White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

December 7, 2010

Kenny Williams exploring other options at first base

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 7, 2010 6:15 pm
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Dyck @ CT:

White Sox general manager Ken Williams said “it’s quite possible” the White Sox would have a first baseman by Wednesday — and that it would not be Paul Konerko.

Williams said negotiations with Konerko and agent Craig Landis were at an impasse and that “at this point we have no choice” but to explore other options.

“All I can say is we’ve got meetings with other guys’ representatives (Tuesday night) with the idea in mind (to) get a deal done,” Williams said, adding that “you can’t stop the train” once it leaves the station. …

Cowley in multiple tweets:

Source: “I talked to Paulie last night and he said the Sox were his priority unless they made an offer that disrespected him.” … Sox will also now look to add a reliever. The PK ship is now sailing. … KW felt like it was almost done, but now it fell apart. They are meeting with reps for other options tonight. “The train keeps moving.” … Big changes in PK talks.

Garfein in multiple tweets:

KW: “We have meetings with other guys representatives tonight with the mindset to try and get a deal done.” PK your move. … KW on Konerko: “I was very hopeful coming down here. I’m less hopeful now.” … KW will hold meetings tonight with other representatives. Doesn’t mean Konerko talks are done, but Sox need to cover themselves. … Kenny says he’s turning the page. He’s not pessimistic about PK, but he’s no longer optimistic. … Kenny Williams says talks with Konerko aren’t going well. He’s moving on to plans B and C.

And Heyman @ SI tweets:

konerko’s agent is pressing beyond where chisox had planned. but theres still pretty decent optimism for deal.

White Sox interested in Kerry Wood? [UPDATE #2]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 7, 2010 11:56 am
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Rosenthal @ FS tweets:

Yankees still want Kerry Wood back; [Cliff] Lee comes first. White Sox also showing interest in Wood; [Paul] Konerko first. Sox need late-inning help.

Wood wasn’t offered arbitration so he won’t cost any draft picks. But if Paulie wants $15 million per year there won’t be any money left for bullpen guys like Wood…

UPDATE: DV Dyck says “Wood is thought to be seeking a multi-year deal worth $9 million or more.” Kenny just hanged up..

UPDATE #2: Cowley tweets:

Sox-Wood rumors were just blown-up by a source. Sox feel Wood is too expensive even if they don’t get Konerko.

Paul Konerko talks hit a snag over Konerko’s $15 million demands? [UPDATE #2]

Cowley @ CST tweets:

Could be a snag in Konerko talks. Source said that so far Konerko’s camp is adamant about $15 m per. That would crush the payroll for relief

Also, yesterday, Heyman @ SI tweeted:

chisox, konerko talks appear to be going well. he’ll likely get $12.5 mil a year, maybe 3 yrs. rangers, orioles other options.

But today Heyman @ SI tweeted:

rangers, focused on Cliff Lee, “not likely” to get konerko. paul’s friend says “no way” on orioles. chisox in drivers seat

So, there doesn’t seem to be a big market for Konerko. If it was me, I don’t think I’d give him $15 million a year. I don’t want a couple Mike McDougal’s on the team next year.

UPDATE: Garfein @ CSN tweets:

If PK wants $15 mil a year, Kenny Williams said Monday: “Teams have options. I don’t know if he will get to the level he originally hoped for.”

UPDATE #2: Ballentini @ CSN tweets:

Rough guesses at 1B: Plan A: Paul Konerko B: Carlos Pena C: Adam LaRoche D: Derrek Lee E: Dayan Viciedo

December 6, 2010

Kenny Williams talks bullpen

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2010 11:12 pm
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Ballantini @ CSN:

Williams forecasted the news that J.J. Putz apparently signed with Arizona to become the Diamondbacks’ closer, saying, “We wanted him back, but [Putz is] headed elsewhere.”

As for the recently non-tendered Bobby Jenks, Williams remained open to a return by his five-year closer, with logical hesitation: “He’s new to the market, and he’s got to flesh some things out before he gets back to us.”

With holes in the pen (just Matt Thornton, Sergio Santos, and possibly Chris Sale and Tony Pena project as holdovers in 2011), Williams knows he needs at least one recognizable addition in the trenches.

“[A trade is] quite possibly the way we might have to go because we’ve taken ourselves to—or beyond—our payroll limits,” he said. “I might have to get a little creative with trades…[but] I don’t think a reliever is going to come at these meetings for us. That will be after.”

Jerry Reinsdorf says 2011 payroll will be around $110 million

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2010 8:00 pm
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Padilla @ ESPN:

Based on other free-agent signings, Konerko’s open-market value is projected to be around $13 million a season, a number that would leave the White Sox with their highest payroll ever. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told FoxSports.com on Monday that he is willing to take payroll to $110 million in 2011.

