White Sox news, Minor Leagues updates and more

December 22, 2011

“White Sox people” say reports of a rebuilding were greatly exaggerated

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 22, 2011 11:00 pm
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Danny Knobler @ CBS Sports:

In fact, some White Sox people cringed when Williams began talking openly about “rebuilding.”

“We are not rebuilding,” one of them said forcefully.

More from the “White Sox people”:

Third, the word in both the international scouting community and among White Sox people is that the Sox could be very involved in the bidding for 26-year-old Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who should become a free agent next month.

Kenny Williams wants the “White Sox people” to stop talking about the White Sox.

Other White Sox links:

December 21, 2011

White Sox agree to 5-year extension with John Danks

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 21, 2011 9:00 pm
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Kenny found 65 cents! Here are the tweets [messages] from the guy that broke the story:

Confirmation:

Seems the Sox doctor is on vacation:

December 20, 2011

Carlos Quentin and/or John Danks trade talks to pick up?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 20, 2011 1:45 pm
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Richard Griffin @ The Toronto Star:

Anthopoulos began serious trade talks at the winter meetings and is now ready to resume calling GMs in earnest now that he knows the Darvish negotiations are off the table for the Jays.

There are talks with White Sox GM Kenny Williams for outfielder Carlos Quentin and John Danks. There’s a call to be made to Billy Beane with imaginative back-and-forth involving lefthander Gio Gonzalez. How about the Astros and Wandy Rodriguez or the Braves and Jair Jurrjens?

Maybe another team can be enticed to join in on one of these trade talks, brought in to create some heavy three-way action, because Anthopoulos is always prepared, armed with knowledge of all 30 teams, not just his own. He does his serious legwork and likes to know what other teams are looking for even if he doesn’t have the parts to satisfy them. That’s where the creativity and imagination come in.

Is another trade with Toronto coming?

December 9, 2011

Jerry Reinsdorf on Mark Buehrle: “He just didn’t fit into our plans.”

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 9, 2011 11:05 pm
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Melissa Isaacson:

“He gave us a chance to keep him and I’m sure he would’ve taken less money to come back,” Reinsdorf said of Buehrle. “He just didn’t fit into our plans. That’s the thing. You can’t let personal feelings for players stand in the way of letting the general manager do what he feels is right for the team.”

… “Mark was a 38th-round draft choice,” Reinsdorf said. “We didn’t expect very much from him or he wouldn’t have gone that low, and when he finally made the big-league club, we looked at him as a reliever. I remember we were looking around for starters and someone said, ‘Why don’t we give Buehrle a shot?’ Most people in the room [were skeptical] but the rest was history.

“He was able to locate his pitches, particularly his cutter. He wasn’t a strikeout pitcher but his strikeouts weren’t that bad. He’s not a Hall of Fame pitcher by any means, but he’s a real pro. He took the ball every single time and battled, was great in the clubhouse, caught first pitches, made appearances, was a great guy. He was perfect for our team.”

… “At this stage of his career to get $58 million for four more years, it’s a fabulous thing for him,” Reinsdorf said. “It just didn’t make any sense for us.”

Reinsdorf said it was not his place to judge whether the Marlins overpaid or not for Buehrle, but that the Sox were thinking more in the range of three years, $30 million.

That’s a pretty big difference [between $30M and $58M].

December 7, 2011

Seems Mark Buehrle is going to Miami

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 7, 2011 4:00 pm
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And Kenny says:

You can trade Rios, Dunn, and Peavy KW. (/sarcasm)

December 6, 2011

Scouting reports on newest Sox RHP Nestor Molina [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 3:19 pm
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Baseball America:

Prior to 2011, Molina had made just 77 career appearances, four of which were starts. Toronto had their sights set on giving him a chance to start, assigning him to the high Class A Dunedin rotation. He flourished in the move, throwing 130 innings between Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire while striking out more than a batter per inning and walking about one per nine. Molina has above-average command of a fastball that ranges from 88-93 mph. He originally tried to turn his slurvy breaking ball into a slider, but he has shifted to using a curveball now. Molina has a legitimate out-pitch in his splitter, and he also shows feel for a straight changeup. His secondary stuff doesn’t jump off the page, but his fastball command helps it play up. He profiles nicely in the back of a rotation and will likely make his big league debut in 2012.

