Reading Room: Contract talks, Plan No. 13

The White Sox want to take it fast with John Danks and slow with A.J. Pierzynski, and Frank Thomas is taking a second shot at the music industry.

Rounding up the news of the week (and of two months ago, apparently):
*If A.J. Pierzynski is to return to the White Sox, it won’t happen during the five-day bargaining period is over. Both sides have agreed to let Pierzynski test the open market and see what happens.
*The Score 670 did reach a new deal with the Sox. It will serve as the team’s flagship station for the next five years, with Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson receiving extensions, too. There are also details about a new HD radio station devoted to all-Sox content, but I barely know anything about the medium.
*John Danks will be a high priority, as the Sox are going to try to construct a four-year deal to his liking.
*Mark Buehrle won his second consecutive Fielding Bible Award:

Buehrle won this award handily—runner up Zack Greinke only had 63 points. Buehrle’s edge is his ability to control the running game. He only allowed six of 12 would-be base thieves to steal against him, and he picked off six additional baserunners.

Will the Gold Glove voters follow suit for the second straight year? Tune in Nov. 9.
*Charlotte will need a new coach, as the Seattle Mariners hired Chris Chambliss to serve as hitting coach for Eric Wedge.
*The New York Yankees never asked for permission to interview Don Cooper, contrary to prior reports.
*Carl has posted his first White Sox cartoon of the offseason, against all odds.
*White Sox Observer wraps up 2010 for Omar Vizquel and Mark Teahen.
*In two-month old news I just came across, Frank Thomas is giving the recording industry another shot, as he has founded the new W2W Records. His previous venture, Un-D-Nyable Entertainment, was possibly the worst Chicago athlete investment this side of Air Pip, and one of many things to go awry for Thomas in the late-1990s.
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It’s Friday the 13th — as in 13th offseason plan, courtesy of the guy who forced you all to share your ideas, Striker. His end roster looks quite a bit different than most.
MUST-MAKE DECISIONS
1) Would you offer arbitration to:
*A.J. Pierzynski? (Type A) – No, I think he would accept.
*Paul Konerko? (Type A) – Yes, I think he wants a multiyear deal.
*Manny Ramirez? (Type A)
*J.J. Putz (Type B) – Yes
2) Would you pick up Ramon Castro’s $1.2 million option for 2011, or buy him out for $200,000?
Yes.
CLUB CONTROL (explain if warranted)
3) One-year contract for John Danks?  If not, what would you pay to extend him?
Three years, $27 million ($6M/$9M/$12M), with a team option for the fourth year ($15m).
4) Would you tender a contract to Bobby Jenks?
No.
5) Would you tender a contract to Carlos Quentin?
Yes, $4 million.
6) Would you tender a contract to Tony Pena?
Yes, $1.7 million.
6a) Who would you try to extend?
I would try to extend Edwin Jackson for three years and $30 million ($9M/$10M/$11M). This would make Gavin Floyd available in the trade market. I also try to extend Matt Thornton for three years and $21 million.
FREE AGENCY: WHITE SOX
7) 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 – One year, $4.5 million.
  • Manny Ramirez – See below.
  • Omar Vizquel – One year, $1.5 million.
  • Andruw Jones: One year, $1.5 million.
  • Freddy Garcia
  • Mark Kotsay

FREE AGENCY: OUTSIDE HELP

8) Which positions are in the most dire need of an upgrade?

DH, right field, first base.
9) Name three (or more) free agents you’d consider, and at what price.
I’d take one of:
*Derrek Lee – One year, $5 million.
*Manny Ramirez – I’m torn on this one. My concerns are health and attitude. You know he’s good for a .400 OBP. His slugging might be on the decline but he could still produce runs. One year, $7 million.
*Hideki Mastui – One year, $4 million.
TRADES
10) Name a couple (or more) realistic trades that could improve the Sox.
*Carlos Quentin to the Los Angeles Dodgers for James Loney. Dodgers would get a slugging right handed outfielder and would free up first base to make a run at Dunn. White Sox get a young LH 1B. Not much pop but he drives in runs.
*Two B-level prospects to the New York Mets for Carlos Beltran and $8 million. Not sure if this would fly from the Mets’ perspective. I know they want to decrease payroll but not sure what Beltran would cost.
SUMMARY
And finally:
11) Sum it all up in a paragraph or nine, and give a ballpark estimate of the total payroll.
Two-year depth chart:

