Reading Room: Ozzie blogs, Plan No. 8

Ozzie Guillen’s plans for a $64,000 website might have been shot down, but he’s got the next best thing: An MLBlog!
It’s worth keeping an eye on, although the first two posts appear to be heavily edited, if not ghost-written. I have the feeling the blog is going to be as watered down compared to the Twitter account. Think “Sh*t My Dad Says.” The TV show.
*Speaking of ghost-writing, Joe Cowley continued his quest to for the inside track on handling Guillen’s autobiography with another “Ozzie > Kenny” monologue, this one on Twitter. Adding ’em up:

Here’s what the Sox don’t seem to understand – FOX didn’t ask Ken Williams or Jerry R. to do the pregame – they asked Oz. You don’t like a figure like that go into what could be the final year of his contract, refusing to give him an extension. If Oz is out of a job, there are people lining up to grab him. Can KW say that? Dangerous game, boys, very dangerous game you’re playing.
Now KW is talking like there will be 0 tolerance with all things Guillen. Please. Just sit back, build a team and let the face be the face.
I never said Oz is the greatest of all time, but he’s one of the best the Sox ever had. And as far as making a team relevant… Not even close. The Sox were step-children in their own town b4 Oz. While it’s still a Cubs town, Oz has made the Sox recognizable.
For those that want Oz out, tell me who the replacement is. Guess what, if KW disappeared tomorrow, Hahn steps in and we all say Kenny who?
This organization once had Bevington as a manager. You people have short memories when it comes to what you have. You know KW’s next manager is going to be a yes guy, just like Hendry did by hiring Mike Q. Give me a yes guy and I’ll show you failure. Hendry knows his days are numbered so he hired a puppet that he can at least control and try and make the fall guy. GM Survival 101.
Still waiting for the Oz haters to give me a name. Remember, before Jerry made KW interview Oz, KW wanted Cito Gaston. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
History lesson about ’05 – It was Oz who wanted C.Lee out after ’04 – that led to Pods trade. It was Oz who put confidence in Row and Crede. It was Oz that made Gar a man by keeping him in games L8. Oz that wanted Duque to help Jose C. It was Oz who Garcia wanted to pitch for.

Can anybody do some quick back-of-the-napkin math to figure out how serving as a World Series analyst translates into wins?
Look, I’m glad Guillen is coming back for 2011, and I think he’s a plenty good manager who just shouldn’t be GM. But in our conversation about grace periods, I think we can all agree it’s probably time to stop using 2005 performance to back up 2010-11 arguments. Of all the guys Cowley listed, none of them are close to the player they were in 2005, except for Jon Garland. And it’s likely none of them will factor into the 2011 plans.
(Quick note about Garland: In his year and a half in the National League, he has averaged more than six strikeouts per nine inning. His full single-season AL high? 5.2. He must love facing the pitcher.)
In Jerry Manuel’s last season, the Sox were eighth in the AL in attendance. In Guillen’s most recent season, the Sox are seventh. For all the brand awareness Guillen generates, it hasn’t shown up in terms of butts in seats. If only you people understood that watching Guillen manage a game gives you three days’ worth of vitamin D, even at night…
*And speaking of Cowley, there’s a united front in the Sun-Times office. He uses Chris De Luca’s seemingly crazy “Guillen-for-Stanton” trade in the lede of a story pushing another lopsided rumor.
The headline is laughable: Source: Sox’ Williams would give Quentin for Rasmus
In other news: Source: Sox’ Williams would give 50 cents for one dollar
The actual story softens it a little:

According to a major-league scout, Williams has targeted talented but headline-making Colby Rasmus of the St. Louis Cardinals and is willing to part with a package that includes outfielder Carlos Quentin.

“With a package that includes…” makes it a little different, but that’s still about a difference of $4 million between the two players. The Cardinals wouldn’t take on cash to get worse, would they? Mark Gonzales addresses these points, too.
*Paul Konerko is on the Arizona Diamondbacks’ wish list according to ESPNChicago’s Bruce Levine, raising two questions:

  1. Is moving to Arizona so important that Konerko would go from a second-place team to a last-place team?
  2. If the Diamondbacks don’t care about blocking Brandon Allen, can the Sox have him back?