UPDATE: John Sickels:

Molina has a solid 90-94 MPH fastball and keeps it low in the zone, picking up grounders. He also has a very good splitter. His slider is still a work-in-progress according to scouts, but his delivery adds deception and helps his stuff play up. His statistics last year were simply spectacular, and it is unusual to see a relief-to-starting conversion turn out this positively. He wasn’t some old guy tricking people; he was just 22 last year. If anything, Molina still doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a prospect. I currently have him rated as a Grade B+ prospect.

Jonathan Mayo:

Molina features an intriguing four-pitch mix with an advanced feel for pitching. He’ll throw his fastball in the 89-92 mph range and complements it with a slider and a changeup. His best pitch, though, might be his splitter, a true plus offering with a ton of deception. Some have said he might be better-suited to be a top-flight bullpen/setup guy, but his stuff and command say he’ll get more time to start.

Eno Sarris @ Fangraphs:

The return is exciting. Molina was given a B+ ranking from John Sickels, who rated him the second-best prospect in the Jays’ organization. In 130.1 innings between High-A and Double-A last year, Molina struck out 148 batters against a mere 16 walks. At 23 next year, he might only need a little more seasoning at Double-A before he can join the big leagues.

If he stays a starter, Molina will only need to be worth about as much as Paul Maholm has been worth over the last six years (13.2 WAR) in order to surpass Santos’ absolute value. Paul Maholm never had a minor league K/BB rate like Molina’s and was never a top-two prospect for the Pirates, but it’s still possible that Molina as a starter doesn’t achieve those heights.

Kenny Williams:

“Nestor Molina is a guy that has a 90-96 mph fastball that bores in on right-hand hitters, that keeps the ball down in the strikezone, can hit outside corner, inside corner, take it upstairs if he needs to.  His secondary stuff…he has a swing-and-miss type split that drops off the table, his slider is a plus slider, and his changeup is equally as effective.  He obviously has a four-pitch mix.  He walked (16) guys in a 130-some odd innings and is in winter league right now and pitching with the same success.”

Kenny Williams says he won’t trade any other starting pitcher … probably! [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 2:45 pm
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Chuck Garfien:

“It is the start of a rebuilding and you guys know that I’ve not used that word in 12 years, but it is the start of rebuilding now,” Williams told reporters. “Is it the start of a falling domino-type of rebuilding? No, absolutely not, because as we currently sit here I do not like what’s currently being offered for our valuable pieces. So I’m of the mindset that while we may do a couple more things, as we sit here right now we’ll probably keep the rest of the pitching intact.”

That means John Danks and Gavin Floyd are safe…for now.

UPDATE: Doug Padilla:

“Because as we currently sit, I do not like what is currently being offered for any of our valuable veteran pieces. I’m of the mindset that while we may do a couple of more things, as we sit right now we’ll probably keep the rest of the pitching intact and we’ll focus on some peripheral things to kind of continue to get a piece here or there that will help us in 2013, 2014. But as I sit here right now I don’t see any deals for any of the other pitchers.”

Sox trade closer Sergio Santos to Toronto for RHP Nestor Molina (video)

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 6, 2011 12:15 pm
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whitesox.com press release:

The Chicago White have acquired right-handed pitcher Nestor Molina from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed reliever Sergio Santos.

… The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Molina spent most of the season with Dunedin, going 10-3 with a 2.58 ERA (31 ER/108.1 IP), 16 walks and 115 strikeouts in 21 games (18 starts).  He was named to the Florida State League mid and postseason All-Star Teams.

A native of Valencia, Venezuela, Molina made his final five starts with New Hampshire, where he was 2-0 with a 0.41 ERA (1 ER/22.0 IP), two walks and 33 strikeouts.  He finished the season with a streak of 16.0 consecutive scoreless IP over his final four outings.

