Call it a hunch.
After committing over $120 million for next season, giving at least one more year than is advisable to all four major signings, and for the most part addressing every major need area, I'm pretty sure the team is tapped out.
Of course, I thought that at the beginning of the off-season, after the Dunn signing, after the Pierzynski signing, midway through the Konerko negotiations, and certainly after the Konerko negotiations, so if you haven't come to the position of "Screw what this guy thinks" at this point...I don't how else I can publicly discredit myself.
Still, the Crain signing hints at finality to me. The suddenness of the negotiations makes it seem like the White Sox weren't in the process of scanning the market, the $13 million investment probably represents only a little less than any team would want to spend on two middle relievers, and that Crain mentioned that the possibility of closing was floated to him suggests that no one of Crain's stature or better is being brought in.
Pitchers of less than Crain's stature are the kind that are picked up here-and-there; Brian Bruney/Waldis Joaquin-style. With Crain in tow, that leaves the White Sox with a great 1-2 punch of Thornton and Sale, a decent-to-good follow-up of Crain and Santos, and two guys they can fill in through minor league deals and very careful platforming of responsibilities. Best of all, this slots two players that Ozzie and Kenny can pull the really-horrible-when-you-think-about-all-that's-riding-on-this-one-singular-moment-that-could-determine-a-man's-entire-career prank where they tell the guy he didn't make the team, then tell him he did, and then giggle while he softly weeps and texts his Dad. This was displayed at length on "The Club", and it was awesome/awful.
With that, I'll be returning to finish up the 2010 individual player wrap-ups I committed to doing at the beginning of the off-season. It's taken an absurd amount of time and I don't think I'll ever do them again--well, not in this way--but a commitment is a commitment....even if I'm just following through to remind myself why writing in the neighborhood of a 1000 words on 40 different players is inefficient. A Donny Lucy/Tyler Flowers combo platter should be ready for Christmas.
Jim is ending out his lameduck term at SoxMachine with some notes on Peavy and Rick Hahn's career prospects. Jim gives good notes.
J.J. is dormant because his school knocked off Illinois tonight. I'm pretty loyal to the school of my home state, but when they decide to spend the last 5 minutes of super-important rivalry game chasing their tails, the thought "Screw this, this isn't my alma mater" creeps into my head.
From what I have gleaned so far, Mike Cepilla from White Sox Mix writes when something relevant is happening...and that ain't now
South Side Sox slaps together a team of the worst Sox starters from 2000-2009. Read it if you want to learn to cherish A.J. Pierzynski again