Kenny Williams, White Sox GM. The White Sox weren’t expected to do much, but they’ve already traded Chris Getz and Josh Fields for Mark Teahen, and signed Andruw Jones and Vizquel, two big-time former stars. Williams surprised folks by forging a deal with Boras for Jones, whom he has coveted for years (they tried many years ago to pry him away from the Braves). Boras, who’s had a sticky relationship with Williams, also tried to sell him on signing Crede rather than trading two young players for the talented unproven Teahen. But apparently détente has its limitations.
November 30, 2009
Chances are the Sox won’t offer arbitration to Jermaine Dye and Octavio Dotel says Mark Gonzales:
The landscape is different for the White Sox at this time than it was last winter, when they offered salary arbitration to free agent Orlando Cabrera. They were confident he would decline because of the emergence of Alexei Ramirez and the fact that Cabrera could have been cut and lost the majority of his salary. … It’s extremely rare for a player to take a pay cut in salary arbitration. Dye earned $11.5 million in 2009 and Dotel $6 million. Even if either player accepted salary arbitration and they were later cut in spring training, those players would receive either 30 days’ pay or 45 days’ pay, depending on the date in spring training that they were released. The major league calendar is around 180 days. …
BTW, here’s MLBTR’s Arbitration primer.
SEATTLE, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ – Major League Baseball’s Mark Teahen, longtime third baseman for the Kansas City Royals and recently acquired by the Chicago White Sox, will receive the 2009 Hutch Award(®). The award is given annually to a Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication of baseball great Fred Hutchinson, both on and off the field. …
The White Sox signed Andruw Jones to a one-year contract worth $500,000 last week. While the White Sox aren’t done making moves, don’t be surprised to see Jones put together over 300 at-bats. …
[Andruw Jones] managed a decent bounce back in 331 plate appearances. 17 homers were hit, a .323 OBP was had, and Jones nearly had a higher slugging percentage (.459) than his 2008 OPS (.505). As for 2010, the deal is a coup for Ken Williams. Jones flashed his highest ISO since 2006 and while playing in Arlington artificially enhanced those numbers, it’s still encouraging to see his HR/FB and ability to drive the ball seemingly regress towards normal. …
November 29, 2009
The White Sox, Cubs, Braves, and Mets make up half of the eight teams interested in signing right-hander Takashi Saito, according to Patrick Newman at NPB Tracker.
November 28, 2009
Jamie’s surprise plan worked better than she could have imagined. She invited family, friends, neighbors and White Sox teammates for a barbeque at their house on that particular Thursday, but revealed the chopper’s arrival to provide a little extra incentive for as many people as possible to attend.
So Mark was the only one left in the dark. When Teutul drove up on the chopper, Mark’s first thought wasn’t, “I think I’m getting a custom-made OCC chopper, and this event is being taped for rebroadcast.” It was more along the lines of, “Who is invading my family’s privacy?” A look of bubbling anger is evident on Mark’s face when he first walked into the frame near the end of Thursday’s show.
“This is what happened,” Mark explained. “I can’t think of the guy’s name, but it was a guy who worked with the White Sox, one of the tradesmen at U.S. Cellular. He drove a bike, a louder bike, and had the same sort of gray hair as Paul Sr. So, I saw what I thought was him and thought, ‘What is he doing here on my off-day and how does he know where I live?’
“Then I saw the TV cameras and the booms with microphones on it and I thought, ‘He brought Comcast with him?’ Then, I was [upset]. I’m chilling with my family and friends and this guy brings Comcast?
“At that point, I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to go off on someone,’” said Buehrle, laughing at the whole situation in hindsight. “As I got closer, I could see there was more going on. I first thought it was something bad, and it turned out to be something really good.” …
Escobar, like Vizquel a switch hitter from Venezuela, hasn’t received a lot of attention as a prospect because he has a .320 career on-base percentage with limited power, hitting .256 this season. Vizquel batted .263 in high Class A when he was 20. His fielding skills were so advanced, however, the Mariners brought him to the big leagues at 22, and he has gone on to play a record 2,681 games at shortstop. He’s a lifetime .273 hitter who once batted .333 and hit .295 in 2006, when he was 39. Some with the White Sox believe Escobar has that type of potential. “He struggled really badly the first two or three months this season and was terrific the last two months,” White Sox farm director Buddy Bell said. “That’s a great sign. But I don’t think we want to drop Omar Vizquel (comparisons) on him just yet.”
November 27, 2009
[Jared] Mitchell’s .417 on-base average was impressive in just 34 low-A ball games. However, his line of .296/.417/.435 was aided by a crazy-high .453 BABIP. His walk rate of 16.7% was offset by a nasty strikeout rate at 34.8%, which is obviously going to have to come down. With an ISO of .139, his power is undeveloped at this time, although he could develop into a 15-homer hitter. Despite good speed, Mitchell nabbed just five steals in eight attempts. …
November 26, 2009
“You’re a young guy, they’re going to test you — it’s part of the game,” he said. “You can’t think about it. You’re not going to be very effective at the plate if you’re up there worried about getting hit.”
The Sox have been interested more with Santos learning the nuances of pitching rather than with his results.
“They look more for improvement, like throwing four sliders and making sure at least two of them are strikes,” Santos said. “I’m now able to throw first-pitch sliders for strikes and on 3-2 counts, and changeups on 2-0 counts. It’s a daunting challenge, but I’ve learned in four months what other pitchers have done in their entire careers.”