Halfway home with our offseason plans, here’s the eight courtesy of Brett:

Brett’s 2011 White Sox offseason plan

1) Would you offer arbitration to:
*A.J. Pierzynski? (Type A) — Yes, I don’t trust Tyler Flowers with the pitching staff.
*Paul Konerko? (Type A) — Yes, I want him back, but we must at least get draft picks if he goes away.
*Manny Ramirez? (Type A)Not a chance in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks.
*J.J. Putz (Type B) — Yes, and hope he accepts.
2) Would you pick up Ramon Castro’s $1.2 million option for 2011, or buy him out for $200,000?
I like Castro as a solid backup, but at some point you either have to carry Tyler Flowers on the Major League roster or send him on his way. I would have to say buy him out and save a million.
CLUB CONTROL (explain if warranted)
3) One-year contract for John Danks?  If not, what would you pay to extend him?
I would try to extend him for as many years as would buy out his first two of potential free agency. He is a very good young pitcher who could hit elite status very soon, and his price tag now is much lower than it could be. I’d say give him four years and $32 million.
4) Would you tender a contract to Bobby Jenks?
No, I would cut bait. I love Bobby for what he is done but this ship has sailed and there are better alternatives elsewhere
5) Would you tender a contract to Carlos Quentin?
Yes, because I am still a believer that Quentin can produce like 2008. He hit in some tough luck last season, and also had some key hits. I would say that his price should be lower than you would have to pay for a 30-100 guy, and he can be every bit of that.
6) Would you tender a contract to Tony Pena?
Absolutely. He saved our bullpen in 2010 on many a night and that kind of arm is invaluable. I would make sure he understood that he would come to camp as a 7th-inning setup guy/long man, basically the same role he has had.
8) Which of the following impending White Sox free agents would you attempt to re-sign, and at what price:
*Paul Konerko: Yes. Three years, $30 million (it may be a year too long but he is our leader and if anyone ever deserved an extra year it’s Paulie).
*A.J. Pierzynski: Yes. One year, $8 million (he is as valuable a catcher as there is in baseball not named Mauer, McCann, or Posey).
*J.J. Putz: Yes. One year, $5-6 million.
*Manny Ramirez: No way.
*Omar Vizquel: I would offer him the same contract that he had last season and try to negotiate from there. I don’t think Omar should have as big of a role next season, but he can be very valuable part time.
*Andruw Jones: No way. Too many strikeouts and declining defense. There’s no point in watching this show again.
*Freddy Garcia: I love Freddy, but ultimately, I would have to say no. Freddy was big for us at times in 2010 but I don’t think we can count on that again.
*Mark Kotsay: If he understands that his role will be much more limited in 2011, I would love to see him back. However, if he wants to be paid more than his role would be worth, then no. I say 1 year, 2 Million, tops
9) Which positions are in the most dire need of an upgrade?
Designated hitter, fourth or fifth starter, closer, third base.
10) Name three (or more) free agents you’d consider, and at what price.
1.Rafael Soriano. We need an upgrade at the back end of the bullpen and there’s not a finer one available this winter. We could use the money we save on Jenks to go after Soriano. In the current market for closers, I don’t think we would need to go more than three years, and I would consider giving him $10 million a year. In my opinion, we are an elite closer away from another title run.
2.Adam Dunn. We must get more power in the lineup. Whether we re-sign Paulie or not, we have gotta get a legit lefty power bat. We wanted him at the deadline, and if we can convince him to only play the field twice a week and DH the rest, he’s easily worth the three years it would take to get him, plus the $10-12 million it would take. I would say three years, $33 million.
3.Pedro Feliciano. As evidenced a few times last season. Erick Threets and Randy Williams are not top-level relievers. We need a second lefty in the pen, and I believe that Feliciano could be had for a decent price. He could be our sixth/seventh-inning guy, for one or two hitters. I would offer him two years and $5 million.
11) Name a couple (or more) realistic trades that could improve the Sox.
It’s time to send Gavin Floyd packing. We continue to count on him to be a quality third starter, and he continues to pitch like a fourth or fifth in roughly half his starts. He still has some value, and we could potentially save some money by dealing for a top-level young pitcher. I’m not sure if he’s available, but I would not mind seeing Joba Chamberlain coming to the South Side. Another team I could see us target in a deal for Floyd would be Baltimore, since he’s from there, and they have a few young pitchers like Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen who could potentially come to the Sox and do what Floyd did. I trust Coop to take care of the young starters.
If we could package a couple of kids, such as Jordan Danks, and possibly a spare part with potential, like Brent Lillibridge, I would like to see the Sox go get another starter. I am quite concerned with our rotation next season, as John Danks is our only sure  thing. Mark Buehrle was up and down this year, Jake Peavy is coming off of major surgery, Edwin Jackson was up and down in Arizona and Chicago, and Gavin Floyd should not be back (see above). I would love to see us go after Zack Greinke, but doubting that we have the pieces to get it done, I would love to see a guy like Ricky Nolasco come to South Side.

