For those who missed it on Saturday, here’s me and Rob Hart yakkin’ it up over the White Sox’s winter.
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Carl’s latest strip: With Love from Mr. Reinsdorf.
*A.J. Pierzynski talked to Scott Merkin about what his return means. Aside from being taught to hate the White Sox while with the Twins, here’s a key quote:
“At the beginning of the year, I was trying to do too much, trying get five hits every at-bat. I wanted to show everyone what I could do instead of letting it happen. That’s the wrong way to go about it, and I learned a lot.
“Then, after trying too hard, pressing and getting off to a bad start, I look up and I’m hitting .180 in May. You start trying even harder instead of letting it go and relaxing.”
Pierzynski has barely skirted a complete collapse twice. Logic would dictate that this seems to be a convenient excuse, but he’s a hard guy to stop, for better or for worse.
*Donny Lucy is back with the White Sox — or, more specifically, the Charlotte Knights. So is Brian Bruney, who is basically Bryan Brukvich.
*J.J. says the right offer won’t come along to make Mark Buehrle expendable.
*Cross J.P. Howell off the list, as he’s returning to the Rays for one year and $1.1 million.
*The Red Sox are going hard after Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier and Brian Fuentes.
*Fittingly, James tries to figure out whom the Sox can trade for bullpen help.
*Twins bloggers aren’t responding favorably to the J.J. Hardy trade. Two recommended pieces:
- Nick’s Twins Blog: “The move was clearly a flat-out salary dump, and be assured, shaving a few million dollars from the payroll is the only positive thing it accomplishes.”
- Aaron Gleeman: “They focused on Hardy’s flaws, trading an above-average shortstop under team control at a palatable one-year price and turning to two question marks in the name of getting faster.”
“We all know Hardy doesn’t run like he used to, and when you’re talking about injecting speed, there’s only a few places that you can do that, and shortstop is one of them.
“We like Hardy a lot. He’s a great guy, great teammate, and we believe when he’s healthy he’s solid at shortstop. But when you start looking at speed and everything, and other options, that’s one of the areas we’re going to look at options at and see if we can find more speed — a little more versatility out there.
“So we’re looking, and not to say we don’t want Hardy back, but we’re just trying to make our ballclub better.”
It almost sounds like Gardenhire has a bigger Twins fetish than Ozzie Guillen does. I wouldn’t start rejoicing yet, though. It’s one thing to notice the Twins are worse on paper, but the Sox have to believe they’re vulnerable, and that’s not an easy sell.
*Cliff Lee signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for five years and $100 million $120 million (updated). With the Yankees swinging and missing on Lee, this should loosen up the trade market, because they still need pitching.