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White Sox Now: January

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Mario Scalise

Halfway through the off-season, the White Sox and Kenny Williams have undergone one of the bigger makeovers from 2009, with the likes of Jake Peavy, Freddy Garcia, Juan Pierre, JJ Putz, Alex Rios, Mark Teahen, Andruw Jones, Omar Vizquel expected on the opening day roster, all of whom where not in the organization opening day last season. Let's add December to our list.

THE MOVES

  • October 6 - Picked up 2010 option on RHP Freddy Garcia.
  • October 6 - Picked up 2010 option on LHP Matt Thornton.
  • October 7 - Outrighted OF DeWayne Wise to AAA Charlotte Knights. Wise opted for his release and recently signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • October 21 - Claimed OF Alejandro De Aza off waivers from Florida Marlins.
  • November 5 - Re-sign 1B/OF Mark Kotsay to one-year contract.
  • November 5 - C Ramon Castro filed for free agency.
  • November 5 - OF Scott Podsednik filed for free agency.
  • November 6 - Buyout contract of RF Jermaine Dye.
  • November 6 - Acquired 3B/OF Mark Teahen and cash from Kansas City Royals for 2B Chris Getz and 3B/1B Josh Fields.
  • November 9 - Octavio Dotel filed for free agency.
  • November 23 - Signed IF Omar Vizquel to one-year, $1.375 million deal.
  • November 25 - Signed OF Andruw Jones to one-year, $500,000 contract.
  • December 8 - Signed 3B Mark Teahen to three-year extension (2010-2012) worth $14 million.
  • December 11 - Signed RP JJ Putz to one-year, $3 million contract.
  • December 12 - DJ Carrasco not offered a contract, becomes free agent.
  • December 14 - Signed IF Freddie Bynum to minor league contract.
  • December 15 - Acquired OF Juan Pierre and cash from Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league right handers John Ely and Jon Link.
  • December 17 - Signed 1B Jason Botts to minor league contract.
  • December 18 - Acquired RP Freddy Dolsi off waivers from Detroit Tigers.

THE RUMORS

  • White Sox reportedly discussed a three-way trade with the Angels and Padres for Adrian Gonzalez.
  • White Sox reportedly expressed interest in free agent C Henry Blanco, but he signed with the New York Mets Dec 3.
  • White Sox reportedly expressed interest in free agent OF Coco Crisp. Crisp expressed interest as well, but the Pierre signing ended that. Crisp signed with the Athletics days later.
  • White Sox reportedly contacted Tampa Bay Rays about OF BJ Upton.
  • White Sox reportedly interested in free agent reliever RHP Takashi Saito, but he signed with the Atlanta Braves.
  • White Sox and Jim Thome reportedly have mutual interest in the 39-year-old DH returning, but that interest isn't quite as strong on the Sox's side of the table.
  • White Sox are tied to OF/DH Vladimir Guerrero on a few occassions, but like Thome, their preference of rotating the DH-spot limits the odds of anything happening.
  • White Sox reportedly interested in free agent RHP Vincente Padilla, which would become one of the oddest signings given the bad history between the two parties.
  • White Sox reportedly have discussed a trade possibilities with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays involving Bobby Jenks, Carlos Quentin and OF Carl Crawford.
  • White Sox reportedly interested in New York Yankees CF Brett Gardner.
  • White Sox reportedly interested in Cuban RHP Yunieski Maya.

 THE NEWS

  • GM Kenny Williams says the chance of Scott Podsednik (free agent) returning, or Chone Figgins signing, is slim because of the asking price of both.
  • With Teahen, the plan is to move Beckham over to second base, with Teahen playing third base.
  • Gordon Beckham was voted the Sporting News' Rookie of the Year, but finished fifth overall in the official voting.
  • Mark Buehrle was awarded his first Gold Glove.
  • Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf says that the White Sox have already signed their big free agent - Jake Peavy.
  • On two occassions, Bobby Jenks has taken offense to comments by Williams and Ozzie Guillen about his weight effecting his performance in 2009 and his future big-league success.
  • Omar Vizquel will serve as primary backup infielder. He may receive extra at bats early at short for a typically slow-starting Alexei Ramirez.
  • Andruw Jones will serve as a fourth outfielder/DH.
  • Pierre will be batting leadoff (obviously).
  • The White Sox don't have a primary DH, and Ozzie Guillen is fine with that. In fact, him and Williams would prefer a rotation at DH, which would be case at the moment with Kotsay and Jones seeing most of the time. Doesn't mean a move to improve that rotation isn't a possibility.
  • DJ Carrasco being let go is a head-scratcher still with very little reason given as to why. While there was no guarantee he would duplicate his '09 success, and perhaps a decent chance the workload last year would affect him this coming season, you should always reward the players that produce for you first before the guys that didn't. Carrasco for Putz may very well turn into a good thing, but 2009 results suggests not.

