Saturday, November 06, 2004

If I had to spend the White Sox dollars

The offseason can be as much fun for a baseball fan as
the regular season, particularly for a non-winning
team. There are the possibilities of acquiring the
players to make a run at a championship next season,
the questions over whether a player will make a
comeback from a poor season or repeat success from the
previous year.

As salaries in professional sports continue to
escalate and financial concerns play as much of a role
in the decisions to sign and retain players, it
becomes a little more difficult to envision the makeup
of your team durign the winter.

I asked my blogging compatriots to do just that,
though, beginning with the players of our favorite
teams who are free agents. While I am a White Sox fan,
I also root for the local Phillies so am looking at
what I would do if I were in the shoes of the
management of these teams.

Before I go into my decision, some caveats. One, I
like young players, especially pitchers. I'm a
potential guy. This is especially so compared to major
league executives who seem to like the "proven
quantity", especially for role players, regardless if
the player in question played for the Houston Colt

Second, I'm not real thrilled with the savvy of the
gentlemen running the front offices of these two
teams. They have a tendency towards making moves that
I would consider illogical. As best possible, I will
try to portray my decisions and express how I think
reality will differ.

Lastly, I want to be realistic. I'm not going to say
the White Sox should sign Beltre and Nomar and
Renteria and then trade Nomar for Randy Johnson.

Without further ado....

The White Sox. The White Sox in their movement toward
youth have themselves in a nice situation as far as
contracts go this winter. Only four players are free
agents. Sandy and Roberto Alomar, Magglio Ordonez and
Jose Valentin.

My thought last winter was that the White Sox should
try and do whatever possible to try and keep Maggs for
years to come. After the knee injury, I'm not so sure.
While one of the premier players in the American
League, a serious knee injury could have lingering
consequences. Also, Ordonez is thirty years old now
and should be on the decline. He'll be wanting a
multi-year deal for big bucks and I cannot see the
White Sox ponying up the dough. I don't think they

What should they do, though? Assuming Frank Thomas is
healthy, he'll be the DH which means Carl Everett
plays the field. Him in right and Carlos Lee (despite
all the hard work and improvement he has made in left,
he can be a bit scary at times in the field), this is
not a great defensive outfield. Joe Borchard looked
like he might never be ready for the majors. There's
not many in-house options.

If I felt the White Sox were close to being
competitive in 2005, I'd say go after J.D. Drew. he
would be a great fit offensively and defensively and
would probably be a bit cheaper than Ordonez (and is
two years younger).

The White Sox need pitching help, though, and I can
see the money being spent on pitching.

But wait! What about the other three? The White Sox
would be fools to re-sign either Alomar. I'd say
there's about a 60% chance they will sign one and 20%
chance of both. Why? Because the White Sox (Ken
Williams) does dumb things like that. Likewise with
Valentin. I think the Sox may be through with him but
you never know.

If there is one position player I think the White Sox
have to sign in free agency, it is Cristian Guzman.
Budgetwise and talentwise, he would be a terrific
acquisition. It would help my faith in the team
immensely if they were to sign him. Despite his low
OBP, I think he brings a lot to a team.

There is potentially the revenge factor to consider as well with Guzman getting to go against his former teammates in Minnesota. I tend to discount that as a reason but you never know.

So in a nutshell, don't resign anybody and use the money to get Guzman and a pitcher.


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