Tagged: White Sox

Giants Sign Randy Johnson, Could Pursue Manny Ramirez

GiantsI know that this is old news, but I wanted tLo write about it anyway. The Giants signed Randy Johnson the day after Christmas for 1 year, 8 million. There are incentives that could bring the final total of the deal to 13 million. This is a fantastic signing by the Giants.

The Big Unit came at a very cheap price. Only 8 million per year is a huge steal in my opinion, and I think that a number of teams should’ve matched this offer. I thought that the Dodgers were the best fit for Johnson because Randy Johnsonthey had a lot of money to spend and could get him on a 1 year deal. LA has 34 million left to spend with only 2 holes – the rotation and the outfield. Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn or whomever could come in for at the most 22 million per year. That would leave at least 12 million to spend. That is the offer I would’ve made if I was Ned Colletti, the GM of the Dodgers. He got beat by Brian Sebean on this one, and it could cost them big time.

Randy enters an already good rotation to solidify it. The Giants can now boast a rotation of Tim Lincecum – Matt Cain – Randy Johnson – Jonathan Sanchez – Barry Zito. In my opinion, that is the best starting rotation in the NL West. This team could be in some major competition for the division. I think they have already pasted up the Diamond Backs in terms of talent. San Francisco has much more depth in the rotation, and one could make a case that they have a better offense as well. Right now, they are still a step behind the Dodgers. If because of nothing else, the Dodgers still have the much better offense and bullpen. There is only one thing that could make the Giants favorites to win the NL West…Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez. They are said to be aggressively pursuing him, but I don’t know how true that is. There has been zero competition with the Dodgers for his services. Because of this, he should come pretty cheap. Of course, Manny will still probably get at least 2 years, 40 million. I don’t know if the Giants could fit that into their payroll. They have about 88 million committed for ’09. Their highest payroll since 2000 has been 90 million. I don’t know if they will be able to go any higher, but if they have permission to go all the way up to 100 million, a signing could occur.

First, they would have to trade Randy Winn, both to clear salary and to open up a spot for Manny to play. One suitor that I think makes a lot of sense is the White Sox. They need a center fielder, and Winn would be the best available via trade or free agency. The ChiSox would probably be willing to take on the entire 8.25 million he has coming. So, if a trade like this does go through to dump Winn’s contract, the Giants would have 80 million committed. Give Manny 20 million in his first year and call it an offseason. They can then head into the season with a lineup of Fred Lewis – Edgar Renteria – Aaron Rowand – Manny Ramirez – Bengie Molina – Pablo Sandoval – Greg Bowker – Kevin Frandsen / Emmanuel Burris. Very good. If they make this move, they are the favorites to win the NL West in my opinion.

All of it is possible if they get approval to raise payroll all the way up to 100 million. If not,  they’ll be in a dog fight for second place with the D’Backs.  

Braves Trade For Javier Vazquez

The Braves have aquired pitchers Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan from the White Sox for catcher Tyler Flowers, shortstop Brent Lillibridge, third baseman Jon Gilmore, and pitcher Santos Rodriguez. I like this deal a lot for both teams.

The Braves get the established starter that they want to add. Vazquez is more of a #3 or #4 starter rather than the #1 or #2 they wanted to add, but he is a solid addition nontheless. Atlanta has stated that they want to add two starters, anyway. This guy seems more like the second tier aquisition.

Javier Vazquez had a down year; his ERA was 4.67. His other stats were still solid, however. He threw 200 strike-outs and 200 innings despite his ERA. I think the most likely reason for his poor performance was bad luck; his BABIP was second highest in the MLB. If Javy just continues doing what he has already done, he will really nice pick-up for the Braves. I love this move for them because I truly believe he can bounce back.

I still like this trade for the White Sox, but I’m confused on their direction. They have already dealt two veterans, Vazquez of course and also Nick Swisher. If the Sox are trying to compete, I don’t know why they are trading these guys away. There has also been rumors swirling of Jermaine Dye and/or Bobby Jenks getting shipped out as well. I’m at a loss.