Molina is 27-7 with a 2.21 ERA (72 ER/292.2 IP) and 277 strikeouts in 103 games (27 starts) over six seasons in the Blue Jays minor-league system.  He was signed by Toronto as a free agent on April 2, 2006 and spent the 2006-07 seasons as an outfielder/third baseman before being converted to a pitcher. …

Molina’s 2011 stats (full stats on the end):

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2011 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA TOR 12 3 .800 2.21 26 23 1 0 0 0 130.1 114 39 32 8 16 0 148 1 1 5 512 0.997 7.9 0.6 1.1 10.2 9.25
2011 22 Dunedin FLOR A+ TOR 10 3 .769 2.58 21 18 1 0 0 0 108.1 102 37 31 8 14 0 115 1 0 3 432 1.071 8.5 0.7 1.2 9.6 8.21
2011 22 New Hampshire EL AA TOR 2 0 1.000 0.41 5 5 0 0 0 0 22.0 12 2 1 0 2 0 33 0 1 2 80 0.636 4.9 0.0 0.8 13.5 16.50
A+ (2 seasons) A+ 10 3 .769 2.56 23 18 2 0 0 0 112.2 109 41 32 8 14 0 118 1 0 3 452 1.092 8.7 0.6 1.1 9.4 8.43
AA (1 season) AA 2 0 1.000 0.41 5 5 0 0 0 0 22.0 12 2 1 0 2 0 33 0 1 2 80 0.636 4.9 0.0 0.8 13.5 16.50
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 12/6/2011.

Wow! a 0.0997 WHIP and a 148/16 K/BB ratio!

And minorleaguecentral says Molina did this with a .318 BABIP in 2011!! And a 2.12 FIP!!

John Sickels on Molina last week:

2) Nestor Molina, RHP, Grade B+: Ranking the Blue Jays pitching prospects is quite difficult. Although Molina hasn’t received as much press as some of the other guys, his performance was impeccable, I think his stuff is underrated, and he’ll get to the majors sooner than the others. Despite his season, he is still underrated by a lot of people.

and

Molina [ranking] is both stats and scouting reports. I think the scouting reports that are out there are underrating his stuff. But we will see.

From a Jim Callis chat on Aug. 24, 2011:

Q: What is Nestor Molina’s stuff? He is making double a look very easy.

A: It’s all solid: fastball, slider, changeup, occasional curveball. Not sure you’d call any of his offerings a plus pitch, but he mixes them well and moves the ball around the strike zone. Not the sexiest scouting report, but that’s the type of guy who winds up in the big leagues.

From Kenny Williams’ comments it seems Molina will start 2012 in the minors:

“I would hope that we give him a little bit more seasoning, but he’s got the kind of ability that, there are certain guys that will force his way onto major league rosters. When you look at a young pitcher, you look at what kind of stuff he has, what kind of composure he has, and his ability to command the strike zone, and this guy does it in a way that very few do so. I’m not going to say that he can’t, and he won’t.”

I like the trade from what I hear so far. Molina’s stats are impeccable. And Addison Reed can take over.

And a 9-minute youtube video of Molina:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKNGVIep51I
(more…)

December 4, 2011

Kenny Williams will probably wait if he intends to trade John Danks or Gavin Floyd

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 4, 2011 11:00 pm
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Commenting on Jon Heyman’s tweet that the Sox wanted C/1B Jesus Montero and LHP Manny Banuelos for LHP John Danks J.J. Stankevitz writes:

… What it shows is that the Sox will probably wait until C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle are off the market to make a move. When they do sign, more teams will likely be interested in trading for Danks (or Gavin Floyd), thus upping the potential return.

Yeah, Kenny will probably wait if he intends to trade Danks or Floyd. Except if he gets an offer too good too pass up. Or if they hypnotize him and we get a repeat of Swisher II…

PS. Yes, Montero is probably too much but Banuelos isn’t enough. He’s a 1.53 WHIP 1.81 K/BB AA pitcher:

