record at the time: Francisco Liriano (1-4), Justin Verlander (2-3) and Santana (5-8).

Santana, incidentally, had taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his previous start in Baltimore before giving up a one-out double.

In the Cleveland game, Angels TV broadcasters never uttered the word “no-hitter” during the game, while the radio play-by-play man, Terry Smith, said it repeatedly.

• One of the best pitching matchups of the year will take place Sunday in Detroit when Verlander goes against the Angels’ Jered Weaver. Weaver is 8-0 with a 1.28 earned-run average over his past 12 starts, and he has 12 starts this season in which he has pitched at least seven innings and allowed no more than one run, most in the majors.

Jim Crane‘s purchase of the Astros from Drayton McLane for $680 million is likely to be approved at the mid-August owners meeting in Cooperstown, N.Y. He’s expected to name former Houston Rockets president George Postolos as CEO of the Astros.

General manager Ed Wade, who executed the Hunter Pence trade on Friday and has cut the payroll from $105 million to $72 million, is not likely to survive the ownership change.

Other Astros who could be on the move are Wandy Rodrdiguez, Michael Bourn and Brett Myers. Houston’s top three farm teams are a combined 57 games under .500, so lots of help is needed. The major-league club is on pace to lose 110.

• If B.J. Upton ends up going to the Pirates — who have interest — it would be a fitting turnaround. Back in 2002, former GM Dave Littlefield was vilified for drafting Bryan Bullington instead of Upton with the No. 1 overall pick. Bullington never won a game for the Pirates.

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