2011 Lineup
LF Juan Pierre
CF Alex Rios
RF Carlos Beltran
1B Hideki Matsui
SS Alexei Ramirez
1B James Loney
2B Gordon Beckham
CA Tyler Flowers
3B Brent Morel
The goal of my team is to be competitive at the trade deadline then add difference maker(s) where needed. That could mean replacing Morel or Flowers if they aren’t doing well, or Beltran or Matsui if they aren’t healthy. We are overstocked with starting pitching and you only need 3 horses in the playoffs and starting pitching is at high demand at the trade deadline, so we could trade starting pitching to meet any offensive needs.
The good

  • Top three hitters could steal 120 bases
  • Two left-handed run producers, one switch-hitter
  • Good defense
  • Starting pitching depth

The bad

  • Beltran and Matsui are injury risks
  • Flowers, Beckham and Morel are all young. I think you have to give them a chance or you are going to have an expensive team in the long run.
  • Chris Sale, Sergio Santos and Putz: Can they produce the same results?

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Arizona Fall League:

  • Peoria 14, Phoenix 5
    • Good times for Eduardo Escobar, who singled, doubled and tripled in six at-bats.
    • Bad times for Jared Mitchell, who struck out three times en route to an 0-for-5 day.
    • Anthony Carter allowed a run on three hits and a strikeout in his inning of work.
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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.

Articles: 3708
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fustercluck

This Eddie Escobar kid is having quite the AFL season for himself. Don’t be surprised if Kenny tries to trade for him before Hahn gives him the good news.

LS_SoX_FN

I think i jinxed Mitchell a week or two ago when i said i was pleased with the amount of walks he seemed to be taking….
hhhhhhhhhhhh
I also find it funny that it was just a few years ago when the conversation would be “We have to trade for some infield depth… move an outfielder we have plenty!!!”
double hhhhhhhhhhhh though id much rather have a young infield… i wonder where this escobar dude fits in…

LS_SoX_FN

So Escobar finishes the year in Birmingham and hits well enough. He winds up in AAA at some point this year… Say he continues to hit, what do we do with him? Do we really have to trade him?

bigfun

I don’t think he’s moving that fast. He OPS’d .670 in AA, so he may well need all of next year there and maybe ’12 in AAA.
If he’s ready after that, you could trade Alexei in the 2012-2013 offseason as by that point he’ll be getting pricier in arbitration.

sars

loney is bar-none one of the most overrated first baseman in the majors. i wouldn’t wish his god awful ability on the cubs.
think the beltran trade is a cool idea and love that you’re handing the keys to flowers.

striker

With the Loney/Quentin deal, you are trading an injury risk for a production risk.

sars

right, but that “production,” as pointed out below, is skewed by RBI totals. because loney hits 3rd/4th/5th and has stayed healthy his entire career doesn’t necessarily mean he’s productive. he has very little power and plays a position where power should be priority number one.
what you’re saying is you want the following players at corner positions; morel at 3rd, pierre in left, and loney at 1st. that’s maybe 30 home runs in 2010 accounting for probably 0 from pierre. that’s atrocious.

dalton

>shudder<

knoxfire30

This team is old, and overpaid.
I like the beltran idea, but 1.7 for pena, 7 for manny, 5 for lee, 4 for matsui, these numbers really add up, 10.5 for beltran (with the hope the mets kick in 8) is a lot of gamble on a guy who was moving around like my grandma at the end of the year.
Also think its a sell low on quentin, james loney is a first basemen with no power, and his rbi numbers skew his actual value.

bigfun

Beltran idea is interesting but I’m wondering who the two B-level prospects would be since Flowers, Morel, Infante, and Mitchell are all apparently staying with the Sox.

knoxfire30

yea, plus new gm/coach situation in new york for the mets will cloudy up their offseason, kenny likes to shop early and get his plan off the ground quickly, the mets are likely to take a while to get things together with a new front office

striker

I would only sign one of Manny, Lee, Matsui. In my lineup scenario I signed Matsui.

dalton

Let Konerko walk and sign Matsui and Dunn? Or keep Konerko, sign Dunn to DH, trade Q and put Matsui in right? I just wet myself…

paul

If we receive 8 million with Beltran, the payroll is in around 111 million, which is on the high end, but possible. I would definitely prefer to keep Quentin (DH) and either resign Konerko or sign Derrek Lee. That would be pushing payroll to the 113-116 million range. We might be getting a few million for Pierre this year though, which would help.
If we could move Quentin for a good low cost relievers or two, perhaps we could forget about Putz, and sign Lee and Konerko…might need to cut a little bit more payroll but it’d be in the realm of feasibility. Plus I like Lee, and if he performed well, who wouldn’t love to give the Cubs fans a hard time about it? And then if we could get Ryne Sandberg to coach one of our minor league teams…

bigfun

His previous venture, Un-D-Nyable Entertainment, was possibly the worst Chicago athlete investment this side of Air Pip, and one of many things to go awry for Thomas in the late-1990s.
Jim, just because “3-5, The White Sox Got’em Open Up Wide” wasn’t a commercial hit doesn’t mean that it didn’t achieve Frank’s artistic goals.