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2010 19 Trenton EL AA NYY 0 1 .000 3.52 3 3 0 0 0 0 15.1 15 8 6 2 8 0 17 0 0 1 64 1.500 8.8 1.2 4.7 10.0 2.13
2011 20 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA NYY 6 7 .462 3.75 27 27 0 1 1 0 129.2 130 63 54 9 71 0 125 7 0 11 577 1.550 9.0 0.6 4.9 8.7 1.76
2011 20 Trenton EL AA NYY 4 5 .444 3.59 20 20 0 0 0 0 95.1 94 46 38 7 52 0 94 6 0 9 422 1.531 8.9 0.7 4.9 8.9 1.81
2011 20 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA NYY 2 2 .500 4.19 7 7 0 1 1 0 34.1 36 17 16 2 19 0 31 1 0 2 155 1.602 9.4 0.5 5.0 8.1 1.63
AA (2 seasons) AA 4 6 .400 3.58 23 23 0 0 0 0 110.2 109 54 44 9 60 0 111 6 0 10 486 1.527 8.9 0.7 4.9 9.0 1.85
AAA (1 season) AAA 2 2 .500 4.19 7 7 0 1 1 0 34.1 36 17 16 2 19 0 31 1 0 2 155 1.602 9.4 0.5 5.0 8.1 1.63
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 12/4/2011.

The K/BB ratio isn’t anything special. Don’t let the Yankee mystique influence you Kenny.

December 3, 2011

Acquired veterans failed to put you to the top? Time to go young!

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ December 3, 2011 12:00 am
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Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times writes about the 1961 trade of lefty Billy pierce to the Giants and tells us the happenings on the Sox at the time:

The 1961 season placed the South Siders at a crossroads. Beginning in 1951, the team rattled off a series of winning seasons that culminated in the 1959 pennant winning Go-Go White Sox. Hoping to seize the moment and create a dynasty for himself, then-team owner Bill Veeck spent the 1959-60 off-season trading away his best prospects for established veterans.

… Worse yet, the veterans did not quite pan out as expected. The 1960 Sox fell from first to third place. In 1961, they fell further still, finishing in fourth place with an 86-76 record.

… So in the 1961-62 off-season, the Sox engaged in a series of trades in hopes of undoing the 1959-60 offseason. …

So, how did those off-season moves turn out?

The Sox actually won one fewer game in 1962 than the year before, but moving out some of their older players helped them out down the road. In 1963, they began a series of three straight 90-win seasons and remained competitive through 1967.

Will Kenny clean house or go for it again? We could know by this time next week!

Other White Sox links:

November 30, 2011

John Danks for Dellin Betances?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 30, 2011 12:30 pm
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Bryan Hoch:

The Daily News indicates the Yankees may be interested in trading for the Cubs’ Matt Garza, but are unwilling to move blue chip prospects like Jesus Montero or Manny Banuelos for him. The New York Post also notes that the Yankees could consider dealing Dellin Betances to the White Sox for John Danks.

Here are Betances’ AA and AAA stats:

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2010 22 Trenton EL AA NYY 0 0 3.77 3 3 0 0 0 0 14.1 10 7 6 3 3 0 20 1 0 3 55 0.907 6.3 1.9 1.9 12.6 6.67
2011 23 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA NYY 4 9 .308 3.70 25 25 0 1 0 0 126.1 102 61 52 9 70 0 142 10 1 7 554 1.361 7.3 0.6 5.0 10.1 2.03
2011 23 Trenton EL AA NYY 4 6 .400 3.42 21 21 0 0 0 0 105.1 86 49 40 7 55 0 115 9 1 5 460 1.339 7.3 0.6 4.7 9.8 2.09
2011 23 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre IL AAA NYY 0 3 .000 5.14 4 4 0 1 0 0 21.0 16 12 12 2 15 0 27 1 0 2 94 1.476 6.9 0.9 6.4 11.6 1.80
AA (2 seasons) AA 4 6 .400 3.46 24 24 0 0 0 0 119.2 96 56 46 10 58 0 135 10 1 8 515 1.287 7.2 0.8 4.4 10.2 2.33
AAA (1 season) AAA 0 3 .000 5.14 4 4 0 1 0 0 21.0 16 12 12 2 15 0 27 1 0 2 94 1.476 6.9 0.9 6.4 11.6 1.80
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 11/30/2011.

Hmm, a 2.3 K/BB ratio and 1.476 WHIP AA pitcher for Johnnie Danks? No thanks. Terry Doyle’s AA numbers were a 3.32 K/BB ratio and a 1.130 WHIP and the Sox left him unprotected in the Rule V draft.

Ask for 19-year old catcher Gary Sanchez to give them John Danks Kenny.

