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Playing Catch Up: Thome, Thomas, Dye & Damon

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Mario Scalise

It's been a while. There usually comes a point every baseball off-season where I go into hibernation, only showing interest when something of actual importance happens. Nothing has been missed over the past couple weeks, but here goes anyway...

Jim Thome Signed with the Twins

It may have been a mistake for the White Sox to let Jim Thome, who wanted to return, to sign on with the Twins. The combination of Jones/Kotsay/Vizquel...etc. rotating at DH is far from ideal for any AL team. But the Sox made the decision this off-season to become more flexible with the DH spot and not limit themselves to one bat. One old, slugging bat. You could argue having Thome is better than not having Thome, but if you're going to do away with the DH, do away with it. Signing Thome would have given the Sox a DH and only a DH for the entire season. Not signing him allows them to pull a trigger at a later point for an even bigger bat.

Frank Thomas Retires

This headline would have been big big news a few years ago. Now it's just common sense. Unfortunately for Thomas, he didn't retire because he wanted to retire, but because there have been little takers for his services. Nonetheless, he will go down as perhaps the greatest White Sox of all time, and should go down as one of the greatest hitters of all time. Hall of Fame worthy, without question.

Jermaine Dye: Crowded Outfield Affected Performance, Pondering Retirement

Jermaine Dye may not be far behind Thomas. Dye's received little interest despiting being one of the better producing outfielders over the past few years. His declining defense and poor 2009 has a lot to do with it, and rightfully so. Dye was pretty bad last year ... just don't tell him it was his doing. Dye says a two-week slump extended into months because of a crowded Sox outfield that cut down his playing time. Dye must have been using a really slow watch, because his struggles happened several weeks prior to Alex Rios' arrival.

Johnny Damon: Still Available

Dye isn't the only starting outfielder from 2000 Royals that's having trouble finding bidders on the market. Johnny Damon is still unsigned with Spring Training days away. And like Dye, who was in this situation back in 2005 as well, the White Sox are a possibility. The Tigers are reportedly the favorite to land Damon, but the White Sox are in the mix too. Damon would make sense in that Ozzie Guillen will be able to rotate the DH spot with Damon, Quentin, and others, but a second lefty lead-off option? Damon's an upgrade over Juan Pierre, but what are the thoughts of having Damon at the top and Pierre batting eighth or ninth? I can take a liking to the extra speed at the bottom of the lineup.

SoxTalk Temperature

All this said, there's a poll going on over at our sister site, SoxTalk.com, asking how Sox fans feel at the moment about this 2010 club, as is. The results says it all. There's no telling how good, or bad, this team can be.

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7 Comments

1234567 said:

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mario, is it? some original thoughts would be nice instead of rehashing mlbtraderumors.com.

Jason Gage said:

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MLB Trade Rumors isnt' the only place talking about the Sox interest in Damon. How interested the Sox really are, who knows, it might just be the club doing their diligence and making an offer that they feel is fair (and no where close to what he has on the table from Detroit) but it has been widely report (and by multiple sources) that the Sox have kicked around the idea of Damon and that at least one offer was made.

Jason Gage said:

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Right now I'm excited about our rotation, think there is some potential for our pen (it should be at least league average with the ability to be better). Offensively, who the heck knows what will happen.

Konerko should be solid, AJ will be AJ, the question is what type of years we will see out of our young guys (Beckham, Rios, Quentin, Ramirez, & Teahen). If they play well, the offense will be rock solid, despite what I have no doubt will be an epic failure at DH (Kotsay/Jones is not ok).

In fact, the DH situation makes me about as mad as our leadoff situation did last season, the only difference is, at least this year our rotation is on paper stellar.

Jason Gage said:

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Damon to the Sox is gaining steam. Evidently Hawk Harrelson and AJ played golf today with Johnny Damon and specifically were working on recruiting him to Chicago.

Sox offer is on the table and it is not near as large as the Tigers offer. However, Damon's wife has serious concerns over living in Detroit and would prefer Chicago.

soxsider said:

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Who do you think gets the axe if this goes through jones or nix?

Mario Scalise said:

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Unless Jones shows up out of shape or has a bad spring, chances are Nix will be the one out if it's between them two. Hopefully they go back to 11 pitchers, but it seems to be a thing of the past unfortunately.

JimH. said:

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There's a reason why they don't want to go with 11 pitchers Mario. It's because pitching is their strength and they want to protect it.

Buehrle and Garcia have lots of miles on them so Guillen and Cooper will watch their innings. They need two guys basically for garbage innings and don't forget Guillen likes to play match ups. I am talking about the 2nd lefthander and the final bullpen guy.

Pitching wins and they want it to be as effective as possible. To do so, they need to ease the strain on some guys. Hence 12 pitchers, which is a good idea.

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