On the package of players they got, I think the Sox recieved a great haul. Tyler Flowers is one of the best catching prospects in the game. If they want to, they could move him to left field or DH eventually because they have AJ Pierzynski at catcher and Flowers’s defense is awful. He will be a great hitter no matter where he plays. Brent Lillibridge comes in and brings depth to the second base position. (I think Alexie Ramirez is definately moving to shortstop) The two other prospects they recieved aren’t bad; they are solid C prospects. I like this haul, just confused why they wanted it over an established starter like Vazquez.

Replacing Javy will be tough. The White Sox depth at starting pitching was tested last year because the starters they called up once Jose Contreras went down were very ineffective. Now one of them will be starting the season in the rotation. An additional transaction will have to be made in order to accommodate for the loss of Vazquez.

My letter grade for the Braves: B. My letter grade for the White Sox: C. 

Nick Swisher Dealt to the Yankees

The White Sox, after trading the farm for him last year, have dealt Nick Swisher to the Yankees along with pitching prospect Kanekoa Texeira. In return, they get only pitching prospects Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez as well as third/first baseman Wilson Betemit. What a steal for the Yankees! They get their cheap first baseman for two mid-level pitching prospects plus a bench player in Wilson Betemit. Brian Cashman has gotten quality players in the past two trades by giving up mid-level prospects. Just because the Yanks have Swisher, don’t count them out of the Mark Teixera bidding. They could always move Swish back to center field in that situation. This move really plugs a hole and for basicly nothing. Outstanding move by Brian Cashman. I have no idea why Kenny Williams would make this trade. He has basicly traded Gio Gonzalez, Fautino De Los Santos, Ryan Sweeney, and Kanekoa Texeira for the package of crap he’s gotten from the Yankees. Betemit will continue to ride the bench for the Sox and while the two pitchers add depth, they might be better off just going with Lance Broadway and Clayton Richard. Now that “Dirty Thirty” is gone the Sox will probably trade for Willy Tavares. He will continue to stay off base while Swisher bounces back for the Yanks’ offense. Coco Crisp could also be an option. Bottom Line: The White Sox got ripped off and Brian Cashman is a genious.

Javier Vazquez to the Mets?

Could the Mets be interested in Javier Vazquez? You’d think he would be more of a “plan B” for them. (Or C or D) They would have to at least kick the tires on better free agents before trading for Javy. Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, AJ Burnett, and Oliver Perez would all be better aquisitions than Vazquez. He is owed 23 million over the next two years; about market value. His ERA was 4.67 last year, but he still managed 200 strike-outs. The previous year he had an ERA of 3.74. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see him excel because of the change of scenery. Even if he consistently had an ERA in the 4.6 range, he would get a lot of cash on the open market. I’m not sure why the White Sox would want to move him; I know he had a down year, but it might have just been an aberration. It’s not like they need to clear salary, because they have 10 million to spend. There is no reason to sell this low on him. Plus, it’s not like the White Sox are just overflowing with depth. Isn’t this the same team that went with a four man rotation to end the year because of so little faith in the fifth starter options? I know Kenny Williams loves making trades, but this is one he should just pass up.

Team’s Payroll

I will put the amount of money teams will have to spend this offseason along with their payroll from the previous year, arbitration eligible players, and the salary they have committed. This will make things easier when trying to guess who could afford the top-notch free agents. I was informed greatly from MLB Trade Rumors. This will be a side-bar link.