12) Sum it all up in a paragraph or nine, and give a ballpark estimate of the total payroll.
My best-case scenario puts the Sox payroll next season at $140 million dollars. While I doubt that they would go all in for that much payroll, I do know that Jerry and Kenny want another title, and these pieces would definitely put them in the hunt. Realistically, I would expect to see one of the Dunn/Soriano duo signed, instead of two. However, signing Dunn and going after Joaquin Benoit could be more cost-effective.
Also, with Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Scott LInebrink, and Juan Pierre coming off the books after 2011, we wouldn’t be cashing all of our chips in for more than one season. And I would love to see a championship, so $140 million would be great. But realistically, $130 million may be max for this organization.
Arizona Fall League:

  • Scottsdale 13, Peoria 9
    • Jason Bour went 1-for-2 with a double.
    • Anthony Carter had his first rough outing, allowing three runs on four hits in an inning of work. He did strike out two, giving him 10 with no walks over five innings.
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I was a bit hazy on some of my contract numbers, but the gist is still the same. I just really like the leadership with the pitching staff that AJ brings and I have always loved Kotsay. He is a great locker room guy who should never have had 350+ PA this year.


A.J. Pierzynski: Yes. One year, $8 million (he is as valuable a catcher as there is in baseball not named Mauer, McCann, or Posey).
…or Martinez, Soto, Buck, Napoli, Molina, Jaso, Posada, Wieters, Santana, or Montero.


Posey. And, hell, Castro.


$4-5MM for AJ would be somewhat fair. MLB is making a lot of scratch.


Debatable I guess but Posada, at age 38, OPS’d better than all but one of AJ’s seasons (and that one was at age 26).
AJ is worth $3-4 million due to his ability to stay healthy if nothing else, but the money is needed more elsewhere IMO. Catcher is a good spot for this team to cut costs.


I wouldn’t touch Posada as a catcher with a 20 foot pole. The man simply cannot hold runners anymore, and he’s never been topflight defensively. I am a firm believer that AJ has made some of our pitchers look better than they were just via gamecalling over the years.


Why even mention Cowley? I feel fortunate to not be habiting in the city of Chicago and thus not often subjected to his douchebaggery. What a moron. He has a MSM job and SoxMachine toils in relative obscurity.
Life ain’t fair.


To clarify a point I was originally confused on, the Sox attendance was 7th in the AL last year (but 17th overall).
I was expecting the payroll to be something closer to 100, maybe around 105. But no one really knows.


“But in our conversation about grace periods, I think we can all agree it’s probably time to stop using 2005 performance to back up 2010-11 arguments.”
I cannot agree with you more on this one, Jim. But let me suggest that this should also apply to everyone besides Ozzie, including the owners, players and especially the general manager.


I don’t think any closer is worth $10m/year. If you are going to spend that kind of money it’s better going towards a starter who will pitch 200 innings or a batter that will get 600 plate appearances. Closers get about 70 innings. You’d be playing a lot of money for a small amount of contribution.
I still think a bad year from Flowers will give you just as good of OBP as a good year from AJ. Plus it’s $3-$6m to spend elsewhere.
I agree with your impatience with Floyd. Every year I think he’s going to win 20 games but he can’t get over that two month slump in the beginning and now the past two years has ended the season with some sort of injury.
I thought about Joba Chamberlain too. I think the Yankees have given up on him. I bet we could have him for next to nothing. Maybe they’d take Linebrink? 🙂 If I’m trading Floyd though I better get a bat in return.
Anyone know much about the Ranger’s Chris Davis? His numbers in the minors have been awesome, he’s struggled in the majors, he’s only 24, left handed, and might not get a chance now with the Rangers.


$10m might be a bit high for a closer, but I disagree about 70 innings being a “small amount of contribution.” That’s potentially 70 games or more where the closer can impact the game. If he is effective, that’s 70 wins (assuming he’s brought in to protect a lead, which we all know that’s not always the case). If he is ineffective 10% of the time, that could mean 7 losses. How many games back were the White Sox this year?


I have been slow to come around on the closers being paid top dollar, but this season cemented the fact that without a good bullpen you do not win. We had a great pen when Jenks was rolling. It was when he faltered that Thornton and Putz were overused and went on the shelf. I truly think that the 2010 Sox would have won 92-93 games and the division, and given a lot more to the Yanks than Minnesota did…if we had had a reliable closer. You have to pay for these guys, and Soriano is a horse.