Rumored Ozzie-for-Stanton deal too hard to believe

If the White Sox could have acquired a 20-year-old phenom for their manager, then why isn't he here yet?

The Chicago Sun-Times dropped a flashbomb overnight, and not just that the White Sox granted the Florida Marlins the opportunity to interview Ozzie Guillen. The Marlins and Guillen had been tied for a while, and this was merely the fire beneath the smoke.
No, here’s the stunning part:

According to major-league sources, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was intent on making Guillen his next manager. Talks, sources say, progressed to the point that there was discussion of executing a trade that would send Guillen, who has a year left on his contract, to the Marlins for 20-year-old outfielder Mike Stanton, who hit 22 home runs and knocked in 59 runs in just 100 games as a rookie this season.
After Guillen met with chairman Jerry Reinsdorf late in the season and agreed to return to the Sox in 2011 — but not getting a desired extension — the Marlins talks died, sources say.

The universal emotion, here and amongst impartial parties: dumbfounded. The stunning part isn’t that a team would trade a player for a manager (the Rays traded Randy Winn to Seattle for Lou Piniella). It’s what Craig Calcaterra summed up nicely:

At least it’s the implication of the article that it was Loria who was willing to do such a deal as opposed to the White Sox merely proposing it. Which is frankly nuts. Because if you’re Kenny Williams, and Loria actually makes Stanton available even for a millisecond, you yell “done!” and then personally chauffeur Ozzie to Miami, don’t you? Because no one on the planet thinks that a manager — even an entertaining and successful one like Guillen — isn’t worth cutting loose in exchange for a 20 year-old slugger with otherworldly power, right?

It seems impossible to believe, and it doesn’t help that no other outlet can corroborate that rumor.
Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi: “Multiple Marlins sources, however, adamantly denied the Ozzie-for-Stanton talks. ‘Never happened,’ one team source said.”
Scott Merkin: “According to a high-ranking White Sox source, the Marlins called and inquired about Guillen and the White Sox demanded compensation just to talk with him, with one year still remaining on Guillen’s contract. The two teams never came to an agreement over the compensation, with Stanton not serving as any sort of talking point, so official permission was never given to the Marlins to talk to Guillen.”
Mark Gonzales: “A high-ranking White Sox official confirmed this version of events, saying the team asked the Marlins for compensation in order for them to talk to Guillen, but the clubs couldn’t agree, so Guillen never talked to Florida. The Sox official also said Stanton was never mentioned.”
Maybe De Luca has extraordinary sources, but he’s been led astray before, and this proposal is just too baffling to follow him down this path. The Marlins don’t like spending money, so it would be shocking if they traded their MLB-ready, Hulk-strong 20-year-old first baseman for anybody making more than him. It would be exponentially unbelievable if the return in the trade made more than Stanton, and he didn’t even take the field.
If De Luca is right, then Major League Baseball should just go right ahead and contract both teams. Jeffrey Loria wouldn’t deserve a franchise for proposing a Stanton-for-Guillen trade, and neither would Jerry Reinsdorf for turning it down.
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Before our next offseason plan, I’d like to thank everybody who has submitted a plan. I now have enough to get through Nov. 7, so I think I’m going to cut it off there, as it’s quite possible some of the plans could become obsolete before they’re even posted.
Free agency filing will begin five days after the World Series, followed in quick succession by awards season, the owners’ meeting, arbitration-offering and contract-tendering deadlines, and the winter meetings.
That said, if you think you have a plan that will blow doors off, I’ll gladly take a look at it. I just can’t guarantee I’ll post it unless it’s truly stunning.
Carrying on, here’s Lucky No. 7, courtesy of GNix (follow him on Twitter!).