THE QUESTIONS

  • If Podsednik and Figgins are not options, who will leadoff? Juan Pierre, whether fans like or not, it's an answer.
  • Who will be the third outfielder? Juan Pierre, again, whether fans like it or not.
  • How will the Sox fill the heart of the lineup? As of now, it's Carlos Quentin, Alex Rios, Paul Konerko, Mark Teahen and AJ Pierzynski, in no particular order.
  • Is Jenks on the trading block? Still not known, though both Williams and Guillen say he isn't.
  • If so, who will join Matt Thornton at the back-end of the bullpen? JJ Putz and Scott Linebrink, which comes with injuries and second-half nose-dives, respectively.
  • What role will Tyler Flowers serve? Backup catcher, for now.
  • Can Carlos Quentin be trusted to play a full, productive season?
  • Can Alex Rios be trusted in the middle of the lineup?
  • Is Mark Teahen a capable starting third baseman?
  • How much of an impact (if any) will the loss of Carrasco have on the bullpen?

THE ROSTER (my opinion, based on current personnel)

Lineup

  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Gordon Beckham, 2B
  3. Alex Rios, CF
  4. Paul Konerko, 1B
  5. AJ Pierzynski, C
  6. Carlos Quentin, RF
  7. Mark Teahen, 3B
  8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  9. Mark Kotsay, DH

Bench

  1. Omar Vizquel, IF
  2. Andruw Jones, OF
  3. Tyler Flowers, C
  4. Jayson Nix, IF

Rotation

  1. Mark Buehrle
  2. Jake Peavy
  3. Gavin Floyd
  4. John Danks
  5. Freddy Garcia

Bullpen

  1. Bobby Jenks, CL
  2. Matt Thornton, MR
  3. JJ Putz, MR
  4. Scott Linebrink, MR
  5. Tony Pena, MR
  6. Randy Williams, MR
  7. Daniel Hudson, LR

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14 Comments

Dan Santaromita said:

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I've said this before, but there is just no way Quentin is the 6 hitter, especially with Alex Rios hitting 3rd. Swap those 2 and I agree.

Vince V. said:

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Couldn't agree more. After Rios' end to the season, there's no way he starts in the 3 hole. Does he have the talent to be that hitter for a major league club? Of course. But he'll have to prove it before he sniffs that spot for the White Sox. I've said this before on another post - I don't like Kotsay/Vizquel/Jones as the DH. I understand what Ozzie is saying, that he'd like to shuffle the spot through those guys, but Mark Kotsay is not the DH of an AL Pennant winner. Imagine if Quentin gets hurt again, then Jones and Kotsay for example are in our everyday lineup: not good.

Dirtyd said:

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Tony Pena is no longer a White Sox

Dirtyd said:

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Never mind...cbssports lists Tony Pena on the White Sox player movement as signed by SF, but its the wrong Pena. My bad.

sandmac said:

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Lineup

Pierre
Beckham
Quentin
Konerko
AJ
(DH)
Rios
Teahen
Ramirez

baseball jones said:

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Agree that CQ is your 3-hole, NOT the #6...Rios at his best is still your #6, and we hope to see him back at his best this year...and I have a question for your question: Would you trade for, then ink a guy for 3 years/$14.5MM if you had ANY question that he was a "capable" 3B???? Last, I also like AR at #9 for speed at the bottom...last thing I'd want is Pierre bogged down behind the slow DH du jour.