Whether or not that includes a salary for Konerko remains to be seen. Williams said he feels like he is patient when it comes to negotiations, but his patience has a limit.

“There’s a fine line,” Williams said when asked if he had a deadline for Konerko’s camp to accept a White Sox offer. “And that fine line [comes] when you risk losing your Plan B and C in favor of trying to be as patient as you can with your Plan A. We will wait as long as we can because we pretty much said on the record that he’s the guy we want.” …

UPDATE: Here are Reinsdorf’s comments:

Reinsdorf said the team’s payroll will be “somewhere around” $110 million.“It will be our highest ever,” he added.

Yet, if the White Sox re-sign Konerko, they may not have enough money left to make significant bullpen upgrades. Even if Konerko defers money on a new contract, as Dunn and Pierzynski did, it’s hard to imagine him earning much less than $10 million in 2011.

BTW, Cowley’s sources say Plan B/C is Derrek Lee.

White Sox offered Gordon Beckham to S.D. for Adrian Gonzales? [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2010 7:36 pm
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Nightengale @ USAT tweets:

The Chicago White Sox were runner-up in the Adrian Gonzalez derby, offering IF Gordon Beckham and prospects.

Is there a rule that says half of the White Sox prospects must be shipped to San Diego?

UPDATE: Heyman @ SI tweets:

chisox dangled beckham for a-gon. Was talk deal could expand to include gavin floyd. But chisox didn’t favor big quick extension for adrian 

Arizona to sign J.J. Putz to a 2-year deal

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2010 7:23 pm
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MLBTR:

The Diamondbacks agreed to sign J.J. Putz to a two-year, $10MM deal with an option for 2013. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links), MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert and Jon Heyman of SI.com all reported on the deal, which is pending a physical. Putz earns $4MM in 2011, $4.5MM in 2012 and either $6.5MM or a $1.5MM buyout in 2013, according to Rosenthal. LSW Baseball represents Putz, who posted a 2.83 ERA with 10.8 K/9 in 54 innings last year.

Since Putz declined arbitration the Sox will get a supplemental first round draft pick. I’d have liked to keep J.J. though…

Lastings Milledge

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2010 2:05 pm
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Kovacevic @ PPG:

The Pirates surprisingly cut Lastings Milledge loose, choosing not to tender their 2010 opening-day outfielder an offer through arbitration in advance of Major League Baseball’s midnight Thursday deadline.

… Milledge, 25, was acquired in the summer of 2009, along with Hanrahan, from Washington in the trade that sent outfielder Nyjer Morgan and reliever Sean Burnett to the Nationals. Milledge batted .277 with four home runs and 34 RBIs this past season, losing his everyday duty over the final two months. He displayed none of the negative off-field traits that were documented in New York and Washington, but his lack of power and erratic defense convinced management he was not a corner-outfield option.

I’m wondering would he go for a minor-league deal with a Spring Training invitation?

Arizona tries to lure Paul Konerko; Jerry Reinsdorf says not so fast

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2010 12:46 pm
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Ringolsby @ MLBB:

[Arizona GM Kevin] Towers had extended talks with the agent for Paul Konerko, hoping to convince the free-agent first baseman to sign with the Diamondbacks instead of returning to the Chicago White Sox.

Dyck @ CT says, besides Arizona, other Konerko suitors are Texas and Baltimore.

Morosi @ FS tweets that Jerry Reinsdorf didn’t like that:

Reinsdorf on Konerko: “He belongs in Chicago.”

Padilla @ ESPN says Reinsdorf will do everything he can to keep Konerko:

A source has indicated that Reinsdorf is ready and willing to do whatever he can to keep Paul Konerko on the White Sox roster, and by the end of the first day of the winter meetings Monday, in the shadow of Disney World, he just might feel like he is in the happiest place on Earth.

And don’t miss the Godfather reference in Padilla’s article!

UPDATE: Garfein @ CSN tweets Arizona is “reportedly making big push.

Olney @ ESPN tweets:

Heard this: The D-backs have had virtually no dialogue with Konerko.

December 5, 2010

Peter Gammons’ Marvin Miller article

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 5, 2010 7:50 pm
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Gammons @ MLB:

… Miller said things about Bowie Kuhn that were unfair and personal, but the fact is that Busch, Charles Oscar Finley and several other owners created Miller with their arrogance and 19th-century thinking. But what he, Moss and eventually Donald Fehr and Gene Orza did for the players was historic and has a rightful place in Cooperstown, N.Y., because Marvin was a giant figure in the game’s history and evolution, which the museum so brilliantly details.

