While Bruce Levine’s source’s telling him that “that the White Sox signing of Damon is still a long shot” and Joe Cowley’s source’s telling him that the Sox are doing their “due diligence,” Jon Heyman tweets that the Tigers and Sox are the 2 leading bidders.
Evan Brunell at THT says “It’s very unlikely the White Sox win any such negotiating process with Damon given Detroit owner Mike Ilitch’s sudden outlaying of money, but Chicago would be the best option for Damon personally.”
UPDATE: Scott Merkin thinks the Sox have about $4 million available.
Viciedo’s TZ number is interesting:
Much has been made of Dayan Viciedo’s poor defensive ability, but as you can see, TotalZone likes him and had him pegged as a +4 run fielder over 130 games. It is expected that Viciedo will make the transition to first base this year, likely starting at Charlotte, and he certainly made his fair share of errors last year, but TZ indicates he may have had a future at 3B. The scouts disagree citing his lack of range and concentration as his main flaws.
The Big Hurt is calling it a career.
Longtime White Sox star slugger Frank Thomas, who is tied for 18th on the all-time Major League home run list with 521, told MLB.com on Thursday evening that he is officially retiring.
A press conference is expected to be scheduled for Friday morning in Chicago.
UPDATE: Ozzie Guillen has decided to retire too.
UPDATE #2: CSN’s Patrick Mooney has a lot more on Big Frank.
UPDATE #3: Thomas isn’t interested in coaching for now.
The Johnny Damon Sweepstakes appeared to be nearing the finish line Thursday, as Damon tries to choose from several offers far less than the two-year, $19 million deal he and agent Scott Boras have been seeking.
… A source indicated the Chicago White Sox also have expressed late interest.
Rosenthal/Morosi: Mrs. Damon is said to prefer a bigger, more cosmopolitan city.
Tweets: Morosi, Bowden, Heyman, Olney.
Guillen ultimately made the decision to bypass the return of Jim Thome or the addition of a full-time, left-handed designated hitter to use this position as a rotating talent slot. Guillen will employ Mark Kotsay, Andruw Jones, Jayson Nix and Omar Vizquel as the DH, while giving a day off without giving a day off from time to time to position-player starters such as Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin.
There are plenty of doubters who believe the offense will not succeed at its optimum level with the variety of players filling this slot. But Guillen believes he can better suit his offense to different styles of pitchers by using this flexibility to maneuver the lineup. …
Somehow the addition of a 700 OPS bat to the DH committee doesn’t make me feel any better.
The White Sox signed 32-year-old righty reliever Orber Moreno to a minor league deal, reports Billy Russo of El Universal. Said Moreno: “Oswaldo Guillen told me that he believes in me and that he will give me the opportunity.” Thanks to Nick Collias for translating.
From the Google translation it seems like Moreno will be given a chance to make to the Sox during Spring Training.
Rotoworld says “Moreno, 32, once looked like a nice find for the Mets, but hasn’t been able to make it back to the major leagues after undergoing shoulder surgery in 2004. He spent last season in Mexico, finishing 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 37 innings for Mexico City and Quintana Roo.”