SHollingsworth said:

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Wow. I don't think you'll see Rios at the 5 or 6 spot. The team needs him to hit in the 2 hole. That will require him to make some changes at the plate, but he has the best tools to do it. Also, the DH duJour as you call it, will include, Quentin, Konerko and Pierzinski as well as Kotsay and Jones. I'd put up $20 that the Sox' DH spot is above league average on all power stats this year. Last, Teahen: playing 81 games at USCF, could make an All-Star out of this guy.

I am looking forward to seeing this TEAM play ball. Except for Pierre, they can all hit for decent power. We have far better team speed and defense. (Well, we see if Ramirez is better).

scsox said:

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Look at the Depth Chart...
Kotsey is spotted in several positions as a number two man. Left/Center/Right/1st Base and DH. Give the man his due. This type of coverage has to be helpful over a 162 game season.

Sox Fan!!! SCSox- Anderson, SC

scsox said:

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No question we have the pitching staff to win at will but every publication that I pick up you have the IF's:
1. "IF" Konerko can duplicate his 09 not 08 season.
2. "IF" Pierre is our answer for the lead-off spot.
3. "IF" Rio snaps out of his rut.
4. "IF" Quentin is healthy.
5. "IF" the DH by commette works.
6. "IF" Jenks dodges Jack-In-Box.
7. "IF" Teahan is the answer for several years of concerns at 3rd.

I'm sure every team has the "IF's" at this time of the season, but not everyone has the pitching staff that Ozzie will roll out this year.

Sox Fan !!! SCSox- Anderson, SC

Vince V. said:

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First off, it's Rios. It's spelled "committee." His last name is spelled Teahen.

On another note, I really love the Pierre move but I found it interesting today that the Podsednik signing with KC makes it clear that his not returning to Chicago was less about money than Kenny led on. He signed today for under 2 million for this year. If he maxes out his incentives he'll, at best, have a mutual option for 2.3 mil in 2011. Given that Pierre is due to make 3 million then 5 million in 2011, he simply was Kenny and Ozzie's preference.

All of these IFs are pipe dreams UNLESS there's statistical data to justify their hope. Konerko's career averages are more in line with 2009 than 2008. Quentin had a pin in his wrist in 2009 and a plantar fasciitis and is believed to be healthy in 2010.

scsox said:

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Thank you Vince for all your corrections on my spelling. I'm really happy to think you took the time to read my note. What does statistical (did I spell that one right) have to do with it??? What stats justify that Rios hit only .199 in 146 games with the Pale Hoses. Or that they invested over $60 million in him. What stat will explain that Carlos has had 2 seasons of injuries and will be making a position change. Print me the stat's of how the third base position measures up with the league over the past three seasons. Teahen has been moved from position to position over the past 5 seasons. I'm in full support of the Sox but was only stating that like several clubs Ozzie has his IF's going in this season.
Sox Fan!!! SCSox- Anderson, SC

scsox said:

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Vince- On a earlier note, you posted a comment about the DH's. Did you mean to list Visquel as a DH? What statistical backing do you have on Omar as a DH? I believe you might have been thinking more on the lines that Ozzie would use Kotsey, Jones, Konerko or Quentin as his DH by committee(Got it right that time). But, maybe I'm not aware of the resources you have on Omar at that position.
P.S. Omar will be a great mentor for both Alexei and Gordon, but I can not back this with any stats.

Sox Fan!!! SCSox- Anderson, SC (Remember: Us boys down South don't forget real easy!)

Vince V. said:

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I can't believe I'm going to justify all of that blabber with a response. First off, Ozzie said himself he would use Omar in the DH spot from time to time, much like he used Scottie Pods there. Rios didn't play 146 games with us, more like half a season. When you're looking at upgrades for our team you have to compare Teahen to Getz, and yes I would see that as an upgrade. Quentin was only hurt 1 of the 2 seasons with us albeit he was hurt the year before with Arizona. Anyway, I could go on and on. You think you came back with this award winning response, when really, you're just making a fool out of yourself.

SHollingsworth said:

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One can only hope that Vizquel has that affect on the Sox middle infielders, as he did in Texas.

Offensively, having Pierre and Vizquel in ST should help Ramirez, Beckham, Nix, Rios and even Teahen learn how to bunt. It is a great offensive tool, if you can do it.

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