GNix’s 2011 White Sox offseason plan

1) Would you offer arbitration to:
*A.J. Pierzynski? (Type A) — Yes, as long as the overall budget won’t be affected. If we can take the risk that he accepts and his ~$6 million won’t affect our offseason flexibility, I would do it.
*Paul Konerko? (Type A) — Yes. No-brainer.
*Manny Ramirez? (Type A)No – Too great a risk he accepts and the Sox are on the hook for $20 million.
*J.J. Putz (Type B) — Yes. Another no-brainer.
2) Would you pick up Ramon Castro’s $1.2 million option for 2011, or buy him out for $200,000?
Yes. The buyout makes it a $1 million decision, and we’re not going to find a match for his production for less than that.
CLUB CONTROL (explain if warranted)
3) One-year contract for John Danks?  If not, what would you pay to extend him?
Since he doesn’t seem to want an extension, I think one year is the only way to go. $6 million seems like a likely figure.
4) Would you tender a contract to Bobby Jenks?
Nope. See ya, Bobby.
6) Would you tender a contract to Carlos Quentin?
Yes. Even though he’s disappointed the last two years, this is probably his last year as a cost-effective player for the Sox – or someone else. One year, $5 million sounds about right.
7) Would you tender a contract to Tony Pena?
Yes. Letting Bobby go = a need for live bullpen arms, even if Tony constantly teases. One year, $2.5 million sounds fine.
FREE AGENCY: WHITE SOX
8) Which of the following impending White Sox free agents would you attempt to re-sign, and at what price:
*Paul Konerko: Gotta re-sign the Cap’n. I think it’s important for the clubhouse, lineup and fans, and I’m willing to overpay a little bit. I think three years, $30 millionwill be enough since there are a host of 1B/DH types on the market.
*A.J. Pierzynski: It’s time to say goodbye to AJ. Flowers/Castro should be able to match his offensive contributions from this year, even if there’s a slight defensive drop.
*J.J. Putz: If Bubby ain’t back, Putz has gotta be. Two years, $10 million.
*Manny Ramirez: I was certainly in favor of the Manny “trade,” but it didn’t work out and I don’t think he’ll be willing to take a one-year contract for $3-5 million, so he’s gone.
*Omar Vizquel: At the risk of being the last one off the Titanic, I’ll bring him back. One year, $1.5 million.
*Andruw Jones: I think he was underappreciated this year, but I’m still not bringing him back. We can find ways to outproduce him.
*Freddy Garcia: I’m not opposed to bringing Freddy back, but I’d like to test the market for comparables before I do. So I’ll hold off on re-signing him.
*Mark Kotsay: Six years, $130 million sounds about right to me. Or a swift kick on the ass as he leaves town. It was nice knowing you, Mandruw Kojones.
FREE AGENCY: OUTSIDE HELP
9) Which positions are in the most dire need of an upgrade?
Bullpen, starting depth, outfield/designated hitter.
10) Name three (or more) free agents you’d consider, and at what price.
A.    Bullpen – I’ve bought into Jim’s closerless idea (to an extent). Keeping in mind that relievers like to know their roles, I propose a split in the bullpen: three late-innings guys, three mid-innings guys, one mop-up man.
1.    For our late-innings guys we’ve got the Bromance, Thornton and Putz, as well as Santos. I’d like to send Sale to the minors to be a starter unless it becomes abundantly clear we need him.
a.    I’ll also offer minor-league contracts to Kelvim Escobar, Grant Balfour and Juan Cruz as backups, and hope to hit on a lottery ticket.
2.    For our middle-innings guys, we’ve got Linebrink and Pena. Neither is all that reliable, but played situationally, they won’t kill you.
a.    We’ll trade for a left-handed middle-innings guy.
3.    Our 2010 D.J. Carrasco Memorial Mop-up Man is Gregory Infante, until he proves he can’t do it. Then cycle through Carlos Torres (note from Jim: This was before Torres was released), Lucas Harrell, et al. Someone will come through.
B.    Starting depth – We’ll need a Sweaty Freddy type once we’ve made a trade or two, but luckily there’s plenty on the market. Brad Penny/Brandon Webb/Chris Young all have better stuff than Freddy, so I’d put out feelers to them. Someone will be had for one year, $2 million plus incentives, and if Herm Schneider and Don Cooper find that none of those guys is suitable, then I’m okay with it being Freddy again.
C.    OF/DH – Carl Crawford is out of our reach, unless Kenny’s lying about his 50-cents-to-dollar conversions again. But there is a guy out there who could help on the cheap. A familiar face. One who could send rousing chants echoing through right field. That’s right, I’m talking about our old friend, O-E-O Magglio. Who among us wouldn’t love to see Ordonez out there again? Plus, he’s still a productive hitter (even if he’s not $18 million productive – sorry Los Tigres). One year and $4 million plus incentives (and a little groveling from Ozzie) should get him back home.
TRADES
11) Name a couple (or more) realistic trades that could improve the Sox.
A.    The Sox may be tightening their budgetary belts, but starting pitching is currency on the trade market, and the Sox have plenty of that. My two targets are uber-talented, slightly-disgruntled young centerfielders – Matt Kemp and Colby Rasmus. My offer is John Danks + Jordan Danks + Andre Reinzo. I think that will be enough to pry one of them away, but if it’s not I’m willing to negotiate if we get some bullpen help/prospects back. Rasmus is my preference, as he’s younger, cheaper and left-handed.
B.    Trade Carlos Quentin to Tampa Bay for LHP J.P. Howell. Howell is coming off a year lost to shoulder surgery and there’s no guarantee he’ll come back the same pitcher he was. However, if anyone can help him do it, it’s Hermy and Coop. The Rays need an OF/DH, after losing Crawford to free agency, and there’s no room in my budget for Q! Thanks, Mark Teahen.


