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WGN 720 radio reporter and friend of the blog Rob Hart produced a report looking back at the White Sox’ public pondering of an Addison location in 1986. Listen to it:
[podcast]https://soxmachine.com/files/2010/10/addison-white-sox.mp3[/podcast] And while doing the reporting, he happened upon a bunch of newspaper stories regarding Hawk Harrelson’s disastrous one-year stint as general manager. This one is the most noteworthy to me…
The White Sox will have three pitching coaches on the major league level: Holdover Dave Duncan will handle the starters; the legendary Moe Drabowsky will tutor the relievers; and Drysdale will teach all of them chin-music appreciation. “Hell, we’re going to have to bring in tackling dummies in spring training to stand up to our pitchers once Drysdale gets through with them,” says Harrelson.
He wanted not only two full-time pitching coaches but also two full-time hitting coaches—one for the singles hitters and one for the power hitters. “Actually, we were planning one each for lefthanded singles hitters, lefthanded power hitters, righthanded singles hitters and righthanded power hitters,” says manager Tony La Russa, who’s been watching all these goings-on with a mixture of bemusement and admiration. For now, however, the White Sox will have only one hitting coach, Willie Horton.
Among the other people Harrelson has hired to coach are Dick Allen, Rico Petrocelli, Tom Haller, Bob Bailey, Dick Bosman, Chuck Hartenstein, Bob Bolin, Jose Cardenal, Buzz Capra, Doug Rader, Herman Franks and Jim Marshall. There are some dinosaurs (Herman Franks?) and certifiable loonies in there, but Harrelson swears by them.
…because even though the horde of coaches only lasted one bad month, Hawk will still champion the idea from the broadcast booth. The thought behind it makes sense, but when you have 16 coaches and 25 players, that’s a lot of middle management.
*On his Facebook page, Carl Skanberg posted “Nine Innings of Juan Uribe.”
*If you don’t miss Uribe after his game-winning homer in Game 6 of the NLCS, perhaps you’ll miss him after these two quotes:
- “This was a big one, like me. Pow!” — SFGate.com
- “I see my team and there was a lot of happy.” — MLB.com
The biggest criticism, though, comes with how the coaches (and Williams for that matter) handled the Jake Peavy situation. The workhorse starter insisted on pitching through shoulder issues, even after fluid buildup was found, and just before the All-Star break he was done with a detached latissmus dorsi. Bowing to the player’s wishes of working through such obvious warning signs was an expensive learning lesson that figures to not be repeated again.
*White Sox Observer looks back on Juan Pierre’s 2010 campaign.
Our third offseason plan comes courtesy of 300000000, and it goes in a much different direction from either of the first two, which is the kind of variety I was hoping for.
300000000’s 2011 White Sox offseason plan
1) Would you offer arbitration to:
*A.J. Pierzynski? (Type A) Yes. This is the toughest call of the arbitration eligible, but I believe A.J. will get a multi-year deal from another team guaranteeing more money and would therefore offer A.J. arb in attempt to gain draft picks.
* Paul Konerko? (Type A) Yes. PK would not accept arbitration coming off a career year.
* Manny Ramirez? (Type A) No. But would attempt to re-sign on a one-year deal.
* J.J. Putz (Type B) Yes. Putz will be looking for a multi-year deal after cementing a solid comeback in 2010.
2) Would you pick up Ramon Castro’s $1.2 million option for 2011, or buy him out for $200,000?
Pick up $1.2M option after success in 2010 part-time roll.
CLUB CONTROL (explain if warranted)
3) One-year contract for John Danks? If not, what would you pay to extend him?
Would offer a four-year, $36M extension. This is more than double the amount dollar-wise of the extension Danks was offered in ‘08, yet would still be extremely favorable to the White Sox if Danks were to stay healthy. If Danks doesn’t want to sign, offer one year for $6-$7M.
4) Would you tender a contract to Bobby Jenks?
No. His 3rd arbitration year raise will boost his salary to nearly $10M, which is too much with or without a tight budget.
6) Would you tender a contract to Carlos Quentin?
No. Now 2008 seems so long ago. It seems unlikely Quentin will both stay healthy and hit well enough to overcome his detrimental fielding.
7) Would you tender a contract to Tony Pena?
Yes. Pena is a workhorse and adds value even if his numbers don’t exactly reflect it. He can eat innings when a game gets out of hand, saving the other pen arms for greater leverage situations. Pena also put the Sox in a position to win games in multiple spot starts in 2010. Offer one year for $2.5M.
FREE AGENCY: WHITE SOX
8) Which of the following impending White Sox free agents would you attempt to re-sign, and at what price:
*Manny Ramirez — Even though Ramirez didn’t offer exactly what fans were expecting at the end of 2010, he still showed strong ability to get on base (>.400) and make opposing pitchers work hard through at-bats (saw 4.36 pitches per PA, led team) which after losing Konerko, will be two areas of concern for the White Sox. If Manny is healthy, he’ll be a boon for a team lacking in the run-scoring department. We can also look forward to draft pick compensation in 2012 with a Ramirez comeback. Try to get him on a short-term deal to rebuild his value after a down season; one year at $10M.
*Omar Vizquel – Omar proved to be a perfect bench player (and more) for the Sox. One year, $1.5M.
*Andruw Jones — Jones had his best season since 2007, hitting for power, drawing walks, and playing reliable defense. With a new work ethic and the best conditioning department in MLB, I believe he’s getting new life. He’s always had issue making contact, but appears to be the better choice for right field at this time over Quentin. Try to sign an incentivize-d deal, two years, $8M.
* Freddy Garcia
* Mark Kotsay
FREE AGENCY: OUTSIDE HELP
9) Which positions are in the most dire need of an upgrade?
