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Monday, October 08, 2012

Sun-Times: No easy answers about which direction Sox should take next season

Forward! Says their most powerful fan.

The same can be said of replacing Youkilis, 33, who batted .236 with 15 homers and 46 RBI in 80 games after coming from the Boston Red Sox. Opening Day third baseman Brent Morel (back) needs to prove he can stay healthy, Williams said last week, to be an option. Youkilis’ $13 million option will be bought out for $1 million, and even though his production faded in September, his on-field and clubhouse presence were valuable enough that the Sox might try to re-sign him.

Despite proving he is healthy again — 3.37 ERA in 219 innings — Peavy’s $22 million option will be too rich for the Sox, who will pay him a $4 million buyout. They still could work out a deal with newly hired agent Jeff Berry.

Should Peavy go, picking up Floyd’s option makes sense — unless the Sox pick up Myers’ $10 million option for the purpose of making him a starter again. Myers, 32, has six seasons with double-digit victories in his career, and Williams didn’t rule out that possibility last week.

I Fought Vance Law and Vance Law Won Posted: October 08, 2012 at 08:17 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: white sox

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4259113)
There are those in the organization who think the Sox have another bullet left with basically the same group. Some others don’t agree, knowing the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers should get better with catcher/designated hitter Victor Martinez coming back from a knee injury.


The Sox pretty much have to go for it, don't they? The minors are completely barren (there wasn't a single White Sox farmhand on Sickels' midseason top 120 list). The team is old but not ancient, and the Tigers are hardly a juggernaut and aren't guaranteed to get better next year. I mean, the Sox projections for 2012 will probably top out at 80 wins or so. But they can hope that Beckham and Viciedo (and, why not, maybe Flowers) will improve and that Sale and Quintana will stay the same, only with more innings. So a little improvement and a couple of good acquisitions and a bit of luck and this is a team that can hope to compete with Detroit and whatever other random team makes a surprise run. It's a bit of a longshot but it's a crappy division and if they decide on a teardown they're looking at a very long rebuild. Realistically they should keep going for it until the team goes belly-up on its own accord.
   2. McCoy Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4259116)
How about down? That's an easy answer.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4259129)
Is it really a given fact that they will decline both Youk's and Peavy's options?
   4. jmurph Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4259137)
Is it really a given fact that they will decline both Youk's and Peavy's options?


Wouldn't it be pretty surprising to see either player get that on the open market?
   5. I Fought Vance Law and Vance Law Won Posted: October 08, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4259161)
I don't think they've declined it officially, but they did let Peavy know they were declining and paying the $4M buyout; he then retained a new agent.

I don't think it's been any more than widely assumed they would decline Youkilis' option. I personally wouldn't be surprised to see them pick it up, considering the in-house 3B candidates and the likely offseason market.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4259196)
Wouldn't it be pretty surprising to see either player get that on the open market?


It would cost the White Sox $18 million for one year of Peavy. If he wanted only a 1-year deal on the open market (unlikely), he could probably get close to that from some team (Yankess, RedSox, Dodgers?) but yes it would be surprising if he could get $18m.

I think Youkilis is more likely to be able to get a better deal than 1/$12 million than Peavy to get a better deal than his option.
   7. zonk Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4259213)
I think it is a tough call for the Sox...

If it were me, I think I'd pick up both options, assuming it doesn't put the team in an impossible situation. They may have overperformed this year - but if you think Rios is back to being a good player, if you think De Aza really does have a career, and if you feel pretty solid about Viciedo continuing to improve, Bechkam improving period -- and that some of the unheralded kids (Quintana, Santiago) were for real -- then why not take another shot in 2013?

The worst possible place for a team to be is to try to rebuild and contend at the same time. If the future is now - then pick up the options. If it falls flat, pick up the pieces next offseason and commit to a rebuild.

Unlike their neighbors to the north, this wasn't/isn't a team clearly on the downswing... they won 88 games three years ago, 79 last season, and 85 this season.

Interestingly enough -- while I absolutely, positively would have zero interest in a bidding war for them -- Youkilis and Peavy would actually fit the Cubs' needs perfectly. They wouldn't get 3+ years from me (maybe I'd go to 4 on Peavy, with some health safety outs) - but if the market decides they have to settle for a single year, I'd be in on that.
   8. madvillain Posted: October 08, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4259656)
It wouldn't shock me at all to see them try and trade one of Dunn/Floyd/Rios and make a run at signing Josh Hamilton. JR is a penny pincher but he loves his big splashes and maybe this year convinced him the team is just another few wins away.

I'm not arguing for the move at all, in fact I'd like to see them roll out a lineup of as many young guys as they can.