SUMMARY
12) Sum it all up in a paragraph or nine, and give a ballpark estimate of the total payroll.
LINEUP
LF – Juan Pierre – $8 mil – $3.5 mil from the Dodgers = $4.5 mil
2B – Gordon Beckham – $400 K
RF – Alex Rios – $12.5 mil
1B = Paul Konerko – $10 mil
DH – Magglio Ordonez – $4 mil
CF – Colby Rasmus – $400 K
SS – Alexei Ramirez – $1.1 mil
C – Tyler Flowers – $400 K
3B – Brent Morel – $400 K
BENCH
IF – Omar Vizquel – $1.5 mil
IF/OF – Brent Lillibridge – $400 K
IF/OF – Mark Teahen – $4.75 mil
C – Ramon Castro – $1.2 mil
ROTATION
RHP – Jake Peavy – $16 mil
LHP – Mark Buehrle – $14 mil
RHP – Edwin Jackson – $8.75 mil
RHP – Gavin Floyd – $5 mil
RHP – Penny/Webb/Young/Garcia – $2 mil
BULLPEN
Mop-up
RHP Gregory Infante – $400 K
Mid Innings
RHP Scott Linebrink – $5.5 mil
RHP Tony Pena – $2.5 mil
LHP JP Howell – $1.2 mil
Late Innings
RHP JJ Putz – $5 mil
RHP Sergio Santos – $400K
LHP Matt Thornton – $3 mil

PAYROLL = $105.3 mil

I didn’t get the payroll down any, as JR and KW would like to do, but that’s going to be hard to do with the Pierre/Teahen/Linebrink contracts. You could easily get three minor leaguers to replicate their production and get into the $90 mil range. Oh well.
I think this team, provided we get a little good luck staying healthy, has the capability to compete with the Twins (who will have a depleted rotation and bullpen next year), and I’m certainly confident we’ll score more runs than the 2010 Sox, while keeping some form of Ozzie’s beloved rotating DH with the Konerko/Ordonez/Rios/Rasmus/Teahen fulcrum.
The key is again going to be the rotation. If Peavy comes back healthy we’ll have a shot, and we’ve got Sale waiting in the wings to bail us out should the 5th starter or an important bullpen piece falter. Overall, and most important to me, I think this would be a fun team to root for that hopefully wouldn’t put us through any extended periods of fan murdering.
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Arizona Fall League:

  • Surprise 12, Peoria 5
    • Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-4 with a homer, walk and strikeout.
    • Jared Mitchell went 0-for-3, but he drew a walk, and avoided striking out for the first time in nine games.
    • Charles Leesman allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in an inning of work, striking out one.
    • Henry Mabee pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
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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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buford

Stunning part of the discussion:
Sox: Do you want Guillen?
Florida: Yes
Sox: We want Stanton
Florida: No
End of stunning discussion
Anyone believing that Reinsdorf/Williams would turn down a Stanton/Guillen swap needs to take their medication before commenting.
Too bad that columnists/bloggers have begun imitating the Phil Rogers/Dave Van Dyke style of attracting attention by spinning inane conclusions.
What’s next? Imitating their style of babbling on aimlessly?

buford

Whenever presented by conflicting reports by numerous sources on any particular topic, the best way to form an educated opinion on the matter would seem to be the following:
(1) Focus primarily on the sources that you trust
(2) Give slight weight to new sources who have yet to gain your trust
(3) Totally disregard the sources that have historical incompetence tied to them
Giving equal weight to all sources is the problem.

dalton

Am I missing something or are you giving investigative reporting tips to Jim? Easy, Woodward.

brittburnsfan

I am not so sure that Reinsdorf would make a Stanton for Ozzie deal…Reinsdorf, not Williams. There is a reason that Ozzie is still here (which thrills me because I am a huge Ozzie supporter) and that is because he makes the White Sox relevant. I think Reinsdorf likes that…he wants to win for sure but he likes being relevant as well. Would Jerry Manuel (great guy by the way) ever be asked to do the pre-game show for the World Series? Nope…and it is true that does not equate to wins but it does put the White Sox franchise out there and for big part of the Reinsdorf years…our White Sox were not much more than an afterthought on the national scene.
Just my opinion (and only my second post so don’t rip me too hard…I am still a bit nervous about putting my thoughts on this board…don’t want to detract from it)!!