DH is the main spot we need to upgrade compared to the 2010 season. Specific to this plan, Konerko is not returning, so first base is also a position needing to be addressed through free agency.
10) Name three (or more) free agents you’d consider, and at what price. MLB Trade Rumors has an list of 2011 free agents, but pay attention to club options.
*1B – Derrek Lee. He had a disappointing 2010, but he’s probably not as bad or regressing as fast as last season would suggest. Lee had nagging injuries to his back, legs, and hand which may have held him back. His BB%, K%, and batted-ball figures are near career averages and don’t show any major decline in skill. I would try to sign to a short-term deal for the same reasons as Manny. Has an upside as a four-WAR first baseman, which is basically what he’s produced outside of 2010. Offer one year for $10M. Would also consider Carlos Pena, but his plate discipline has been worsening at a faster rate than Lee’s and I believe he’ll get a multi-year deal due to his age.
UTIL – Eric Hinske. My suggested roster is RH-heavy, so I’d bring Hinske in as a LH power-guy who can play outfield, first base and third base. He hits righties well, and he seems to be good luck as he’s made the postseason with four different teams the past four years. Offer one year for $1.5-$2.5 million.
11) Name a couple (or more) realistic trades that could improve the Sox.
*Dayan Viciedo to the Mariners for James Jones: Viciedo impressed in 2010 as a very young player for his levels. But I would try to take an opportunity to sell high at this point because I do not see Viciedo as much of an asset going forward. His lack of ability to draw walks and liability defensively will make it difficult to provide much surplus value at 1B/DH. Viciedo’s main skills lie in making contact and hitting for power, and Seattle ranked last in MLB for both batting average and slugging percentage. They may see Viciedo as a younger, cheaper DH option to Russell Branyan ($5M option) to boost their dismal offense and build into their future. The White Sox would clear $5.5M off the books (although we may have to offer some salary consideration). James Jones is an OF prospect near the bottom of the Mariners’ Top 10 list. His 2010 A-level triple-slash line doesn’t stand out, but he had a torrid 2nd-half and John Sickels has recognized Jones as a 2011 breakout candidate. He has an intriguing combination of speed, on-base skills, and defense which fits right into Ozzie’s mold and makes for high-upside prospect to bolster a weak White Sox farm system.
*Mark Teahen to Angels for Fernando Rodney: This is a bad-contract for bad-contract swap. In the first year of a two-year, $11M contract with the Angels, Rodney experienced mixed results. Rodney had some success as a closer down the stretch after Fuentes went to the Twins. But his K-rate was near the lowest of his career, while his traditionally bad walk rate stayed bad. With several proven closers on the market, will the Angels want to go into 2011 with a > 1.5 WHIP reliever handling the saves? Having Teahen would allow the Angels to shift Abreu and his poor defense to DH, or Teahen could be plugged in at third where the Angels currently have Alberto Callaspo and Kevin Frandsen on the depth chart. Rodney would offer the White Sox yet another hard-thrower which KW loves (Rodney’s fastball averages over 95 m.p.h.) who could potentially replace the role of Putz. And we all know the magic Coop can do when working with a hard thrower plagued by control issues. This move would actually increase 2011 salary by $750,000, but save $5.5M for 2012.
12) Sum it all up in a paragraph or nine, and give a ballpark estimate of the total payroll.
Overall, I’ve tried a plan which would in theory let the Sox stay competitive, yet rebuild the ailing farm system at the same time. Our drafts have yielded good results in the post-Shaffer era, and with the 2011 draft being rich in talent we need to put the White Sox in as favorable a position as possible. My plan accomplishes this by offering arb to A.J. and PK, and offering short-term contracts high-caliber/comeback-worthy players which have likelihood to provide draft pick compensation the following year. The proposed 2011 roster is pitching/defense-first which hopefully compensates for a more questionable offense.
To explain some moves which were not discussed above: Morel will be the starting third baseman based on great 2010 results and ability to adapt quickly when pushed. Flowers will be the starting catcher in 2011, which is a risk. But Flowers appears competent behind the plate and was stellar offensively before documented swing changes. Hopefully he can develop a more consistent approach in 2011 after swing work in winter. We haven’t exactly had a world-beater offensively at catcher for many years. Castro will also be returning in case a fallback option is necessary. I’m keeping Chris Sale in the bullpen for 2011, and giving Gregory Infante a pen spot. Alejandro De Aza is added to the bench. Anything else not discussed pretty much remains the same as 2010.
My overall salary is a bit higher than I wanted, but I do not think it is totally unrealistic. Since attendance was down in 2010, I just do not expect the salary percentage increase that I am proposing. In the trades I suggested, I was able to free up $9M which was on the books for 2012 which may allow a bit more for 2011. The 25-man roster below with salaries:
1. Pierre – LF – 5M
2. A. Ramirez – SS – 1.225M
3. M. Ramirez – DH – 10M
4. Lee – 1B – 10M
5. Rios – CF – 12.5M
6. Jones – RF – 3M
7. Beckham – 2B – 0.5M
8. Flowers – C – 0.3M
9. Morel – 3B – 0.3M
Buehrle – 14M
Peavy – 16M
Danks – 6.5M
Floyd – 5M
Jackson – 8.75M
Thornton – 3M
Sale – 0.3M
Santos – 0.3M
Rodney – 5.5M
Pena – 2.5M
Linebrink – 5.5M
Infante – 0.3M
Vizquel – 1.5M
Castro – 1.2M
Hinske – 1.75M
De Aza – 0.3M
Total = $115M (11.5% increase from 2010 salary)
Arizona Fall League:
- Peoria Javelinas 7, Peoria Saguaros 2
- Jared Mitchell went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. He’s hitless in his last 11 AB.
- Eduardo Escobar went hitless in four at-bats.
- Henry Mabee pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one.