They are going to be losing AJ, Peavy and probably Youk, that's about 8 wins from 2012. It's going to be very, very hard to replace that production in house. Even assuming that Sale and Quintana are as good as they showed in 2012 you're not going to get 8 more wins even *assuming* they both can go 200+ innings. Viciedo is a breakout candidate but say he goes from 1 WAR to 3 it will probably just be enough to offset the regression from Rios.

The team isn't that good and although they had a bunch of good things happen this year, it still wasn't enough. Guys like Konerko and Dunn have no role on the next good Sox team, it's not what anybody wants to hear, but it's the truth.
   9. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4259669)
I'd normally be all for a rebuild, but honestly if they kept trying to win, when the day comes where they have no choice to rebuild, it seems unlikely they'll be in any worse position for a rebuild than they are now. I suppose there's a few live arms down there, but there's essentially no position prospects in the entire organization.

I don't think they'll trade Dunn, Floyd or Rios. Not because they don't want to, but because they'll be underwhelmed by what's being offered in return. They desperately need Viciedo to take a big step forward to have any shot of contention next year.
   10. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: October 08, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4259695)
Carlos Sanchez is an interesting position prospect in the middle infield.

Just sayin'.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 08, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4259698)

They are going to be losing AJ, Peavy and probably Youk, that's about 8 wins from 2012.


If this is the case, then they're a 78-80 win team before making any additions.

I don't see why some FA signings, and a couple of scrap heap pickups couldn't put them in the mix in the Central next year.
   12. madvillain Posted: October 08, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4259715)
They desperately need Viciedo to take a big step forward to have any shot of contention next year.


Everything went right for Viciedo this season except his BABIP and contact rate. He hit for power, stayed healthy, took a few more walks towards the end of the year, and didn't embarrass himself in LF.

It's strange because it was assumed he'd hit for average but the power was lacking heading into this year. The power was there but not the average. I like Viciedo as a player and I think he has 300/350/550 potential as soon as next year, but that's a big if and even if he does go from 1 WAR to 4 the team has other holes.
   13. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 08, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4259743)
OH, we are discussing the WHITE Sox...

<ducks>
   14. chisoxcollector Posted: October 08, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4259752)
The White Sox have two legitimate position prospects that are reasonably close to the majors. Carlos Sanchez, who has already been mentioned, and Trayce Thompson. Thompson has plus power and speed, and a reasonable (though not especially good) walk rate. If he cuts down on the K's (big if, I know), he could be something. They also have their 2012 draft pick, Courtney Hawkins, who looks like he has a chance to be pretty good as well.

And maybe I'm crazy, but I haven't given up hope that Jared Mitchell will be something. Between his previous football career and the devastating 2010 injury, it wouldn't be a big surprise to see him put it together later than most.
   15. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4259781)
Right now I suspect Thompson would hit about .180 in the majors. Thompson and Sanchez were roughly the sixth and seventh best hitters on their A-ball team. That doesn't make then non-prospects, but it is something of a brake on what kind of reasonable expectations you could expect from then. Sanchez provides virtually nothing on offense so far besides batting average. He has speed, but at least in terms of stealing bases it's been of no real value. Thompson has struggled to get his average above .250 in the low minors but had a nice year and has tools. We'll see on Hawkins.

It's just not much of a system of those guys are your jewels. Everybody has _some_ prospects who have some chance of being something. The White Sox seem to be weaker in that regard than most.
   16. madvillain Posted: October 08, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4259838)
The White Sox have two legitimate position prospects that are reasonably close to the majors. Carlos Sanchez, who has already been mentioned, and Trayce Thompson. Thompson has plus power and speed, and a reasonable (though not especially good) walk rate. If he cuts down on the K's (big if, I know), he could be something. They also have their 2012 draft pick, Courtney Hawkins, who looks like he has a chance to be pretty good as well.


That's like...nothing...dude. As Voros mentioned, Thompson isn't anywhere close to the majors. Did he take a step up to legit prospect status this year? Certainly, but he still has a long, long way to go before he's even close to MLB ready. In most systems he'd be at best the 4th or 5th best position player prospect. That he's perhaps Chicago's best is not ideal. He could be a power hitting CF, a legit 4 or 5 WAR player, he could also (and much more likely) never successfully reduce his K % and wash out as a AAAA bat.

As Voros also mentioned, Sanchez is a 3 tool player at best. Guys like him make great utility IFs, that's about it. Maybe he hits his ceiling and becomes a solid glove 300/340/380 type, but nobody is going to respect his power so he better have excellent contact skills if he wants to be a MLB regular.

Hawkins, IMO, is the real deal. He's worth getting excited about...in 2015.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 08, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4259839)
The worst possible place for a team to be is to try to rebuild and contend at the same time.

