Jenks weight flap may be light on impact

In the ever-developing case of Jenks v. Conditioning, we know which side Kenny Williams is taking:

“It comes into question when you are not in the best shape you can be in, now doesn’t it?” If [Jenks] doesn’t like that, I don’t really care if he doesn’t like that. It’s the truth.
“I’ve seen it time and time again. We would not be in his corner and we would not be real friends, real people of support, if we didn’t give him the information.”

At first glance, this seemed like more coal in the engine on the train out of town.  Now,  I don’t think this necessarily increases the chances of Williams trading Bobby Jenks.  In fact, it might mean that he’s staying.
Here are some reasons.
No. 1: His words are awfully harsh about a guy whom Williams is supposed to pretend has value.
I went back to the Nick Swisher trade last year.  As the rift grew larger between the clubhouse core, Ozzie Guillen and Swisher, I tried to see if Kenny Williams had anything to say.
Here’s what I found from the Sun-Times in the wake of the Sox’s ALDS exit:

After the 6-2 loss to the Rays, general manager Ken Williams stopped at Swisher’s locker, gave him a hug and said, ”Come back next year and start all over again.”

Reports began to surface soon after saying that Williams was shopping Swisher, but he had nothing but his typically terse statements until the trigger was finally pulled.  Here’s a deal in which Williams was content to get nothing in return but salary relief, and even then, he kept his lips zipped.
No. 2: Chris De Luca has been wrong before.
De Luca is on record as saying Jenks has thrown his last pitch in a White Sox uniform, but in that same article referenced above, he said “Swisher would likely be back,” so there’s precedent.  And with Joe Cowley saying on a Score 670 that Jenks would be back, I don’t think there’s a solid hunch leader.
No. 3: Jenks will have a hard time living up to his salary the next two years.
Because of the early trajectory of his career, Jenks will be making roughly $6-7 million next season, and then possibly $9-10 million in his final arbitration year if 2010 isn’t a disaster.  Problem is, he would have to revert to his 2007 self in order to be worth that much, and with his various health issues of the last two years — they all seem kind of fluky, but the same could be said for Chris Getz — the odds aren’t in the Sox’s favor.
If Jenks needs every ounce of his ability to be worth Williams’ money, it makes sense that Williams would do — or, in this case, say — anything he could to get Jenks to shed some pounds.  It’s probably a risky strategy, but  Williams doesn’t have a lot of leverage otherwise.
Putting it another way, the lack of demand gives Williams a lot of leeway, because no team seeking Jenks would be doing so under the pretense of sheer value.  I have to think any trade would come late in the winter.  Should another team needs to move a contract later in the winter at a position the Sox need, a salary exchange seems reasonable, because Jenks is still good.  His salary projections just don’t line up with his performance projections.
Then again, a salary exchange doesn’t exactly benefit the Sox, because with Octavio Dotel gone, the Sox aren’t exactly overflowing with bullpen options.  Unless they think Jhonny Nunez or Clevelan Santeliz is ready for primetime, the Sox might be robbing Peter to pay Paul.
So the more I consider it, the less I think Jenks will be moved.  Maybe I’m overthinking it and failing Occam’s Razor when the Sox have shown an indication to get rid of guys they publicly disagree with. Then again, the simplest answer is to not do anything at all.
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Coco Crisp seems like an attempt to lessen Scott Podsednik’s leverage.  That is all.

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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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knoxfire30

-People are getting to caught up in Jenks’s 10 arb number and 2011 number. They are exclusive, one has little to do with the other. The only question the sox need to ask themselves right now is, is jenks worth 7 mil to come back for 2010. IMO the answer is certainly yes its worth the gamble because although on a down trend he has been consistently good, and trying to plug the hole bobby leaves with the only reliable lefty setup man we have is a bad trickle down effect that the whole bullpen will feel.
-Good god I want no parts of coco crisp. Above average defense, below average stick, below average leadoff skills, NO NO NO
-Kenny is sending a message to bobby to come in with his conditioning in check. Thats more of a sign to me that they are going to keep jenks then they are looking for excusses to trade him. IMO the only reason to bash a guy is if your going to non tender him, I dont think thats the case with Jenks but I am a lil more worried about it now.

knoxfire30

The score is reporting the sox signed andru jones so what is the plan to rotate dh’s of jones and kotsay and then give pk and quentin days off since the dh’s on the team for 2010 can actually play in the field occasionally?????

fustercluck

Did Knox just go from zero to shitfaced in 23 minutes? Now that is impressive. Not as impressive as the free agents Kenny just signed, though (five years ago, maybe). I get that Vizquel can bridge the language barrier between ‘Lexei & Becksie, but I hope they don’t let Andruw coach Bobby’s conditioning. And speaking of coaching, did the Sox notice how Jaramillo kinda almost fixed Andruw’s hitting and think Walk could finish the job?
Maybe the Dodgers could pay Juan Pierre to play for the Sox next year, too. The offseason is still young.

stopdrop8

They’re saying jones Is going to be strictly a bench player. In my opinion that means that they’re going to spend at least 9-10 million dollars on the remaining two spots, because what’s the point in emphasizing that he’s going to be a bench player if the guy you’re signing to start over him isn’t considerably better?

bigfun

Wow, this might be one of the first times ever that Kenny has actually gone after a player I suggested getting (comments, https://soxmachine.com/soxmachine/2009/10/22/knoxfire30s-2010-white-sox-offseason-plan/). And he got him for a bit cheaper than I expected too!
I think Jones’ floor is slightly below league average bench hitter and league-average corner outfield defense. I think his ceiling is 400ish PA of .250/.350/.450-type hitting and above-average corner defense / average center field defense. His defense is probably underrated as he was league average as recently as 2008 and fine in a small sample size in 2009. And of course one of the best in baseball prior to that.
I don’t think they’re going to be signing a full-time DH – I agree with Knoxfire, it makes more sense to use the DH slot for some combination of Quentin/Jones/Konerko/Kotsay/Pierzynski/Flowers (August or September). I think 9-10 million is pretty optimistic but I can see them spending another 6 mil per year to add another guy who can play a corner outfield slot and also spend some time in the DH if necessary.
This team has gone from being very locked-in from position to position to being very versatile. Should be interesting.

blah

I keep reading in articles by Merkin, Gonzales & Cowley articles that the Sox plan to rotate the DH spot as well. This could mean that there will be a platoon of Kotsay & Jones in RF (or LF if TCQ moves over).
If that is the case, then the postion players might be made up for next year with Nix and Lilbridge fighting for the last spot in spring training.
Considering the Sox were in the bottom of most batting categories last season, I don’t see how Kenny, Ozzie or Reinsdorf can be optimistic next year without filling out the two power positions of DH and Right field.
( In case you want to see the offensive stats, http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/batteam.shtml#teamranks )
I may be beating a dead horse, but even with a full season of Commissioner Gordon, the White Sox might just be hoping too much that Teahen, Rios & TCQ can turn out healthy, productive seasons with the starting pitching staff preforming at or near their 2008/2009 levels.
While I know that the off-season is still young, it just seems that with Ozzie and the beat writers, especially Merkin, painting a picture that few moves need to be made, I can’t help but think the Sox aren’t gonna do too much more.

stopdrop8

who the hell is going to pinch run for us if our bench is jones, kotsay, vizquel, backup catcher?

knoxfire30

vizquel still moves well and more importantly is smart on the base paths, and I still think Nix is going to make the 25 man roster.