A/V Room: Addison Sox and Plan No. 3

Exploring the possibility of Western Suburbs White Sox and a 2011 roster that includes Manny Ramirez

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

*Doug Padilla writes performance evaluations for Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen. A common thread in both dealt with an area of my concern, and so I appreciated this sentence in the Guillen piece:

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.
8) Which of the following impending White Sox free agents would you attempt to re-sign, and at what price:
*Paul Konerko
*A.J. Pierzynski
*J.J. Putz
*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
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.
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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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Interesting ideas there 300000000, but can’t see that being successful. There’s great pitching there, but man alive are there a tons of outs in that lineup. It’s too early to call Morel and Flowers ready IMO. Really what we’ve seen of them has come against September lineups. I feel like next year there will be some growing pains that will likely leave a couple of Mendoza averages at the bottom of that lineup. Will say those trade proposals are intriguing, but I doubt that anyone will take Teahen off the Sox hands.


Best plan so far – very thoughtful, especially the non-obvious trade suggestions. I might quibble with the idea that Manny cares about rebuilding his value at his age when he’s so close to retirement, but the overall concept is sound.


The Ramirez idea is interesting, but he simply may not have much left. I expect the market for him to be virtually nil and he may end up with a contract around 1.5-2 mil or he may just hang it up.


I also think Lee can be had for much, much less.


Well, if Ramirez is re-signed but is washed up; if Quentin and Konerko are gone; and if Lee is on the decline, this is going to be one pathetic line up.


I think Ramirez would sign for $5 mil. I like the idea of seeing what he can do over a full season. He’s Manny Ramirez, unquestionably one of this era’s best sluggers. Even if he has lost some power, stick him 2nd or 3rd in the line up and let him work counts and get on base.


I used to get giddy every time Detroit would put Rodney in the game against Chicago. I just knew we were going to score runs. The thought of him in the White Sox bullpen is a sobering one, to say the least. Sobering enough to drive a man to drink.


Interesting options here… I am a fan of offering Paul and AJ arbitration as well… As you mentioned, both will likely get multi year deals somewhere, so if they decline it, we’ll get the picks. And if the worst case scenario is you have AJ and Paul on your roster next year, id take my chances…


I like your strategy. Interesting trade routes.
1. I agree with the general concensus that Lee and Ramirez could be had for less.
2. Juan Pierre is your only LH bat.
3. I’m torn on bringing back Ramirez. He is an OBP machine but can he still hit for power? Will he be a headache in the clubhouse? There are going to be alot of cheap DH options, I’m wondering if he is the best one.


I like the bad salary swap idea of Teahen for Rodney, after that, 10 mil for lee, 10 mil for man ram, hahahaha WHAT, come on


Thanks guys for the comments and criticisms.
The way I arrived at the Lee/Ramirez contracts was to estimate their value at 1B/DH respectively. I came up with about 2 wins above replacement (which actually I think is conservative if they can stay healthy) and that is worth over $8M. Then I added a bit of a premium to get them to accept a one-year deal over a multi-year deal with more guaranteed money elsewhere. But you all are right, this isn’t what will determine their value, it’s the market that matters.
So ignore the contract overestimation, but you get the general idea of risk/reward contract I’m getting at which the White Sox are well-known for signing.


I agree with your idea behind the added value in only giving these guys a 1 year deal, in fact I like that thinking a lot, but they still wont get 10 mil.
20 mil for the DH 1b position Lee and Man Ram, both righties, both older players or…. how about 5 mil to bring quentin back as dh and then 12-13 mil on dunn, who solves the huge need for a lefty bat and I would wager that cq and dunn put up bigger numbers then lee and man ram


That is a fine alternative to my plan, and you get the everyday LH power bat which my lineup is sorely missing.
I’m skeptical of Quentin because of so many injuries for a young guy (wrist, foot, ankle, hand, knee just with Sox) and also most of his on-base skills lie in his ability to…get hit by pitches. Maybe full-time DH would help him stay healthier. His plate discipline has declined over past two seasons, and his home/road splits are drastic. I’m sure he’d be worth $5 at DH, but I don’t think his upside is as likely as Manny’s.
Dunn is the surest bet out of all, but of course he’ll require nearly $40M commitment. And he’s adamant about playing the field, where he’s a butcher at 1B. That diminishes some of his value. I like that Lee has a track record of defensive competence (Morel/Alexei/Beckham/Lee would be one of the best defensive infields in the majors).
So since everyone agrees I overshot the Lee/Manny figures, if we could get both for around the cost of just Dunn, I’d opt for Lee/Manny over Dunn/Quentin.


How about this sneaky plan, you go with cq for one more year and dh him to really limit his injury possibilities, you then sign dunn with the agreement your not making him a dh, he is going to play 1st, you ride that out for 2011, but then in 2012 cq is gone and dunn can be your dh? he is already signed not like he can cry about it to much….


fwiw; dunn only had 540 innings at 1B in 2009, and the rest of the innings he had in previous seasons are negligible. he averaged 148 innings a year, wilh a high of 352 in 2002 and just 17 in 2006. he barely has 200 more innings at first in his career than he did in 2010 alone.
is he a -30 fielder? probably not. it’s hard to gauge anything from, at the most, 540 innings. is he -3? probably not that “good” either. over the last three years, for 1B with at least 1500+ innings, dunn rates as the worst at -13.8/150.
UZR is still pretty new and if you believe colin wyers, is almost worthless. i’m guessing dunn is no worse than -10 or -15 over an entire season, leaning a lot closer to -10.

As Cirensica

You brought in good points. If you don’t mind, some criticism from me would be:
About Tony Pena:
You said:…. “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.”
Tony Pena is not worth the minimum salary. He shouldn’t even been in the Majors!! I have a dislike for the term “Inning eaters” because I am not sure what that is supposed to mean. It’s admitting failure….it’s like saying:
“…. we will have this pitcher so he can pitch when we are losing by a big margin..”
So in my eyes it’s planning for defeats. I prefer plans for victories, and not for defeats. I prefer a GM saying, we hire this pitcher so he can pitch, any game, any situation, and gives us a chance to win. All pitchers in a roster should be able to pitch professionally whether or not is a tight situation or a blown out defeat. Having a pitcher to pitch when we are “losing”, is just a waste of money. … and you are giving 2.5 millions for this extremely mediocre pitcher called Tony Pena. I respectfully disagree with you.
I would resign AJ and Konerko…. All other points you made are excellent.


Tony Pena is not worth the minimum salary.
He has always been at least worth the minimum, even last year. A guy who can throw 100 innings and be close to a league-average pitcher is always worth the minimum.
Whether he’s worth his actual salary last year or what he’ll get next year is more of a fair question, but it rests on this – how do you know that 2010 Pena is the real Pena? What if the numbers he consistently put up from 2006-2009 are the “real” him and 2010 was an aberration?