The Topps Company announced its 51st annual Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team on Wednesday, with nine different teams represented and the White Sox being accounted for twice.
The squad consists of catcher Omir Santos (Mets), first baseman Travis Ishikawa (Giants), second baseman Chris Getz (White Sox), third baseman Gordon Beckham (White Sox), shortstop Elvis Andrus (Rangers), outfielders Chris Coghlan (Marlins), Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) and Nolan Reimold (Orioles), and pitchers Tommy Hanson (Braves) and J.A. Happ (Phillies). …
November 25, 2009
November 24, 2009
Name Maximum Average Sergio Santos 98.8 95.95 Jacob Rasner 93.1 91.59 Matt Long 91.6 90.34 Justin Cassel 91.1 88.27 Kyle Bellamy 88.2 87.01
His three-year, $18.35 million extension, signed on Oct. 3, 2007, and replacing the final year of a previous three-year deal in ’08, runs out with his $6.25 million salary for ’10. Top catching prospect Tyler Flowers is waiting in the wings, but Pierzynski won’t let such an uncertain matter distract from his primary goal.
“There’s nothing I can do,” said Pierzynski, who made a brief stop in Chicago last week to attend the Champions for Children’s charity event on Thursday night, hosted by Kerry and Sarah Wood for Children’s Memorial Hospital at the Palmer House Hilton.
“[Sox officials] will make decisions that help the team win,” Pierzynski said. “Tyler is a great kid, a great player and a great person. If they think he can help us win, I’m all for it. I just want to win games. If we go out and win, it all will work out in the end.”
The White Sox have expressed interest in free agent and longtime nemesis Coco Crisp, according to his agent. “I have talked to (general manager) Kenny Williams on a preliminary basis,” Steve Compte said Tuesday. “We’re going to be a little patient. We haven’t talked dollars. We’re trying to identify the teams where there’s definitely a fit, and I’m sure they want to explore other options.” …
Once again, I told him that I was looking forward to having him at the top of our starting rotation and that our pitching was going to be really awesome. He nodded and said, “Not too many people around the league know about Danks and Floyd, but they’re great.” He took a quick drink, and without me bringing up anything about it said, “We’re trying to get Adrian Gonzalez right now too.” I was like…”Really? I heard about that, but didn’t know if it was true.” He nodded and took another drink.
Combining a couple of my previous article on UZR projections (now updated with UZR/150 values) and the wOBA to WAR conversion, I have created a spreadsheet to project 2010 WAR values of most FA hitters and determine how much money should be spent for the player’s production for a multi-year contract. Here are the 20 top projected free agent position players: …
Meanwhile Guillen isn’t overly concerned about the final chapters of the construction of the Sox’s roster.
He wants a cast of rotating designated hitters, which would rule out a return by Jim Thome.
As for the leadoff spot, Guillen said: “The good ones are already signed, the good ones are going to cost a lot of money. It’s not an easy thing to (get).”
November 23, 2009
You knew Ozzie would do it:
“I don’t want him to be a coach,” manager Ozzie Guillen said of the signing. “That’s the last thing I want. Omar is so professional handling something he had to do for the first time in his life. I think the job he did with the kids in Texas [last season] was outstanding. “His presence with the team is very important. He’s a guy that knows how to play the game, he’s a Hall of Famer. The kids can take advantage, especially Gordon [Beckham] and [Alexei] Ramirez. We will try and find him a lot of playing time, especially early in the year because everyone knows Ramirez struggles early either because of the weather or over-training.” … Meanwhile, Vizquel’s main concern is a jersey number to wear. Guillen told his friend that he “doesn’t have enough money to get my number ,” so Vizquel was kicking the tires on Aparicio’s No. 11 or Carrasquel’s No. 17.
Now if the playing time is taken from “3B regular” Mark Teahen, it doesn’t sound so bad.
That perception of conditioning being used by the Sox to explain his 2009 difficulties was mentioned again by Jenks to the Sun-Times over this past weekend. But if the 28-year-old White Sox closer was looking for a diplomatic response from general manager Ken Williams, he needs to prepare for quite the opposite.
