Merkin @ CWS:
The White Sox still are lacking in proven bullpen arms behind Matt Thornton, Chris Sale, Pena and Sergio Santos, and if 2007′s relief debacle proved anything, it would be how they need another two reliable relievers to help make ’11 an elite campaign.
With Williams having stated how the payroll is tapped out as of the end of the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., a trade becomes the only option available. On Saturday, though, Williams presented a small hint how that spending increase might possibly extend into the free agent bullpen pool including plus-arms such as Kerry Wood, Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier, to name a few examples.
“I’m encouraged by the excitement from our fans,” said Williams, who reiterated how he is not looking for a pure closer as much as a versatile late-inning type like the role J.J. Putz held in 2010. “Perhaps if that excitement manifests itself into turning out to more ticket sales, perhaps that might free up some more cash to do something.
“I’ll listen to anyone,” added Williams of trade possibilities. “But I said it right there up on the podium [for the Konerko signing], how I’m not really motivated to take anything away from what the Major League roster looks like, from what the everyday roster looks like.”
Kenny, also, says he isn’t looking to trade Carlos Quentin:
“I did not have one single conversation about Quentin at the Winter Meetings,” Williams told MLB.com on Saturday afternoon. “I have not had any discussions with anyone about Carlos since the General Managers Meetings, and it could never have been described as we were shopping him.
“That’s incorrect. I fielded some phone calls, but that was it. I’ve not had a single conversation about Carlos, and I don’t plan to. I’ll listen, but I’m not terribly interested.”
… One other problem in exploring a trade for Quentin is finding a natural right-field replacement. Jordan Danks seems to be the next internal option, with his defense more than Major League-ready but his offense not quite there. When asked if there was anyone in the organization who could take over for Quentin if he was hypothetically traded, Williams simply responded, “No.”
Despite finishing with 110 hits and a .243 average in 2010, Quentin produced 87 RBIs and scored 73 runs. He also featured a .342 on-base percentage, down from his .394 finish in 2008, but up from .323 in an injury-plagued 2009.
“Carlos Quentin is going to have a big year,” Williams said. “He has big talent, and even in a down year average-wise, he is very valuable.
“No matter what his average is, he picks it up with on-base percentage. Then, if he has a good year, it becomes a great year.
“He plays hard and has the ability to set the tone for a game with a hard slide into second base or taking first to third aggressively. There’s much more to Carlos’ overall game than just hitting for average.”
The problem with the slide Kenny is Carlos will not play for a week after it.
UPDATE: Reifert says the ticket dept. phones are off the hook:
White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said that while individual tickets aren’t on sale, season ticketholders responded positively.
“Phones are ringing off the hook to the point that the sales department canceled its holiday party tonight to stay late and field all of the calls,” he said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Cowley @ CST tweets:
Multiple sources confirmed that the Sox are actively looking to trade [Carlos] Quentin for a package w/bullpen help, but “are asking a lot so far.”
MLBTR says the “are asking a lot so far” thing could mean that the Sox are just “gauging the market at this point.”
UPDATE: Kenny says not so fast:
Ken Williams emphatically denied Saturday that any trade talk was ongoing involving White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin for a relief pitcher, and the general manager sought to dispel any rumors that it would happen.
… “Three teams asked about him (at the winter meetings) and I have not had one single conversation with anyone since. We’ll add to our relief pitching without (trading) him.” Williams admitted he needs one or two relievers to round out his team and that a trade could happen soon, but said it will not involve subtracting from his current lineup.
UPDATE #2: Cowley says not so fast himself:
and if Quentin isn’t desired by others:
Will there be another update? You bet!
Merkin @ CWS:
on Thursday, the White Sox announced they declined to tender a 2011 contract to Bobby Jenks. Left-handed reliever Erick Threets also was non-tendered.
Contracts were offered to arbitration-eligible players in John Danks and Carlos Quentin, as well as Tony Pena, who appeared to be on the proverbial non-tender bubble.
UPDATE: The Sox can still re-sign Jenks. He’s a free-agent now.
UPDATE #2: Kenny won’t close the door:
As far as Jenks, Williams wouldn’t close the door on him completely, but not at the price Jenks would have received in arbitration.
