'At least we're not Detroit!'

‘We’re not Detroit!’
Honestly, watching Jim Leyland manage over the last week, I get the idea that he’s the Marty Schottenheimer of the baseball world. He’s great at putting parts together over the long haul, but when it comes down to brass tacks, he has major brain farts.  When Zach Miner pitches and Edwin Jackson and Justin Verlander don’t… there’s a problem.
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The White Sox offseason started with two very easy decisions. Kenny Williams picked up options for:
Freddy Garcia: $1 million base salary, plus up to $2 million in incentives.
Matt Thornton: $2.25 million, which is a raise of $900,000.
I’ll go through the rest of the option- and arbitration-eligible players throughout the week.
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At MLB Trade Rumors, Eddie Bajek’s reverse-engineering of the Elias formula clears up a few other pictures if the numbers hold:
*Octavio Dotel has fallen to Type-B status. If there were any question about the Sox offering arbitration, there isn’t now.
*Chone Figgins is a Type B.  Let the bidding war begin!
*Placido Polanco is a Type A.  And he’s exactly the kind of low-ceiling player to get financially screwed by this development (see: Cruz, Juan).
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I posted this to my Twitter account, but it’s worth posting here — Michael Jordan against the Cubs on April 7, 1994:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgUyzKwrTcU[/youtube]

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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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cushinglee

What are all those poor people in Detroit going to do now? According to the media, this game was all they had.

iowaoaks

Thanks for posting that. It reminds me why I can’t stand either of those two. Carey was the worst announcer/broadcast… wait, Ron Santo is still on the air right? Second worst announcer/broadcaster I’ve ever heard. What a terrible interview.
All that fakeness from Mendoza Mike. “I’ll just stay at home and be a father.” If Carey had been any kind of a journalist he might have asked if he would be a professional gambler instead of asking if he would be a hockey player.
I am a very proud Sox fan and the “history” of Jordan in a Sox jersey is a black mark on our team and the sport.

knoxfire30

My god I hate carey so much. BASE HIT CAUGHT RUNNING HOME HE’S OUT. How in the world if you werent watching the game would you have any idea of what happened on that play. Just terrible. And the non stop bleeding hearts about how this win would somehow give freaking Detroits shit hole city a boost, as if that game had anythign to do with the failing economic structure of Detroit.

cushinglee

Yeah, that’s good old Chip–so excited about something that hasn’t happened yet he just assumes it will happen. I was doing something when Chip yelled out “base hit!!” and I looked up to see Rayburn catching a fly ball. Remember when Chip was doing the Cubs, and a Cub would hit a fly ball, and Chip would start yelling and screaming, and the ball would be caught 15 feet in front of the fence?

knoxfire30

Jim, please double check Dotel’s status, I heard a rumor that if Guerrier gave up a run last night he could switch spots with Dotel and he gave up a homer to mags. The type A or type B status on Dotel literally determines his future with the sox.
Im happy the sox didnt take long to move forward with the obvious contract pickups, hopefully they have already got an offseason plan mapped out. Kenny always has a plan and I think the bidding war on Figgins will refocus their attention to a possible lesser acquistion of a guy like Polanco and then use the rest of available assets on a corner outfield / dh power bat and to acquire a bullpen arm.

jimbo

According to the Elias rankings today, Dotel is type A. Now the question is, does KW offer arbitration for the draft picks, or by being an A would Dotel risk turning arbitration down? I’m leaning toward offering. If he accepts, we retain a much needed late inning arm and we could then shop Jenks or even Dotel if he wanted to.

knoxfire30

yea just saw those come out, guerrier did drop from A to B, not that he is a free agent but their was a small shift because of the run he gave up yesterday
offering arb to dotel is up to the sox projected team payroll if they are cutting back he is prohibitive to them getting a middle order bat, if they keep payroll elevated then its a smart move that you can live with either way (draft picks or 1 more year of dotel)

soxfan1

I thought about the same thing that Knox stated. “Base hit caught running home he’s out” has to be one of the worst baseball calls of all time. Chip Caray should be banned from the booth for life in the best interests of baseball.
I really enjoyed watching yesterday’s play-in game,however, one of the best games in recent memory. Leyland’s non-moves were very noticeable. He looked scared all night. Oh well Detroit, there’s always the Lions to fall back on.

Big_Fun

Is a 34-year-old middle infielder what the Sox need right now? Polanco’s a fine player but he probably adds less than two wins per season over some combination of Getz and Nix. Acquiring zero-upside veterans at considerable expense just continues the mentality of paying a premium to be .500. They need to build a multi-year plan and stop running on fumes. For 2010, a couple one-year stopgap hitters and a non-established (i.e. cheap) bullpen arm would be fine to tide them over. They probably can’t make any big moves unless it’s a Jenks trade. Kenny made his offseason moves early this year.

knoxfire30

Polanco’s age has very little bearing on the type of player he is and for a 1 or 2 year contract I think he is a definite upgrade over the Getz/Nix platoon option.

Big_Fun

I agree he’s a definite upgrade, but not by any large margin. The degree of the upgrade is what’s important, not upgrading for upgrading’s sake. He’s great at not striking out and plays good defense. It’s not like that’s the one thing this team needs to make the contenders. The club has greater needs and this would be a poor use of limited resources.

knoxfire30

I think the sox were 13th out of 14th in second base production for the american league. If you cant upgrade that position what position can you upgrade? Plus I think Polanco will come at a value.