Sergio loves Buddy:
Santos credits the Sox, particularly farm director Buddy Bell for the support that enabled him to make a position change. Santos was one of the first cuts of spring training in March but threw a bullpen session in front of several team officials before Bell asked him his preference. Santos wanted to give the infield one more try, so he was dealt to the Giants for future considerations before encountering a position logjam that resulted in him returning to the Sox to embark on a pitching career.
“To this day, I’m thankful for Buddy Bell,” Santos said. “He’s the best guy I’ve run across in baseball.”
Santos will play Winter Ball with Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League to be ready to compete for a spot in the Sox bullpen in the spring.
Daurys Mercedes, 20, SS/2B
Daurys took large strides forwards this year after a very weak offensive season in 2008. Mercedes was signed in 2007 along with Juan Silverio, but unlike Silverio, Mercedes showed very good plate discipline as he walked 31 times against 39 strikeouts. This was a vast improvement on his 62 SO/17 BB last year. Mercedes hit for some decent pop this year with a .473 SLG and .154 IsoP as well as a strong average (.319). …
The Preseason selections were shipped away so here are the Postseason selections:
Try as we could, the great minds at MLB.com could not choose between two deserving candidates and so awarded “co-hitter” honors:
Stefan Gartrell, OF: Gartrell, who was just added to the White Sox’ 40-man roster , combined to hit .281 with 23 homers and 89 RBIs between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, with 31 doubles and a .513 slugging percentage. These stats were especially heartening for the Sox since he was coming off a serious shoulder separation suffered last fall in the Arizona Fall League. The 31st-round pick in 2006 was a University of San Francisco teammate of Poreda.
Christian Marrero, 1B/OF: The older brother of Nationals prospect Chris Marrero signed as a 2005 22nd-round draft-and-follow in ’06, the same year as his first-rounder brother, but Christian has kept pace with his sibling in the stats department. The left-handed hitter batted .308 with eight homers and 74 RBIs between Winston-Salem and Birmingham this season, seeing time at first base and both left and right field, while posting a .501 slugging percentage and collecting 30 doubles. He hit .323 in August.
Dan Hudson, RHP: There was no debate on this pick. In just his first full season, Hudson had arguably the best season of any starting pitcher in the Minors, rising from Class A Kannapolis all the way to Chicago with nary a bump in the road. He went 14-5, and his 2.32 ERA at four Minor League levels ranked ninth among all full-season starters, while his 166 strikeouts and 10.14 strikeouts per nine innings were among the leaders as well. Additionally, his .200 average against was second among all full-season starters. In six big league games, including a pair of starts, he posted a 3.38 ERA and limited hitters to a .225 average in 18 2/3 innings. With a fastball in the low 90s, a changeup with late sink and a solid slider, the Old Dominion product may be in the Majors for good.
November 25, 2009
Merkin on how things shape up:
… Jayson Nix, who is out of options, certainly has not been knocked out of the Major League picture, especially with his ability to play the outfield and three infield positions — not to mention adding his own burst of power off the bench. He could also be part of the rotating designated-hitter spot.
While the White Sox figure to make one more major position player addition, probably to fill the leadoff spot through an outfielder, the return of Scott Podsednik still ranges from remote to inconclusive. Podsednik and his camp continue to look for a multi-year deal, an area where the White Sox are not willing to go.
“It is still early in the process and we have had several teams express interest in Scott,” said Ryan Gleichowski, Podsednik’s agent, in an e-mail. “Our goal is to keep the lines of communication open with the White Sox. We will continue to see how things develop.”
There also figures to be at least one White Sox bullpen upgrade, although the team has five veterans currently set and holding down relief spots. There also is a group of four or five young hurlers who the South Siders can turn to in support of one of the American League’s top starting rotations.
Cowley has more on the Pods situation:
The signing of Jones still doesn’t solve the hole at the leadoff spot, as talks with Scott Podsednik have once again stalled with the two sides still in a staring contest.
The Sox have spoken to representation for Coco Crisp, but a source close to the situation said that Crisp would still be Plan B if things don’t change with Podsednik very soon.
The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with outfielder Andruw Jones, a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner and five-time All-Star. Under terms of the deal, Jones will receive a base salary of $500,000 in 2010 and up to an additional $1 million in performance bonuses. … “This is an opportunity to add a power bat to the roster while improving our outfield depth,” said Ken Williams, White Sox general manager. “With the addition of Andruw, Mark Kotsay and Omar Vizquel, we feel our bench is taking shape to be a strong asset heading into the 2010 season.”
According to White Sox sources, Jones is not being considered as a starting outfielder at this point. With the loss of Scott Podsednik to free agency and Dewayne Wise being released, the team was interested in solidifying its bench. … The White Sox tried to obtain Jones from the Braves five years ago but came up short.
The White Sox 40-man roster is at 39.
Walker will straighten him up!
UPDATE: Golebiewski @ Fangraphs:
Jones had just a .224 BABIP in 2009. The gut reaction is to say “fluke!” But Andruw’s BABIP since 2005 is .248. His career BABIP is .279.
Why might that be? Well, Jones hits a lot of fly balls. Andruw’s 49.5 FB% in 2009 was 12th-highest among batters with 300 or more PA. While fly balls are obviously beneficial to a slugger like Jones, they do have a lower BABIP than grounders. Also, Andruw pops the ball up frequently. His IF/FB% was 13.3 in 2009. Pop ups are near automatic outs.