Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Blogging the Offseason is a 30 team series in which I ask a blogging representative from each MLB team a series of ten questions about their desires and thoughts surrounding the offseason. Check out all of them here.
Today's AL team is the Chicago White Sox and our guest is Ryan from the all things Chicago Site, Mouthpiece Sports.
1. What is the White Sox biggest need this offseason?
Hmm, let's roll with process of elimination here. The pitching staff is pretty much set. The infield, now that the Sox traded for Mark Teahen, is also set. The bullpen was a bit of a problem last year, but there likely won't be any major changes there, unless the Sox deal Bobby Jenks, which is rumored. But Matt Thorton would probably take over as the closer if that happened. So I guess it goes back to what the Sox needed to address last offseason and didn't: a leadoff hitter who actually has a good OBP, and can play good defense in the outfield. With Scott Podsednik (likely) not coming back and Jermaine Dye now gone, there's an open outfield spot. There's been talk of Johnny Damon or Chone Figgins to fill the leadoff role; I'm just not sure the Sox have enough money to lure either of these two to the South Side.
2. You didn't get to see much of Jake Peavy last year in a White Sox uniform thanks to injuries. Much is stated about his home road splits while with the Padres, are you at all worried or do you think he will be the ace they traded for?
I think Peavy will be a great addition to the staff, but he's not going to be as good as he was as a member of the Padres. For starters, he's moving to the American League, which has better hitters.
But what's really going to make him less effective with the White Sox is moving from Petco Park to the Cell for home games. Petco Park finished last in park factor a season ago, as well as in 2008, 2007 and 2005. It's consistently near the bottom or dead last, which means it's an extreme pitcher's park. Less runs are scored and home runs are hit there year and year out when compared to other stadiums around the league. The Cell is the exact opposite; it's a hitter's stadium, as home runs are hit at a high rate there. As such, it's usually in the top 10 in park factor, and Peavy will regress a bit because of this.
3. One of your recent posts at Mouthpiece was the the thought that they might pursue Johnny Damon, whom else do you think might be a possibility?
As I wrote in the answer to your first question, Chone Figgins is also in the loop for the Sox, but Kenny Williams is on record as saying he's going to cost too much. As far as other free agents? Man, with Kenny Williams, you just never know. If the Sox are looking to fill that leadoff spot, it's still possible Scott Podsednik is re-signed. And since Williams tends to gravitate towards the aging player, maybe Mike Cameron?
So yes: I offered up a guy that's not going to happen, a guy that was on the Sox last year, and totally bs'ed another name. I'm good at this.
4. The White Sox picked up Alex Rios off waivers last season which essentially works out as a free agent pickup. If this happened in the offseason would you be excited about it, or would you prefer to spend your money elsewhere?
I've tried defending the Alex Rios signing before, but the simple fact is he was terrible at the plate for the Sox last year, and in general. He plays above average defense, but he's not an elite defender. Plus, his contract is ridiculous. If the Sox picked him up as a free agent for less money in the offseason? I'd be OK with it. But Rios has been on the decline the last season or two. He's young still, sure. But there's nothing much to be excited about with him at the moment.
5. The 4-some of Peavy, Buehrle, Floyd and Danks should give the White Sox one of the deepest rotations in the AL, whom will be the 5th man to round it out?
Everything I've read has the Sox putting Freddy Garcia in the fifth starter's spot. After they signed him to a minor-league contract last season and he eventually came up to pitch, he wasn't horrible, and made it to at least the sixth inning in all games he pitched last year but one. But it's also a Kenny Williams trademark, placing his hopes in an aging veteran, when there are young guys like Daniel Hudson and Carlos Torres who could fill that fifth spot. If Garcia struggles or gets hurt, one of these two will take over.
6. What are the chances that Bobby Jenks will look more like an athlete next year than the Blob?
Well, Jenks is a big fan of his butt, so I'm not counting on that happening any time soon.
7. You've gassed your owner and convinced him to spend like the Yankees, which three free agents are you bringing to the South Side?
Chone Figgins to play third and leadoff (Teahen can move to a utility role); Matt Holiday to play left field (Carlos Quentin can move to right field); Vladimir Guerrero to DH.
8. Which White Sox prospect are you most looking forward to in 2010?
Outfielder Jordan Danks, without a doubt. He's the brother of John, the Sox's starter, and if he plays well, there's a chance he'll be up in the bigs this year.
9. I'm giving you the option to cut players without any salary repercussions, which ChiSox do you part way with?
Alex Rios. With DeWayne Wise gone this season, he's the new scapegoat.
10. Final Question, you've got a crystal ball, the White Sox will win the World Series in _______.
... the next 50 years. That should cover me for a while, huh?