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Now that we’re back to a lack of news, let’s get back to the offseason plans. This one is courtesy of marshlands:
1) Octavio Dotel: Arbitration, or not?
Do not offer arbitration to Octavio Dotel. He’s been serviceable throughout his career (even excellent at times), but given the volatility of relief pitchers, it’s not worth the money. Dotel’s a strikeout machine, but also a home run machine, which isn’t very helpful in The Cell (or in high leverage situations). The Sox would be just as well to try their hand at a similarly aging veteran free agent for a much cheaper price.
2) Jermaine Dye: Mutual option, arbitration, or not?
Buy out Dye. Fact is, he’s a horrible RF. UZR isn’t completely dependable yet due to some pretty wild year-to-year fluctuations, but I’m not so fond of Dye falling on the bad side of -18 UZR for four straight years. This, combined of course with his magically disappearing bat in the second half of 2009 only points towards a potentially steep decline.
It wouldn’t be terrible to buy him out and then try and re-sign him at a discount, maybe as a DH (“hey we’ll cut your salary in half if you don’t field next year!”), but clearly it’s a touchy situation, and I doubt Dye would be into that, you know, given the kind of contracts some OF way worse than him have gotten in the past few years.
3) One-year contract for John Danks? If not, what would you pay to extend him?
Extend Danks. Given his (agent’s) turndown of the Floyd-extension, it looks like it’s going to take a little more to lock him up, but the Sox might have a bit of leverage as his performance declined from 08 to 09. His upside, age (24), and handedness (soufpaw) are quite desirable, and it seems like he (i.e. Danks) wants to stay given the amount of excitement he expressed at the first extension offer before his agent told him no.
Offer Danks 5 years/$30M (aka the “Jon Lester” deal):
10: $2M, 11: $3.75M, 12: $5.75M, 13: $8M, 14: $10.5M, 15: $13.5M club option ($0.25M buyout)
4) One-year contract for Bobby Jenks, extension or trade?
Offer Jenks a 1 year/$6.5M contract, with devious intentions of a deadline trade. Closers are the type of player to most likely be sought after at the deadline, and Jenks has been one of the best over the past couple years. This is risky of course because if Jenks gets worse and/or doesn’t improve on a lackluster 2009, then it hurts his value, but it doesn’t diminish it completely (see trades for: George “The Brim Reaper” Sherrill, Jon Rauch, etc.).
The return for Jenks in this plan completely hinges on how he performs in 2010, so it’s kind of up in the air. If he returns to form I could see a return of a few high upside prospects, no doubt.
5) Which positions are in most dire need of an upgrade?
With the departure of Dye, RF is an absolute must attend to situation. Additionally, for the sake of Quentin’s health and lack of fielding prowess, I’d put LF on notice too, with intentions of possibly DHing Carlos.
[What’s most upsetting about the White Sox infield situation is that both Alexei and Gordon are playing the wrong position. Ideally (in my mind, anyway), Alexei moves to 2B and Bacon to SS, and the Sox go on the hunt (FA or Trade) for a good 3B, which is much easier to find. (Reality: Sadly it seems Gordon and Alexei are locked positionally, in which case the Nix/Getz midget parade is fine with me, if only to save some bills.)] 6) Name three (or more) free agents you’d consider, at a price.
#1 – DH. If Carlos isn’t into being a DH, which I think he should probably be, then:
Nick Johnson: 1 yr/$5M. Dude can walk, play first, and put the ball in play. And get hurt.
Jim Thome: 1 yr/$6M. Still good after all these years, just not as much as he used to be. His limited (read: none) fielding and ineptness at hitting LHP makes him less desirable if he’s not hitting 40hr.
#2 – Corner Outfielder:
Endy Chavez: 2 years/$5M. Totally anemic bat made up for by some incredible fielding, and at a solid discount.
Bobby Abreu: 1 year/$6M. This is a pipe dream, and will never happen.
#3 – Possible Relievers:
Joaquin Benoit: 1 years/$2.5M
Joe Beimel: 1 year/$2M
LaTroy Hawkins: 1 year/$3.5M
Bob Howry: 1 year/$2M
#4 – Backup Catcher:
Miguel Olivo: 1 year/$2M. Just for fun. Anyone?
7) Name three (or more) realistic trades that could improve the Sox team.
I don’t see the Sox making any off-season moves, nor do I think it’s a particularly good idea. If they can get some solid upside value for Jenks in the off-season (as opposed to say, the deadline) then I’d go for it. Also, given Alexei’s skill and desirability to outsiders, I might consider moving him as well, but you can’t argue with his performance/salary.
Say goodbye to Dotel and Dye. Welcome John Danks with open arms and a large and long contract. Bring back Jenks, but keep a leash on ol’ tubby and don’t get too sentimental. Try and get Carlos to play DH as a preventative measure for injuries, but also in hopes to limit his poor fielding and maximize his ball smashing. If he, or the management wants to play him in the field, attend to the DH situation. Sign Nick Johnson or Jim Thome to keep the quota of old, injured, OBP specialists up to par. Find someone to replace Dye. Endy Chavez is cheap, and a great fielder. Abreu is great, but might be out of price range. Find someone on the cheap, preferably a good fielder. When all else fails, swallow hard and sign Scott Podsednik, just not for much. Find a reliever to replace Dotel. Joaquin Benoit strikes a ton of people out, but has injury issues (and wildness). Consider vets like Hawkins or Howry (even Beimel), who are basically peers of Dotel, and cheaper. Sign Olivo as a backup catcher for laughs. Hold pat in the off season unless Brian Sabean comes knocking and wants to trade Matt Cain for Alex Rios, in which case, go ahead and do it. Then, win the division. Any questions?
Arizona Fall League:
- Saturday: Peoria 12, Surprise 5
- Justin Cassel allowed a solo homer and a walk over two innings, striking out a batter.
- Sergio Santos pitched a 1-2-3 inning.