Big_Fun

But there are really small differences between the majority of those second base slots outside of the top few guys. Going from one of the worst 2B productions to a merely average one makes very little difference in how many games your team wins because it’s a relatively thin spread.
If you replace Nix/Getz with an elite 2B like Pedroia or Utley, that might change your division fortunes. Replacing them with Polanco does not.
It’s probably ~2 wins, and that’s assuming Polanco doesn’t get worse and Nix/Getz don’t get better (and given their respective ages, the opposite is much more likely to happen).

knoxfire30

If Polanco gives us 280 330 with 12 homers and 75 rbi, im pretty sure we are going to win a few extra games, plus he brings solid intangibles to the table both in the clubhouse and out on the field being a smart baseball player with a solid glove.
I get your point but for a difference of 4 or 5 mil vs what we have I think gaining 3-4 extra wins on that upgrade is worth it.

stopdrop8

Signing polanco to a multi year deal considering hes a type A free agent would be a disaster, and I don’t think kenny will really pursue him at all. As far as figgins goes, i’m almost as concerned about how many years we would be willing to give him as I am about the money. Speedy slap hitters in their early thirties are scary to give big, long term contracts to. Remember when the cubs signed soriano coming off a 41 stolen base season… he was the same ago figgins is now

Big_Fun

I think Figgins’ future value might be somewhat better than Soriano’s because unlike Soriano Figgins can draw walks (most in the AL this year) and produce a good OBP, which makes him a bit more like Brian Roberts without the doubles or a mini-Ichiro.
Anyway I think it’s a moot point – I’m sure the Sox will get outbid on Figgins.

striker

I doubt we are in the running for Figgins. If we lose Pods then I would like to go after Pierre but only if the Dodgers eat some of his salary. Pierre at $5mil is worth it. I think he could match Pods def/avg/obp and steal more bases.

815sox

No thank you. We could probably do better trying something in house rather then spending 5 million (which is low) for Juan Pierre.
Leadoff is important but its not the end all be all, must have that it is played up to be.

JJ

Well, I don’t think Juan Cruz is going to have to worry about a Type-A status screwing him next time he’s on the open market…man, was he terrible in Kansas City this year.
On a side note, Jim, you going to be watching Thursday night?

JJ

Yeah, I’m significantly less worried about Okie State now.
Enjoy being dry. We’re supposed to get about two inches of rain here in Columbia tomorrow, which means Derrick Washington/De’Vion Moore/Kendial “Showtime” Lawrence and the o-line better show up. Were you there for the ’03 game?

JJ

Awesome. I love hearing everybody’s stories about that game…just like I’ll be telling everyone about my experiences at ’07 vs. kU football.
Apparently ESPN is going to be highlighting MU’s J-School throughout the broadcast, too. Pretty neat.

Big_Fun

“I get your point but for a difference of 4 or 5 mil vs what we have I think gaining 3-4 extra wins on that upgrade is worth it.”
What’s the basis for 3-4 wins? I’m going by Wins Above Replacement, which puts Polanco at 3.2 and Nix/Getz at 1.2 for 2009. So 2 wins is assuming Polanco doesn’t get any worse and guys a decade younger than him don’t get any better. If you want a four-win upgrade… Dustin Pedroia was worth 5.3 last year, so that’s a four-win upgrade.
If you don’t like WAR and you’re going by something else, that’s fine, I just don’t see any measurement that says Polanco, who is a good but definitely not great player, makes a team three to four wins better on his own. That’s strictly all-star territory.
And “solid intangibles” seems like a contradiction in terms…

knoxfire30

I hate the winshare stuff, but I do see your point. Those type of stats really have a hard time determining stuff like being a smart player and intangibles.
However I would point out Polanco coming to the cell wont hurt his numbers whereas I think Nix’s power was an absolute fluke and its hard to imagine Getz having that much success stealing bases again or staying healthy. I dont think you have also factored in some of the Lillbridge numbers at 2nd, he didnt play their a lot but he did play there and put up miserable numbers.

Big_Fun

Fair enough. Intangibles are fine but I’d rather have the Sox allocate money based on things they can measure and predict (playing ability) than things they can’t (intangibles). Intangibles were supposed to be a big benefit of the Nick Swisher trade and that was a disaster. Better to find guys with negative intangibles (Pierzynski, Jenks)… you can get them at below their true value if no one likes them.

knoxfire30

Nick Swisher and Ocab went to the playoffs last year and went again this year. I also think losing on a guy like torri hunter who had a lot of “intangables” hurt despite his high salary.
Hopefully Peavy adds an edge to the team, and everything we have heard about him makes me believe that.
I would rather upgrade OF, DH, Bullpen, before 2nd, I just think 2nd offers a value in an upgrade without giving up much in terms of financial committment.

blah

I just want to point out that O-Cab is only going back to the playoffs because he was traded mid season. I don’t really think his “intangables” were what got him there.
And Swisher, you could say he lucked out when Nady went on the DL for the year, he was pegged to be the “super-sub” in NY before that. With that, and the quarter billion dollars the Yanks spent to improve their rotation and upgrade 1st base, I think you can erase the “intangables” factor.
And besides any “intangables” Polanco has didn’t really do a lot for the Tigers.
Just saying.

fustercluck

Anybody see when Joe Nathan returned to the dugout last night? OC shoved him a couple times in the chest. Nathan looked like he was seriously considering punting Orlando’s head into the stands, then he gamely shoved him back. I liked that.

knoxfire30

So your saying, Ocab had nothing to do with the twins winning the division. A guy batting 2nd, playing a solid shortstop on a team that had a 17-4 run to push a 1 game playoff, coinscidently a game he hits a huge 2 run homer in, didnt have anything to do with them going to the playoffs?
Yea swisher’s team more then likely, probably 98 percent sure goes to the playoffs without him, but hey they got there and he certainly contributed.

blah

No, I’m saying that whatever “intangables” O-Cab has didn’t get him back to the playoffs. His bat, glove, and base-running contributed.