The offseason's first Kenny cryptogram

As we continue to peer-review our offseason plans, Kenny Williams gives us something to chew on.
williams1023
It’s not a whole lot, of course. Having an entire article based on KenSpeak is the equivalent of putting a bag of oranges into the Juice Loosener.  You might get a drop of information out of it, if you’re lucky.
In a nutshell:

  • “You play with things. It doesn’t mean you are going to act on anything, but you play with possibilities.”
  • “Look at the team we ended with. Start with them and add a few key fits here and there, and I think we can be one of the teams to beat in the division.”

I think we can count on him not taking away wins on paper (sorry, Jose Lopez fans).  I’m still operating with the thought in my mind that, as Chris De Luca has stated, Bobby Jenks has thrown his last pitch in a White Sox uniform, so I think that’ll be the key to one positional upgrade, similar to the Jon Garland-Orlando Cabrera trade.  Look for veterans being pushed out for younger in-house replacements.
With that in mind, here’s our second offseason plan, courtesy of timmeh, a first-time caller, long-time listener. It’s slightly pithier than Knox’s Dickensian entry, but has some new names and dollars to discuss.  I don’t know about you guys and gals, but I’m enjoying this thus far.
* * *
MUST-MAKE DECISIONS
1) Octavio Dotel: Arbitration, or not?
Dotel – Walk
2) Jermaine Dye: Mutual option, arbitration, or not?
Dye – Buyout
FLEXIBLE DECISIONS
3) One-year contract for John Danks? If not, what would you pay to extend him?
Appropriate raise for John Danks
4) One-year contract for Bobby Jenks, extension or trade?
Jenks – Keep. Considering the number of available closers and Jenks’ low value, I don’t see him going anywhere.
FREE AGENCY
5) Which positions are in most dire need of an upgrade?
With the loss of Jermaine Dye, LF/RF and the DH position are the key areas for any acquisition. I would also toss 2B into that discussion.
6) Name three (or more) free agents you’d consider, at a price.
Sign Scotty Pods to 2 year $6/million dollar contract
Sign Placido Polanco to 2 year $8/million dollar contract. (I realize that he is a type A free agent, but I personally don’t see the Tigers offering him arbitration.)
Sign Takashi Saito to 1 year $3 million dollar contract
TRADES
7) Name three (or more) realistic trades that could improve the Sox team.
Trade Bobby Jenks for cheaper bullpen.
SUMMARY
‘Just my thoughts, I don’t see the White Sox making any huge moves.
(Note from Jim: If my back-of-napkin math is correct, salary here puts the Sox in the low $90Ms, if you take out Jenks’ salary for somebody cheaper.)
****************************
Arizona Fall League:

  • Peoria 9, Phoenix 6
    • C.J. Retherford and Jordan Danks each went 2-for-4, with Retherford homering.
    • Better yet, they combined to go 4-for-4 off Stephen Strasburg. Story’s here.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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blah

I agree I don’t see the Sox making a splash for a great upgrade in the outfield. I honestly see Mark Kotsay being resigned and that’s it per comments I can’t find anywhere but consisted of Cowley saying the Sox were gonna run the DH position as a platoon to keep people healthy and stay away from signing someone for there.
I’d prefer an Orlando Hudson or Akinori Iwamura for defensive and leadoff reasons and their lefthanded bats. Saito looks as though he is gonna stay in Boston. Chad Bradford or Brandon Lyon would be awesome though.

bigfun

I’m using UZR/150 here – if someone wants to cite +/- or another defensive metric, by all means. Jayson Nix was a great defender (11.3) but the sample size of 52 games is way too small to draw any conclusions from. Getz was bad defensively last year (-5.4) but considering it was his first pro year, and with his age and minors track record improvement is certainly possible. Given their playing time I would guess the platoon was probably somewhere between -2 and -3 last year. Below average, but not terrible. The defensive black holes were in right and left field, not the middle infield.
Hudson was great with the Jays (between 2.9 and 16.1) but ranged from OK to bad in the last several years (-7.6 in 2008 and -2.9 in 2009). There’s little evidence to suggest Hudson is an upgrade over the Nix/Getz platoon. Iwamura is 1.1 at 2B, so he’s a slightly above-average defender. A small upgrade over Nix/Getz 2009, but nothing that will make a big difference. I also am sorta confused by the idea that Iwamura brings “youth” to the team. And he’s not a health guarantee either.
If you really want the legitimate defensive glove, Placido Polanco is the guy – he has ranged from good (3.6) to fantastic (12) over the past few years.
I’m not crazy about Getz/Nix but they do have a bit of upside. Either could be league average at the minimum salary. League-average players making $400,000 are very valuable players. And even if Getz’s health problems continue, I don’t think Lillibridge is a guarantee… the team will try Retherford at some point.
Polanco might be the best choice if they did go this route. But if this club is upgrading at 2B while starting a corner outfielder or DH who hasn’t been above league-average since 2004… they have almost no chance of competing. If the want to compete they need to get a corner bat and roll the dice with Getz/Nix.

blah

I thought Iwamura was 28 not 30.

knoxfire30

Not that either are ideal leadoff guys but placido polanco has about 5 times the experience leading off as compared to orlando hudson.

striker

Saito is an interesting name I hadn’t considered before. He’s been effective over his career.
I don’t think 2B is an issue. Sure we could upgrade (which you could do at most of our positions), but with no DH, no RF and a weak bullpen (that must be effective in order to support our awesome rotation) we have more important needs to fill. The only way we go after Hudson or Polanco is if we fill one of our other needs by trading two of Getz/Nix/Retherford. Which is certainly a possibility.
@timmeh, if you signed Polanco or Hudson what would you do with any of Nix/Getz/Retherford?

timmeh

I think Getz becomes trade bait. He is still young, cheap, and in my opinion a lot of room to grow as a major leaguer. With a lot of teams looking to cut salary, Getz could be an intriguing option.

striker

Jim, I agree this is fun. Kudos to me for the idea! 🙂

duke

I agree with the people saying we shouldn’t focus on 2B. Getz/Nix were decent there last year, and we have bigger holes to fill. Not that you can’t fill LF, DH, the bullpen AND 2B, but relatively it’s not really that important.

striker

Unless of course you deal Getz/Nix first. So you could sign a reliever (for example) and fill a need, or trade Getz/Nix for a reliever and sign a 2B.

striker

I think an interesting way to look at things is look at each team position by position to see what they need, then see what we could give them to fill their need and determine what we would want back.