 Last year’s payroll

 Salary Committed

 Arbitration Eligible

 Estimated money to spend


102 million 

48 million 

Casey Kothman, Omar Infante, Kelly Johnson, Matt Diaz, Jeff Francoeur, Mike Gonzalez 

 45 million


 138 million

104 million 

 Ryan Church, John Maine, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez

28 million 


103 million

100 million 

Cole Hamels, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard  

15 million 


 21 million

 20 million

Scott Olsen, Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Mike Jacobs, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, Matt Treanor, Alfredo Amezaga, Joe Nelson, Kevin Gregg, Logan Kensing, Eulogio de la Cruz, Doug, Waechter 

0 million


55 million 

40 million 

Ryan Zimmerman, Tim Redding, Jesus Colome, Ryan Wagner, Willy Harris

10 million 


118 million

122 million 

Reed Johnson, Ronny Cedeno, Michael Wuertz, Neal Cotts, Chad Gaudin 

20 million 


80 million 

60 million 

Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Corey Hart, Dave Bush, Seth McClung, Todd Coffey, Chris Capuano 

20 million 


100 million 

78 million 

Aaron Miles, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick, Todd Wellemyer, Brad Thompson 

20 million 


74 million 

54.5 million 

Bill Bray, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Lincoln 

15 million


 86 million

88 million 

Humberto Quintero, Ty Wigginton, David Newhan, Brian Backe, Wandy Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, Geoff Geary, Tim Byrdak 

15 million 


 49 million

31 million 

Ryan Doumit, Adam LaRoche, Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Zack Duke, John Grabow, Tyler Yates, Denny Bautista 

8 million 


59 million 

118  million 

Russell Martin, Andre Eithier, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban

50 million 

Diamond Backs 

 66 million

55 million 

Chris Snyder, Augie Ojeda, Conor Jackson, Chris Burke, Edgar Gonzalez, Chad Qualls

10 million 


68 million 

77.5 million 

Garret Atkins, Willy Tavaras, Jorge de la Rosa, Jason Grilli 

3 million 


73 million 

44 million 

Jody Gerut, Scott Hairston, Heath Bell, Clay Hensley 

4 million 


76 million 

64 million 

Fred Lewis 

10 million 


124 million 

87 million 

Macier Izturis, Rob Quinlan, Chone Figgins, Ervin Santana 

30 million 


48 million 

29 million 

Huston Street, Justin Duchscherer Rob Bowen 

10 million + 


67 million 

63 million 

Gerald Laird, Marlon Byrd, Brandon McCarthy, Frank Francisco, CJ Wilson, Kameron Loe 

10 million 


117 million 

88 million 

Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Jeremy Reed 

20 million – 

White Sox 

121 million 

108 million 

Bobby Jenks, DJ Carasco, DeWayne Wise

10 million 


57 million 

54 million 

Jason Kubel, Matt Guerrier 

15 million 


79 million 

64 million 

Kelly Shoppach 

15 million 


137 million 

115 million 

Marcus Thames, Ramon Santiago, Fernando Rodney, Justin Verlander, Gary Glover, Joel Zumaya, Bobby Seay 

5 million 

14 million

14 millionRoyals 

58 million 

52 million 

John Buck, Esteban German, Mark Teahen, Joey Gathright, Zack Greinke, Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies, Jimmy Gobble, Joel Peralta 

7 million 

Red Sox 

133 million 

92 million 

Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Cash, Javier Lopez, Jonathan Papelban 

33 million 


43 million 

49 million 

Edwin Jackson, Dioner Navarro, Jason Bartlett, Gabe Gross, Jonny Gomes, Grant Balfour

5 million 


209 million 

140 million 

Xavier Nady, Wilson Betemit, Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney 

50 million 

Blue Jays 

98 million 

80 million 

Jose Bautista, Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Brandon League

15 million 


67 million 

63 million 

Freddie Bynum, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, Jeremy Guthrie, Daniel Cabrera, George Sherrill, Chris Ray, Fernando Cabrera 

15 million 


Luis Castillo to the White Sox?