buford

In a 6/19/10 article in Chicago Breaking Sports, Reinsdorf states that Williams has the power to fire Guillen. “You can’t make a GM have a manager he doesn’t want.”
While acquiring Stanton seems like a pipe dream, Marlins LHH 1B prospect Logan Morrison would be a fine acquisition if Guillen were to leave.
But the most important reason for letting Guillen go is told in this article:
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tweeting Ozzie just wants to have fun
By ESPNChicago.com
…… Guillen said if tweeting becomes a problem for Williams or White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf he would consider stopping. But if he could figure out a way to make money off it, then the discussion might be more difficult.
“If I was making money out of this then we’d fight,” Guillen said. “If I was making money out of this, I don’t care who told me, Jerry, Kenny, my mom, my dad, I would tell them to [forget] themselves. I just want to have fun, but if there was money involved I’m pretty sure I would get fired because I would fight for it.”
Ozzie constantly claims that his love for his family, the White Sox, and Jerry Reinsdorf in particular are foremost in his life. But then he rationalizes that the pursuit of money allows him to curse out his parents and Reinsdorf. In Guillen’s mind, his constant “I just want to have fun” motto evidently justifies all his ridiculous comments and money-oriented views on life.
You always hear that the White Sox want players of high character. That qualification should also include the manager.

dalton

Agreed. I think that because Ozzie gets in the news, he keeps the Sox in the papers and on the local news. And when he says something outlandish or “controversial,” the talking heads at ESPN blab about him. Otherwise, no one pays the White Sox any attention. When they won the ’05 WS, the team’s 90+ year stretch without a WS title was given short shrift; “the Sox got hot at the right time, end of story. How ’bout that Tom Brady, huh?”
I don’t go to the games to see Ozzie. It’s not like he gets on top of the dugout and performs a stand up routine or circles the bases in his underwear between innings. I go to watch a good game played by my favorite team. That’s it.

bigfun

Good plan. I don’t think Grant Balfour and his 2.28 ERA will have to accept a minor-league contract, though.
The Kemp and Rasmus rumors seem like a lot of hot air and I think they will both stay with their current teams; but unlike most of the pundits you actually offered a realistic package, not just Quentin and throw-in prospects, so thanks for that.

knoxfire30

Ozzie for Stanton and now today rumors of Quentin for Rasmus???
I think sox beat reporters are turning into cub message board posters with this craziness.

buford

Lot of talk of acquiring Stanton, Rasmus, Kemp going around. However, there’s a prospect I saw I recently in the Arizona Fall League that I would love for the Sox to acquire.
Charlie Blackmon is a 24 year old 6’3″ LHH CF with the Colorado Rockies. He has a smooth, balanced swing with pop and good range with a strong arm. He might be blocked in Colorado and therefore available.

buford

To date, I’ve attended 5 or 6 Arizona Fall League games this year with another 3 or 4 to come. Sorry, but I don’t video. I imagine there might be some on You Tube.
As background, I’m just a fan who enjoys watching prospects. Sometimes one catches my attention for whatever reason. I try to articulate the reasons the best I can and pass it along FWIW. It is not professional analysis, just my thoughts.
Regarding your “video of Escobar” I did give similar comments on White Sox SS Eduardo Escobar who also looked impressive this month in Arizona. But those comments were given on another website. My thoughts here were on OF Charlie Blackmon of Colorado.

