Baseball Preview - Chicago White Sox
Status: The defending champs missed the playoffs this year despite having a stronger offense due to a fall-off in production from their rotation. They will have to make some changes if they expect to compete in a division with 3 other excellent teams.
Free Agents: The Sox will pick up their team options on Buehrle and Dye. That’s a no-brainer. Buehrle had a disappointing season last year, but he’s worth more than $9.5mil. The White Sox will not resign LF Scott Podsednik because his 3HR, .330 OBP, and 40 SB in 59 attempts are simply not very good for a leadoff hitter.
The White Sox need a corner outfielder to replace Podsednik. They also need a leadoff hitter. There is this guy who plays left field and hits leadoff who hit 46 HR with a .277/.351/.530 batting line and stole 41 bases. You might not have heard of him, but his name is Alfonso Soriano. He’s going to hit leadoff for the White Sox next year.
The White Sox will make offers to Gary Matthews, but I expect them to platoon Brian Anderson and Rob Macowiak in CF this year. They haven’t given up on Anderson yet.
The White Sox will bring in a reliever to compete with Jenks for the closer’s job. It won’t be a big name, just somebody to light a fire under Jenks’ enormous ass. I expect them to go to Joe Borowski.
The Sox should be on the lookout for a shortstop as well. Juan Uribe has power, but he is a terrible hitter with no patience at the plate. His .257 OBP was good evidence of his struggles at the plate. Plus, he killed a guy last week, so he might not be available for spring training. The White Sox will probably give the SS job to Alex Cintron next year, but they will be looking for his replacement all year. Trades: Despite their struggles on the mound last year, the White Sox will be actively trying to move a starting pitcher this off-season. They clearly have Brandon McCarthy penciled into the rotation next year, so they have to open up a spot for him. John Garland and Freddy Garcia are the two most likely candidates to be traded. The Astros will offer Brad Lidge for Garcia, the Mets will offer Milledge and Anderson Hernandez if they can’t land D-Train. But the Cubs will send top OF prospect Felix Pie and INF Mike Fontenot across town for Garcia. This re-unites Garcia with Lou Pinella and gives the Sox their CF and SS of the future.
(That’s 5 guys out of 9 who could hit 40+ HR! Wow!)
McCarthy CL Jenks