Buehrlesque

I love it, striker!

Buehrlesque

One thing I just noticed though- what happened to Linebrink?

paul

LOL. There’s a little albatross we’re forgetting about. And Damn You Mark Teahen, Damn You! That’s 4.75 million I’d like to have back.

Shinons

Linebrink: “Mr. Williams told me to talk to payroll and then payroll told me to talk to Mr. Williams and I still haven’t received my paycheck and he took my glove and he never brought it back and then they moved my desk to storage room B and there was garbage on it…”

striker

I tried to slip that one by you but you caught me 😉

ricksch

You want to spend $7 mil on steroid Manny and then platoon him with Matsui? That’s $11.5 invested in the DH position
Matsui is interesting. I like the guy’s approach and professionalism. But Manny may be through and could deteriorate very quickly now that he’s thoroughly outted on the ‘roids.
Beltran trade is interesting, but is he a fielding upgrade from Quentin?
Loney is an okay player, but I wonder if he’ll put up worse numbers in the AL.
Still haven’t figured out why anyone wants T. Pena back.
I think they should try hard to extend Danks now. Wouldn’t trade Floyd with Buerhle and Jackson only signed for next year and Peavy a big question mark. The Jackson extension is an intriguing idea — I just don’t think he justifies that salary.
Having both Flowers and Morel in the starting line-up scares the hell out of me. I think we need a cheap, free agent catcher to back-up Castro and let Flowers prove himself at AAA.
Kudos for some fresh-thinking –even if I don’t agree with a lot of these moves.

dalton

How ’bout we trade Buerhle and go with Danks/Jackson/Peavy/Floyd/Garcia (or someone we pick up via free agency)? That would free up some room to go after Dunn, Matsui, or Lee, while keeping Konerko. Makes Q expendable if we get Matsui and one of those other guys. What say Sox have a DH “platoon” of Dunn and Matsui? Oh, and Teahan. Dunn, Matsui and Teahan. Mustn’t forget about him.

ricksch

I don’t think we can afford to trade the consistent 200-innings plus Buerhle with Peavy a potential injury problem and Garcia’s lowered ceiling of innings. I think it’s time for Freddy to take the long relief role and function as a back-up sixth. That insures us if Peavy goes down as we have NO potential starter coming up unless you put Sale down to make HIM the 6th starter — which I don’t want to do.
Last year was a big year for Freddy in pitching more innings that the previous three years combined, but I think he’d be foolish to even try to pitch that many innings again. He’d pretty much hit the wall at around 120 last year. 90-100 innings per would prolong his career.

bigfun

As a 5-and-10 guy with a poison pill trade-activated fifth year in his contract, it’s extremely unlikely that Buehrle is going anywhere.

ceverettsdinosaurs

Interesting article about White Sox defense on ESPN Insider behind the pay wall: http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/news/story?id=5764722
Teaser: “Baseball Info Solutions calculates defensive runs saved, an estimate of the number of runs each player saved or cost his team defensively. Teahen didn’t rank as the worst regular third baseman only because he didn’t qualify as a “regular” third baseman; his minus-13 runs saved tied Michael Young, Chris Johnson and Wilson Betemit as the worst runs saved total at the position this year, despite the fact he played only 411 innings there.
Teahen wasn’t alone: 43-year-old Omar Vizquel (minus-9 runs saved in 582 innings) and rookies Dayan Viciedo (minus-3 runs saved in 162 innings) and Brent Morel (minus-4 runs saved in 164 innings) all rated poorly at the hot corner for Chicago, making it the weakest defensive position in all of baseball.”

dalton

We’re about to be told how unreliable this stat is, aren’t we, given how high people here are on Morel..?

ceverettsdinosaurs

To be fair, the article does make the point about small sample size later on and note that scouts think Morel will be an above-average defensive third baseman. However, I thought I should protect some of the sanctity of the paywall.

ricksch

that was funny —
The Morel stat IS interesting but I think the fact the guy cuts and moves well at the position makes it likely he’s an above-average 3rd.