buford

EDUARDO ESCOBAR has performed extremely well with the bat in Arizona (.333/.397/.596/.993 with 4HR which leads the league) plus his defense has always been first-rate. These offensive numbers are not sustainable, but hopefully his plate discipline is real. In 57AB’s he has 6 BB and only 5 SO. He appears to be a better RHH than LHH.
With Ramirez blocking him at SS, Escobar has trade value especially if packaged with others in a trade for a popular name like A. Gonzalez or C. Rasmus should San Diego or St. Louis be looking for their future SS. A young, switch-hitting SS with a decent bat (good average with a little pop) and speed to steal a base could bat #2 in a lineup. Couple this with very good arm/range at a very important position, and you have a valuable player/trading chip.
Additionally, after seeing him play in Arizona, I thought “This kid carries himself like a major league player”. It’s difficult to define, but his movement at SS/mannerisms at bat just reflect a confident approach to the game.
JARED MITCHELL said in an interview that his foot injury will not affect his speed and he is currently 99% recovered. He expects to be 100% by spring training. His poor Arizona performance means nothing. He just needs a lot of AB’s.
Nothing especially revealing about CHARLIE LEESMAN who has had control problems here, but he throws harder than I expected. He finished very well last season at AA and could have a future. Or he could turn into Tyler Lumsden.
CHARLIE BLACKMON’S numbers have improved each year as he moved from A to A+ to AA especially his HR’s, LD%, BB% and K%. For example, he hit 11 HR in 380 PA in AA in 2010 while only hitting 9 HR combined in 933 PA in A and A+ in prior years.
In the Arizona Fall League this year he’s had only 35 AB to date, but he is at .286/.375/.571/.946 with only 1 SO and 5 BB. In AA in 2010, he had a 8.4% BB and an 11.3 % SO – the best in his minor league career. He also stole 19 bases last year.
I always thought that a very good SO% / BB% was a good indicator for future success because plate discipline is so difficult to acquire. And if you have some pop to go with it, better yet.
Just as Sox OF Jared Mitchell’s baseball development was hurt because he split time between baseball and football at LSU, so was Blackmon’s in the sense that he split time between pitching and OF at Georgia Tech. Now he is concentrating solely on OF and hitting and it shows.
I was hoping the Sox could acquire Blackmon, but I don’t think Colorado trades this guy right now since he is still developing. They might see how he performs in AAA in 2011. If they feel his career has plateaued, then a trade is possible. But if he continues to improve, he could eventually join Carlos Gonzalez in Colorado’s OF for years to come.
LHH CF’s with offensive and defensive skills are rare and demand a premium. More than likely, Blackmon will cost more than you would imagine if traded now. And including Ozzie Guillen in the trade won’t do it.

sars

FWIW; 24 years old and playing in the AFL typically means that the guy is a bit too old for any sort of future stardom.

buford

Blackmon was drafted out of Georgia Tech in 2008 and began his professional career at the age of 22. He has played in only 287 minor league games through the end of the 2010 season. The book is hardly closed on this 24 year old.

ricksch

Magglio’s an interesting idea, but we really needed more lefty pop last year and if Konerko’s back that lefty pop has to come from the DH.
I know trades with the Royals have been mostly disasterous, but what about Quentin for DeJesus? DeJesus is exactly the kind of high-OBP hitter the Sox need. He has speed and a decent glove too.
Getting rid of Quentin is essential for the Sox — especially if Konerko is signed.
When I hear stuff like Quentin can’t DH because of his “intensity” — I say he’s the freakin’ player and if he doesn’t want to be tabbed as a guy who can hit some but not good enough to compensate for his crappy defense, then he should have either hit or fielder better.
Even Quentin’s big career year ended on a sour note with a stupid, self-inflicted injury. Seems like “intensity” of a type like Quentin’s is more a liability than anything else. If the Sox had the hot-hitting Quentin in the playoffs that year, who knows, right? But no, Quentin’s selfish temper deprived the team that chance.
Pena is too unreliable and giving him a $1M raise from his last crappy season seems absurd.
Wouldn’t mind Grant Balfour among a trio of new bullpen acquisitions.

sars

DDJ has speed? What part of 47 career stolen bases over 876 games says he has any speed what so ever?

ricksch

Didn’t say he was the next Ricky Henderson. But the guy can run a bit and will track down balls in right far better than Quentin — though that’s not saying much. DDJ’s lifetime .360 OBP is what sells the guy.

sars

He’s a nice player…but he’s not really gonna put the White Sox over the top. And yes, he can run “a bit,” as evidenced by his average of eight SBs/162 games.

ricksch

Didn’t say DeJesus was going to put them over the top — but he would be a smart upgrade over Quentin and improve the outfield.
Sox still need a lefty DH to offset the loss of power when they hopefully drop Quentin. A guy in the general price range of a Luke Scott is a lot more realistic than Dunn, whom I would NOT expend a big contract on. Dunn is way too pricey for a one-dimensional player.

dalton

But isn’t a DH basically a one-dimensional player?

ricksch

As far as the position itself, of course it is. I just think that you’d like to have the option of playing your DH in the field for 30 games or so without the guy killing you. DH is a good spot to platoon on occassion when it’s used right — not like Ozzie’s Mandruw Kojones’ nightmare. With Dunn, I just feel that $10-12 mil is a lot for a one-way guy. I don’t see the Sox spending that much on anyone this offseason, unless it’s Konerko for one or two years. I’m also leery about big NL bats who come to the AL and crap out. There’s been tons of those guys over the years.