Ken Rosenthal says Mark Buehrle and John Danks won’t be playing for the White Sox next year

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 30, 2011 3:15 am
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J.J. Stankevitz:

With the Winter Meetings less than a week away and White Sox news stagnating a bit in the last few weeks, maybe a reminder that Mark Buehrle and John Danks aren’t likely to be back is in order.

That’s precisely what FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal said on Tuesday’s edition of Chicago Tribune Live, telling the panel he doesn’t see either Buehrle or Danks playing for the Sox for 2012. …

Video (1:29) at the link.

November 29, 2011

Are the Sox trying to trade LHRP Matt Thornton? [UPDATE]

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 29, 2011 9:35 pm
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MLBTR:

The White Sox have been looking to trade Matt Thornton since July and are still trying to move him, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (on Twitter). Before the 2011 season, the White Sox signed the left-hander to a two-year, $12MM extension that covers the 2012-13 seasons and includes a club option for 2014.

The 35-year-old posted a 3.32 ERA with 9.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.45 HR/9 and a 48.8% ground ball rate in 59 2/3 innings this past season. Armed with a fastball that averages 96 mph, Thornton figures to draw interest this offseason, as he did last summer, especially since the free agent market doesn’t feature lefty relievers of his caliber. The Yankees, Blue Jays and Rangers are among the teams that may seek left-handed relief this offseason.

Thornton commented on his brief and unsuccessful trial as a closer last spring:

“Was mine an interim thing? If I had success, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been,” said Thornton of his abbreviated run at closer. “Obviously everyone knows what happened in the games I was in. Things just didn’t go well for me in that role.

“Maybe it was a sign I wasn’t meant to be a closer here. Over the years, I’ve done a good job of filling in as closer, and I believe in myself in that role and think I can get the job done at any given time when they give me the ball in the ninth inning. But the surge of [Chris] Sale this past year, what he did, and how good Sergio was for most of the year, this is the way it worked out.

“It’s one of those things where things weren’t going good for us and I was part of that in the back end of the bullpen,” Thornton said. “They had to make changes at the time. Just the lack of performance was the most frustrating part for me, my inability to have success that I expect myself to have, prepare and dedicate myself to have all offseason long. It’s very frustrating when you let the team down.”

If Thornton is traded, with Chris Sale moving to the starting rotation, the only lefty in the bullpen will be Will Ohman.

UPDATE: Buster Olney in his video blog (1:52) says the Sox are trying to move Carlos Quentin, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, and Matt Thornton.

Other White Sox links:

November 26, 2011

Sox thinking to trade a pitcher to Cincinnati to get Yonder Alonso?

Phil Rogers:

Can Yonder Alonso become a solid left fielder? That’s the question the White Sox are studying as the Reds shop the left-handed-hitting slugger for pitching. Alonso would be blocked with Paul Konerko at first base and Adam Dunn as designated hitter, although if the Sox really are willing to let Mark Buehrle walk you wonder if they also would approach Konerko about waiving his no-trade clause.

Other White Sox links:

November 15, 2011

Kenny Williams may go for a younger team and wants De Aza to bat leadoff next year

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ November 15, 2011 6:05 pm
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Mark Gonzales:

The fact that Williams is more receptive to acquring more young players opens an avenue that the Sox hadn’t aggressively pursued in past off-seasons.

“We’re more open to making potential moves that take us a little younger, take us a step back and live to fight another day if we can identify what we’ve identified the type targets you want in such a deal,” Williams said. “But whether you can get those targets or not remains to be seen. So we’re more open.

“For the last 12 years, we’ve been grinding it out, trying to put forth an effort to win a championship. It’s difficult to do that for such a long period of time – rebuild at the same time as you’re trying to compete. Fortunately we’ve had some teams that have done better than others, and there have been teams that didn’t meet our expectations.”

also,

General manager Ken Williams reiterated Tuesday that Alejandro De Aza would be his choice as the Chicago White Sox’s leadoff batter in 2012.

“I don’t make the lineup out,” Williams said Tuesday night. “If I were making the lineup out, he would be my leadoff hitter. Robin (Ventura) makes the lineup out. He’ll be given a suggestion, though.”

You can relax J.J.!

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