“Bobby Jenks brought a World Series to Chicago and I will never forget that,” Williams said. “And I haven’t closed the door on that. All it says today is with the dollars it will bring in an arbitration hearing we cannot go there. The message I have to Sox fans and to Bobby Jenks is he gave us everything he had. I’m proud of his growth as a person, a player and as a dad. I wish the best for him if indeed he does end up somewhere else.”
Stark @ ESPN:
All you need to know is that they continue to explore numerous options for replacing Werth. They’ve done what one source described as “extensive” groundwork on a potential deal for the White Sox’s Carlos Quentin. They remain interested in Jeff Francoeur to play against left-handers. And while they have mild interest in Jermaine Dye, that appears to be on just a back-burner, spring-training-invite level.
UPDATE: The Sox say they are not shopping Quentin:
On Wednesday ESPN.com Jayson Stark reported the White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have been talking about a trade that would send Carlos Quentin to Philadelphia. A White Sox source told ESPNChicago.com that the Sox are not shopping Quentin at this time.
Well, Stark didn’t claim that the Sox were shopping Quentin.
Cowley @ CST:
According to a major-league scout [Kenny] Williams has targeted talented but headline-making Colby Rasmus of the St.Louis Cardinals and is willing to part with a package that includes outfielder Carlos Quentin.
”It was obvious that [the Cardinals] were paying extra attention to Quentin at the end of the season, so this might have been something that was already talked about,” the scout said.
Yeah, I would too but St. Louis has to agree and I don’t think they will. Just because the White Sox gave away Nick Swisher for a bucket of balls a substandard return, doesn’t mean the Cardinals will do the same.
UPDATE: A second look at Rasmus’ stats raises some red flags: a 32% K%, and a .354 BABIP (and a -9 UZR/150) in 2010. Jeffrey Gross at THT calculates Rasmus’ xBABIP at .315 so there is a 39 point difference between Rasmus BABIP and xBABIP. In fact, Rasmus had the 7th higher BABIP-xBABIP in MLB.
The K% and the high BABIP don’t look good.
Gross @ THT:
A couple of years ago, Chris Dutton and Peter Bendix did some research on batted-ball data and created a metric called xBABIP (“expected BABIP”). xBABIP dispelled the myth that BABIP was primarily a function of “LD%+ .120.” Rather, as Dutton and Bendix found, BABIP was better explained as a function all batted-ball types and ratios with speed/power/strikeout considerations.
Last year, Derek Carty and Chris Dutton debuted the simple xBABIP calculator on THT. This tool has empowered users to determine a player’s xBABIP and compare it to their actual BABIP. Therefrom, one could forecast a hitter’s expected batting line, assuming all the input ratios were to remain constant. Over the course of 500+ PA, these ratios tend to be significant, though conclusions can still be drawn at the 300 PA threshold (we’d really only be waiting on IFFB% stabilization).
For all 270 hitters who accrued 300 or more plate appearances this season, I applied the xBABIP formula (by park) to determine each hitter’s expected batting lines. In short, what I have created is a spreadsheet of “what you can expect as a baseline for production in 2011, assuming all else remains constant.” In other words, this is how these hitters should have hit in 2010. …
Numbers for the White Sox players from the full spreadsheet:
For players that played part of the year with the White Sox I got their BABIP numbers from statcorner. All the numbers are for the time they played for the White Sox:
Mark Teahen had only 262 PAs.
Garfien @ CSN:
Let’s start with the four World Series heroes, and their chances of coming back:
Paul Konerko: 50 percent
A.J. Pierzynski: 40 percent
Bobby Jenks: 1 percent
Freddy Garcia: 25 percent
I’d go with those numbers too. More predictions at the link.
Carlos Quentin will try to have fun next year:
Yet, this young talent, who can be quite thoughtful and humorous with his comments, walks around with a semi-permanent scowl. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying a game where he has excelled, and that problem has become one Quentin said he will address in the offseason.
“I want to make sure, I need to do all I can to make sure my efforts on the field are in the right direction,” said Quentin, carefully choosing his words while addressing this topic on Tuesday. “When I say that, I mean in a sense of right direction as always positive, always directed toward enjoying this game.”
… “That’s basically what I have to say about that,” said Quentin, without going into specific detail of his plans. “I have to take steps to do that in the offseason, and I will.”
Take it easy Carlos, you’ll bite someone while telling them you want to have fun!