The White Sox picked up Jason Frasor's 2012 option for $3.75 million on Monday, which is confounding for two reasons.
1) For a team that's made no secret of a desire to scale back it's budget, spending $3.75 million on a guy who figures to rank behind Sergio Santos, Jesse Crain, and Addison Reed among right-handers out of the bullpen seems, a little curious.
The strangeness is doubled by the fact that Frasor was terrible for the Sox in 2011, has one really good season to his name back in 2009, and has been having his walk rate spike for the last two years. He's not someone you'd necessarily covet for a few million less, let alone his current price.
2) It's weird when a major league front office does something that strikes you as inexplicable. It makes you feel like you've rushed to judgment, and are failing to see an angle that the trained professionals have. I give up!!! What's so great about Jason Frasor!??!?! TELL MEEEEE!!!!
Aaron Gleeman of NBC's Hardball Talk called it "the right move" citing Frasor consistently OK career numbers, and possible trade value. While Gleeman's opinion isn't the end-all, be-all, he presumably isn't biased by having watched Frasor toss gopher balls for two months, or walk 11 batters in 17.2 IP, or thinking "What the hell, was this really the return for Edwin Jackson?!"
So, hey, maybe there's something? People want guys who strikeout almost a batter an inning, and maybe assets should be hoarded no matter what. But this is an off-season that might see the franchise part with John Danks, Gavin Floyd, or Mark Buehrle over cost concerns, if such an act is paired with $3.75 million being laid down on a back-end reliever, well...that'll be hard to take.
Maybe they just have a crapload of money!!!
Gold Gloves; why do they still even have the power to infuriate?
I've given up on Alexei Ramirez winning a Gold Glove...ever. Whether it's because he's not a good hitter, his team doesn't win enough, or that his skills lie more in great range than a love for flipping the ball through his legs, there doesn't seem to be much voter interest in him.
That said, to see Erick Aybar and Asdrubal Cabrera listed as the finalists for AL Shortstop alongside J.J. Hardy makes one wonder what Alcides Escobar and Brendan Ryan did wrong too. Or what the hell is so under-the-radar about Elvis Andrus?
All of it makes more sense than A.J. Pierzynski making it as a finalist for catcher. His piddling 20.3% caught-stealing rate is inflated by Buehrle's pickoffs, and while he's not the worst in the league at blocking pitches and dropping 3rd strikes, there's nothing there to place him as even above-average.
Maybe his reputation for handling pitchers trumps all. Maybe the whole league loves A.J.! Everything we've been told about him is a lie!
Mark Buehrle is also a finalist, and has a chance to win his 3rd straight Gold Glove. He also has already been named the winner of Baseball Info Solutions' Fielding Bible Award. Yeah, that sounds right.
(Not) Surprise! Jeff Manto was named the White Sox hitting coach as Robin Ventura's full staff was announced Monday. Notably, Frank Thomas was not named the hitting coach, to go alongside never being rumored to be a serious candidate.
In an interview with Chuck Garfien, Manto said of himself and fellow staff-mates Joe McEwing and Mark Parent, "We're all basically the same kind of player -- grinders, not silver spoon-type of players,"
Sigh, they're never gonna get past the whole 'grinder' thing are they?
Jerry Reinsdorf has made it known that he would love to have Tony La Russa join the White Sox in an undefined role, but he hasn't asked him yet.
The day I get a firm grasp on what the tangible effect of a manager is on a team is, is the day I start assessing the the impact of possibly Tony La Russa in an undefined role.
Tags: A.J. Pierzynski, addison reed, alcides escobar, Alexei Ramirez, asdrubal cabrera, baseball, brendan ryan, elvis andrus, fielding bible, Frank Thomas, Gavin Floyd, gold glove, j.j. hardy, jason frasor, jeff manto, jesse crain, joe mcewing, John Danks, Mark Buehrle, mark parent, Sergio Santos, tony la russa, White Sox