Most people think the White Sox will have a quiet offseason. They’ll sign a decent second baseman like Mark Grudzielanek or Ray Durham to a one year deal, and they’ll be done. There’s nothing wrong with this, but the White Sox would like to add speed. Maybe GM Kenny Williams would decide to buy-low on Luis Castillo. If the Mets ate 12 million of 18 million left on his deal, I could see it. Why wouldn’t he get three years, 6 million on the free agent market? He seems just like the player Willimas would like to aquire. He would be criticized by fans, but when isn’t he? I think Castillo makes a lot of sense for the White Sox. The Mets would also like to move him. They’ve had their eye on Orlando Hudson, and he would love to go to New York. If the Mets want him, they’ll get him. If they decide not to go after Hudson, they could just make a small signing like Grudzielanek or Durham. I think the smartest move would be to move Daniel Murphy from left field to second base. Then they would be able to go out and sign an every day left fielder instead of just getting one to platoon with Murphy. I really do like this trade a lot for both teams.

Player Market: Dan Uggla

It seems like the Marlins will make slugging second/third baseman Dan Uggla available this offseason. There will probably be tons of suitors. Lets check them out.

Cardinals (frontrunners)  Bryan Anderson for Dan Uggla. This trade just makes too much sense for both teams. The Marlins get a catcher significantly better than Matt Treanor and open up a position for the fast, good defensive Chris Coghlan. The Cardinals get the bat they want to protect Albert Pujols, and Bryan Anderson has no role on their team because of Yadier Molina. I’d be surprised if either team got a better offer for their player.

Indians (frontrunners)  They also have a catcher they could trade. They would be reluctant to do it, but Kelly Shoppach could get a deal done for both sides. I explained how it made sense for the Marlins above, and it makes sense for the Tribe, too. They’d have to be 100% sure Victor Martinez is healthy or else they shouldn’t do the deal. Dan Uggla can play either second base or third base, so it gives them even more flexibility as to who they will sign. This trade also makes sense.

Marlins (frontrunners)  Unless they can get a good, young catcher in return, it might make more sense to trade Jorge Cantu or Mike Jacobs instead. Both players could bring back a hard throwing pitching prospect: the kind of player the Fish are looking for. Plus, it improves the defense by moving Jorge Cantu to first base or another team. If they want to build around pitching, defense, and speed it makes sense to move someone other than Uggla.  

Twins (possible)  If the Marlins are willing to take young pitching for Uggla, then the Twins are a good fit. They could offer one of their young guns and play Uggla at third base. I don’t know if the Marlins would do this trade, though. 

Giants (possible)  It is pretty much the same thing here as with the Twins. If the Fish will take pitchers, the Giants could trade Jonathan Sanchez for him. If the Marlins don’t accept starters, then Uggla won’t be in a Giant uniform next year.

A’s (possible)  It’s possible the Marlins would rather have hard throwing prospects instead of proven young pitchers. If that is the case, don’t be surprised to see Uggla heading down to the bay area. The A’s could play him at second base until Adrian Cardenas is ready, then they could move him to third base. This makes sense for the A’s, but maybe not the Marlins.

Dodgers (possible)  They could offer James McDonald. He’s not the best prospect, but could get the deal done with an added player and poor offers for Uggla. Or, the Marlins could decide to keep him and trade someone else. 

White Sox (not likely)  They would be interested, but I don’t see them giving away their farm for another slow player. I don’t know if they could even pull off a trade. They’d be much more interested in Brian Roberts.