The barons who so hated Miller and all that he represented were so consumed with maintaining their control over players that they never envisioned what would happen when, finally, the Messersmith-McNally Decision was handed down in January 1976 and the business changed forever. Until a new collective bargaining agreement was negotiated at the All-Star break in Philadelphia during the summer of ’76, most Major League players were going to be free agents at the end of the season; the newly created system allowed for the six-year waiting period before a player is free to play where and for whom he wants.

What happened was that the attention on baseball completely changed. It became a 12-month business. Free agency was on the front pages of sports sections from November until Spring Training, beginning with that first free-agent class, which included Reggie Jackson, Don Gullett, Bobby Grich, et al.

So what Miller did for baseball and owners was take it out of what players referred to as “the plantation cocoon” and make it a ton of money. Free agency made baseball a far different entertainment entity. Oh, it seemed as if management forever kept trying to turn back the clock, hiring Ray Grebey, Dick Ravitch and all kinds of hired guns to set the Players Association back on its heels. …

Baseball America’s Kyle Cofield scouting report (Linebrink trade)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 5, 2010 2:44 pm
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Ballew @ BA:

[Kyle] Cofield has an ideal frame for a righthanded starter and when in sync he has two potentially plus pitches. His low-90s fastball tops out at 95 mph with heavy sink and his sharp curveball buckles the knees of righthanded batters at its best. Yet for all his strengths, Cofield has not been able to show any sustained consistency during his career. He made tremendous strides in 2008 and ’09, but was not able to maintain his strong performance during the 2010 slate, in part because of a two-month stint on the disabled list with an elbow injury. He returned in the starting rotation shortly after his return to Double-A Mississippi in early July, but found himself in the bullpen for the final two weeks after going 0-2, 6.75 in six starts. Despite ranking among the circuit leaders in walks, Cofield led the high Class A Carolina League with a 3.26 ERA in ’08. He struggles with his control, which stems from his lack of consistent feel for his pitches and falling behind in the count by being too fine. He also needs to add more depth and fade to his changeup.

White Sox close to re-signing Paul Konerko?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 5, 2010 2:24 pm
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Heyman @ SI tweets:

[Paul] Konerko scheduled to meet with chisox chairman reinsdorf tomorrow. Once they hug, thatll be a deal. Very close. Should be $13 mil per.

Rosenthal @ FS tweets:

[Paul] Konerko not meeting White Sox tomorrow. Just his agent, Craig Landis, will. Agree with SI_Jon Heyman deal will get done. But not close yet.

Olney @ ESPN tweets:

Sources: Deal between CWS and [Paul] Konerko probably will happen, but report that the two sides are close is “pure speculation;” not close now.

Is Kenny Williams going after Cliff Lee?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 5, 2010 1:32 pm
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Rosenthal @ FS:

There is a mystery team in on Cliff Lee.

I don’t know this for sure, but I’m guessing there is one team — maybe even more than one — making a stealth run at the free-agent left-hander, refusing to accept the conventional wisdom that he will sign with the Yankees or Rangers. …

WHITE SOX: You put anything past GM Ken Williams? Or, for that matter, owner Jerry Reinsdorf?

Williams, after signing Adam Dunn, acknowledged that the White Sox are operating with an “all-in” budget, whatever that might be.

KW is always looking for pitching, always looking to make a splash. Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle and righty Edwin Jackson are free agents after next season, so the need is just short of pressing.

If the Sox, as expected, re-sign free-agent first baseman Paul Konerko, forget Lee. If not, Williams will at least start tapping his calculator, examining the numbers.

If he hasn’t already.

Gammons: A.J. Pierzynski was ready to sign with the Dodgers [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 5, 2010 1:22 pm
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Gammons @ MLB tweets:

A.J. Pierzynski was “a minute away” from signing with the Dodgers when Jerry Reinsdorf stepped in

UPDATE: Jackson @ ESPN says the Dodgers offer was a 1 year deal worth more than $4 million.

December 4, 2010

Rangers like Paul Konerko (and like him more than they like Carl Crawford)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 4, 2010 6:42 pm
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Sullivan @ MLB:

There are reports that the Rangers are “in” on Carl Crawford. It would be more accurate to say the Rangers have “kicked the tires” on Crawford and are far more “in” on [Paul] Konerko.

The Rangers like both players. Who wouldn’t.

Konerko is simply the better fit for the Rangers right now, club officials believe.

He is a right-handed hitting first baseman who could also DH. He would be a perfect match for Mitch Moreland at first base. Moreland hits left-handed and can also play the outfield. …

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