Season's Meetings: Good signs, bad signs

A generally flat Winter Meetings ended in anticlimactic fashion, with White Sox brass skedaddling back up I-65 before noon.
Still, no news is better than bad news, and the Sox leave the meetings hinting which direction they might pursue next.
*Interest in Hideki Matsui. I understand the desire to not commit to a pure designated hitter after a couple years of seeing Jim Thome make Jermaine Dye play defense, but Matsui is a good fit.  Especially if it’s only a year.
Matsui says he’s healthy enough to play the outfield, and honestly it wouldn’t hurt that much to give him a rotation every couple of weeks. Considering Ozzie Guillen 1) didn’t move Dye after scores of JD Triples and 2) played a bunch of career infielders all over the outfield, it’s not like he can claim he has standards all of a sudden.
*Correct amount of interest in J.J. Putz (so far). Originally, I said that a $1-2 million base salary would be appropriate. But the Winter Meetings proved to be fertile ground for middle-relief paydays, so if it’s $2.5 million like Bruce Levine figures, that wouldn’t be awful, either.
If a bromance with Matt Thornton isn’t a strong enough lure, then so be it.  Hopefully, the Sox are still stinging from the Scott Linebrink contract to really push it.
*Fake Kenny Williams. Craig Calcaterra talks about a guy I desperately want to see:

I love the Fake Kenny Williams.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but there’s a guy here who looks like a fatter Kenny Williams.  Not sure who he is or who he works for, but he has the same haircut and same features. Could be his brother. Many of the writers even mistook him for Williams for the first day or so.  Some of us saw him talking to people in the lobby last night and desperately wished that he was spreading false White Sox rumors.  “Well, we’re thinking about converting Beckham into a reliever seeing as how valuable they are these days.”

*Gordon Beckham, leadoff man. Of course, Real Ozzie Guillen floated the crazy idea of making Beckham learn a second new position — leadoff. Real Gordon Beckham wasn’t exactly thrilled:

“I’ve heard the rumors,” Beckham said from his Atlanta-area home as the Sox concluded the winter meetings still in pursuit of someone for the top of the order. “I kind of hope I don’t lead off. I’ve never lead off before.”

Beckham did add that he’d do what was asked of him, but hopefully voicing his discomfort will sway Guillen and Williams from exploring the idea further, instead of holding it against him.  Maybe they’ll be scared by the Nick Swisher fallout. And speaking of the leadoff position and Swisher…
*Interest in Brett Gardner. Since it was reported, it’s not likely to happen, but Joe Cowley gives us something to chew on.

According to a scout familiar with the situation, the Sox were one of two teams in the American League Central letting the New York Yankees know during the winter meetings this week that they covet outfielder Brett Gardner. The Kansas City Royals also were wondering what it would take to acquire the promising 26-year-old leadoff hitter.

Gardner’s worth a look, much more so than the Scott Podsednik/Coco Crisp/Juan Pierre troika.  Unfortunately, I doubt that Brian Cashman would accept Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez in return, and his low ceiling could lead to a dangerous bidding war.
Also worth reading: J.J. talks about the five things we learned over the course of the week.
In Rule 5 Draft news, there is no Rule 5 Draft news.

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The 1st rule about the Rule 5 Draft is you don’t talk about the Rule 5 Draft.


I think the meetings went almost exactly as I thought, the sox learned from last years market that its best to find value near the end of the offseason. Think about abrue, wolf, and hudson towards the end of last offseason….
So far noone I want the sox to go after has signed, dh/1b or dh/of’s still exist (Nick Johnson, Hidecki Matsui, and some other less interesting guys.
Adding a bullpen arm like Putz wont hurt especiall at a low price, and I think the leadoff thing is being blown out of proportion once again.
Hopefully the sox capitalize late in the offseason on some of these guys who fail to find the deals they are looking for and they probably already have laid the groundwork for some trades.


“So far noone I want the sox to go after has signed”
Chone actually signed for a lot closer to what you were suggesting the Sox propose than you (or I) expected. I think he must have been afraid of waiting to January/February and getting stuck with 20 mil over two years. I think that’s the flipside of the “wait for the February bargains” mentality. Nice move by the Mariners.


Thats true, but I still think it was a lot of money for an over 30 leadoff man with no power, and I think the sox had very limited resources and would rather fill multiple holes then blow their load on one guy.


Gardner had 26sbs with less than 300 PAs. That’s pretty impressive. And he also has a good UZR. I wonder what it would take to get him. Maybe we sign Putz and trade Linebrink and cash to the Yankees for Gardner. If you haven’t noticed, I’m sold on the idea that adding a veteran reliever means bye bye to Linebrink.


Yea I didnt initially think much of Gardner but… he has some upside after I took a closer look at his numbers, if the asking price isnt too much the sox should certainly be kicking the wheels on this thing.


Gardner would be a great pickup. I think the Sox get it done too. We have a good relationship with the evil empire.


“We have a good relationship with the evil empire”
Sure, if you think that trading Gordon Beckham for Brett Gardner would be a fair swap.
After last year’s fleecing (ie the Swisher trade), I’d rather Kenny take Cashman off his speed dial 😉


contreres for loaiza ring a bell
not to mention they helped us get colon for basically nothing


Did you see the remainder of Swisher’s contract?


3 seemed like a bit to much, hope this doesnt effect dj carrasco, he was a very good long man


“long man” bwahahaha!
And with regards to your point a few inches up, you’re exactly right. One fleecing doesn’t make the whole relationship, but this one still stings.


yes its funny to talk about a long man as being valuable, but any reliever not being tendered after logging 90 innings of below a 4.00 era would be a poor move if the price is all of a mil or two.