White Sox Looking for Speed

After losing in the first round, the White Sox will try to improve their ball club for a run at 2009. The weakest link on this team is speed. The only problem is that there is no place to add it. All positions are locked in except second base (and third base if you don’t think Josh Fields can handle it). The only speedy second baseman available is Brian Roberts. I don’t know if the White Sox have the pieces to get him, though. Maybe Aaron Poreda and Fields would be enough. With not many contenders in need of a second baseman, and with the possibility that the Oriols could get nothing but draft picks when he leaves, they might have to take it. If the Sox can’t grab him, they could trade for Willy Tavares. They had interest in him in a possible Jon Garland trade back in 2006. Where would he play though. If they found a way to trade Paul Konerko I could see it, but that’s a bad contract and he has a no-trade-clause. Coco Crisp could be a trade target, but the Red Sox might want to keep him as insurance for JD Drew and Mike Lowell. David DeJesus is available, but there are the same problems there are with Tavares. If I squint, I could see the Sox trading Jermane Dye. Maybe to a team like the Braves for a ton of prospects. Then they could turn some of the prospects around in a trade for Brian Roberts, and also trade for Willy Tavares and platoon him with Brian Anderson. Nick Swisher would move to right field, replacing Dye. Or, maybe instead they look to trade Gavin Floyd for Brian Roberts and then sign a starter like Derek Lowe to replace him. I could see them in the market for a starter, even if they don’t trade Floyd, and then trade Jose Contreras. Frankly, I have no idea what they will do, but they’ll do something.

Playoff Predictions: American League

Here comes my playoff predictions for the AL.

Division Series

Red Sox at Angels

Red Sox. They have always had the Angels number in the playoffs for some reason, have a better three man rotation, all the experience in the world, and a better offense. They just seem like the better team. Plus, they’ve been on fire in the second half. I know they don’t have home field advantage like last year, and I know they don’t have Manny Ramirez, but to me it still seems like they are a better team. It will be the most highly watched first round matchup for sure. I like the Red Sox in this one.

White Sox at Rays

Rays.  This is going to be an easy series for Tampa. They have a better bullpen and better pitching. They are the best home-team in the MLB and I’m almost sure the White Sox will be leaving Tampa Bay down 0-2. I have no doubt at all that the Rays are going to sleepwalk through this series.  

Championship Series

Red Sox at Rays

Red Sox. These two teams will be close. I know the Rays have the home-field advantage, but the Red Sox are just so good. They have a better lineup and a better starting rotation. The only thing the Rays have is a better bullpen. Also, there’s the experience factor. The Red Sox have won two world series’ in four years, so they’ve been there while the Rays haven’t even been in the playoffs. I’d be afraid if I were the Red Sox, though, because if the Rays get their confidence up after winning in game one they could be a scary team. All in all, I’ve got to go with the experience of the Boston Red Sox.

Player Market: Jon Garland

A young innings eater, Jon Garland, will be in high demand this winter. Lets look at some teams that could be interested.

Braves (frontrunner)  They are likely to be spending some money this offseason, and would love to add a healthy innings eater. I’m sure they will be among the leading contenders to land Garland.

Dodgers (frontrunner)  Garland lives in LA. Since there probably won’t be a home for him on one side of town, he could go to the other. The Dodgers will definatly be in the market for pitching this winter, unlike the Angels. And Garland is just like a younger, not as good version of Derek Lowe.

Mets (frontrunner)  They can use all the pitching they can get. The Mets are in on almost every free agent starter. They will go after Garland if they can’t sign other, better free agents instead. One thing is for sure: the Mets are going to get a good starting pitcher via free agency this offseason.

Cardinals (possible)  They too will be in on almost every good free agent starter. Jon Garland would be a great signing for the Cardinals. He would add an established innings eater to their team. Look for them to pursue him hard.

Royals (possible)  He is young, and a good pitcher, so look for the Royals to make an offer. They want to add one more pitcher to the top two of Zack Greinke and Gil Meche. Garland would slot in nicely behind those two pitchers. If they make the right signings, this team could be contending before you know it.

Angels (slight chance)  There is a slight chance that the Angels offer Jon Garland a contract to come back. This wouldn’t make a lot of sense to me, however. They have Kelvim Escobar coming back from injury to fill Garland’s void. Maybe they could resign him if they traded one of their other pitchers.

White Sox (dark horse)  I think the White Sox are a dark horse for Jon Garland because he’s played there before. I know that they don’t need a starter, but apparently Kenny Williams doesn’t want Jose Contreras in the rotation next year. Garland would make sense in that case, and you never know what Kenny will do.