“If he’s upset that it’s continuously brought up, then he should work on it and get it to where it’s not an issue,” said Williams, speaking about the Jenks’ conditioning prior to the hurler’s last round of comments but following the closer’s October remarks. “It is an issue. I’ve told him this directly to his face,” said Williams, without hesitation. “If he’s going to have an extended career of effectiveness at a high level, like he certainly is capable of doing, then he has to take better care of himself.”
… When asked if this conditioning question could have played a role in Jenks’ slight struggles, Williams once again held little back. “Well, I don’t know,” Williams said. “It comes into question when you are not in the best shape you can be in, now doesn’t it?” If [Jenks] doesn’t like that, I don’t really care if he doesn’t like that. It’s the truth. “I’ve seen it time and time again. We would not be in his corner and we would not be real friends, real people of support, if we didn’t give him the information.”
… Watching Danks from the center field cam instead of from the side, that’s who he reminded me of, which isn’t good. Especially since Erstad once had good bat speed, but lost it as age and injuries took their toll. If Danks can be busted with fastballs in — just like Ryan Sweeney, and just like Jerry Owens if you want to keep it to age-relevant types — it’s going to be an uphill climb.
The good news is that Danks handled all chances in center with ease, even with the dreaded high sky causing problems for others. He also can take a pitch, and when you package it all together, you get a guy who can be useful. He’s just not a bat anybody should be counting on.
The Indians did express interest in Vizquel, but they were told by his agent, Adam Katz, that the White Sox were a higher priority on his list.
Omar Vizquel press conference (2:35), and
Omar Vizquel defensive reel (0:58)
UPDATE: Reifert has more on his Twitter feed:
InsideTheSox: The tradition that Ven shortstops have with the Sox and his relationship with Ozzie made him lean to the White Sox, Omar Vizquel said.
InsideTheSox: “Every great SS from Ven passed thru Chi,” Vizquel said. “Chico, Luis and Ozzie. I look fwd to experiencing the uniform and a great city.”
InsideTheSox: “He’s a guy who knows how to play the game,” Ozzie Guillen said of Vizquel. “He’s going to be a Hall of Famer.”
InsideTheSox: “Omar Vizquel does not have enough money to buy my number,” Guillen joked when asked if he’d give up his #13 for the new acquisition.
InsideTheSox: “Omar Vizquel does not have enough money to buy my number,” Guillen joked when asked if he’d give up his #13 for the new acquisition.InsideTheSox: “I think he should wear #23 because that’s what he wears in Venezuela with Caracas,” Guillen said. “And you know what #23 means in Chicago!
… says Phil Rogers in his where-do-free-agents-end-up column too:
Hideki Matsui, White Sox: The World Series MVP will get a two-year deal somewhere to DH. The Yankees are keeping that role open as a once- or twice-a-week slot for Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Damon.
Why “again”? Here.
The White Sox signed veteran shortstop Omar Vizquel to a one-year, $1.375 million deal on Monday, according to a source close to the situation. Vizquel, who turns 43 in April, will be a backup middle infielder. …
With Vizquel on board, the youthful utility tandem of Jayson Nix and Brent Lillibridge has been put on further notice. Guillen spoke at the end of the 2008 campaign as to how Nix needed to make better contact and Lillibridge needed to take greater advantage of his speed to secure their respective roster spots. There figures to be one spot left between the two of them, although even before Vizquel and the White Sox agreed to terms, Nix understood the task facing him.
“My focus is on making the adjustments I need to make and to come in being the most complete player I can be,” Nix said. “From there, whatever happens, happens. “If I’m on my game and doing what I’m capable of doing, opportunities will come. I’m just focused on doing what I need to do to help the team more.”
Here’s the press release.
UPDATE: Vizquel says he won’t have a problem accepting his backup role.
“I don’t know if January is going to be January as it has the last two years, where some very good players have been out there,” Williams said. “If I’m those players and those players agents, I don’t know if I’m going to wait for that team to come sweep me off of my feet in January. You might want to take the best deal you can get, as early as you can.
“That non-tender list will be interesting to watch. Based on what happened last year, where there were some guys who got stuck out there, I would anticipate more deals are made with potential arbitration and free-agent guys.
“You’ve got a combination of that, combined with your lack of overall talent in my opinion — impact-type talent — that is free,” William said. “There’s impact talent in the league for sure, but they are established guys that aren’t moving anywhere or they are young guys up and coming that are more and more difficult to get.”