Why? They don't have MLB-ready prospects to play. They don't have anyone that'll bring a ton in a trade. You can't redirect spending from MLB payroll to amateur bonuses anymore. All the Sox can do to rebuild, is draft, sign, and develop well.

While they're trying to do that, why not try to cobble together an 85-win roster, and see if you get lucky?
   18. McCoy Posted: October 08, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4259851)
but if the market decides they have to settle for a single year, I'd be in on that.

Why? What would be the point for the Cubs?
   19. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: October 08, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4259874)
I don't know if any of the speculative articles have been posted here, but it's looking like a good bet that David Hahn takes control from Kenny Williams this winter. Jon Heyman had an article that made it seem the move was all but official. Not sure if that changes the route the Sox are going to take. It seems to me they can't really rebuild, unless they're willing to completely punt a few seasons like the team on the north side. As mentioned above, the unfortunate truth is that there's very little on the farm, and they're not likely to get much more than non-elite prospects for guys like Rios, Dunn and Floyd.

As such, I think they'd be best served to go for it again, even if only means putting out a team that projects to 84 wins (give or take) and hoping Detroit stumbles. Danks is apparently going to be ready for Spring Training next year. I'd try and get both Peavy and Youkilis back on short deals (perhaps even picking up Peavy's option, even if it means a one-year overpay), while letting AJ go and Flowers take over. It requires a bit of hand-waving and optimism to get that team to 90 wins -- Danks bounce-back, Beckham's September stance and numbers being maintainable, Viciedo taking a step forward, Sale's health -- but the whole rebuild route doesn't seem tenable.
   20. madvillain Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4260023)
the whole rebuild route doesn't seem tenable.


They have to do something with the SP:

Danks
Floyd
Sale
Quintana
Santiago/Humber

is not a rotation I'd even hope to win 84 games with. I dunno, maybe Q is the real deal. Maybe Santiago's September success carries over, but man, even the ace Sale has a huge health question mark hanging over his head. Danks is coming off major surgery, while not a power picher, he certainly needs his low 90's fastball to be successful. Floyd is Floyd, a great 4th starter, that's it.

Lotta question marks in that rotation as is. The more I look at 2013 the more I think they'd be foolish to not try and dump at least 2 of Floyd, Rios and Dunn. I think they can get a real return on Rios, the other two not so much.
   21. zonk Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4260031)

Why? They don't have MLB-ready prospects to play. They don't have anyone that'll bring a ton in a trade. You can't redirect spending from MLB payroll to amateur bonuses anymore. All the Sox can do to rebuild, is draft, sign, and develop well.

While they're trying to do that, why not try to cobble together an 85-win roster, and see if you get lucky?


With the new rules, I suppose it's not as bad as it could have been -- with draft slotting now rigid and limits on foreign FAs, I suppose it makes it more difficult to spend the money elsewhere.

Still, though - in gambling parlance, you start chasin' it... You take on a bad contract here to plug a hole, you give a veteran who shouldn't get it, a bad contract because you think to yourself you'll get best case scenarios elsewhere and you just have this "one hole" to fill. You keep shipping out what little minor league depth you're trying to piece together for spare parts.

What's more - only the Yankees (and maybe not even them anymore) can really afford to paper over huge sunk costs... the hangover is inevitable.

but if the market decides they have to settle for a single year, I'd be in on that.

Why? What would be the point for the Cubs?


Just warming up for idle hot stove chatter, I guess... SOMEONE has to play 3B - and unless you want to give Vitters a couple month to prove he'll never hit major league pitching, I see absolutely zero options in-house. I don't see Youkilis as a multi-season answer by any stretch, but he'd be non-Valbuena at 3B. For Youkilis, I guess I'd really only be on it if he had to settle on a one-year deal. If next season goes as believed, he can then be flipped at the deadline, ala Paul Maholm....

Peavy, I'm mildly more interested in because the fact is -- there is just nothing (aside from the Arodys Vizcaino question mark) on the horizon. I mean, Trey McNutt at best held serve this year, if not regressed a bit. The Cubs are so bereft of pitching that I go into this offseason a little more willing to roll the dice on pitching. Don't get me wrong - like I said, I'm not interested in getting into a bidding war. If Peavy ends up being in demand, then I'm not interested... but if the market dries up and let's say he has to settle for 3 years and something south of say... 40-45 million? I might be down with that. Don't get me wrong - I suspect he can and will get better than 3/40, but who knows?
   22. McCoy Posted: October 08, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4260090)
But what is the point of a 3 year deal for Peavy? Best case scenario right now would put the Cubs at maybe a winning record by year 3 of that contract.

If Youkilis falls to a 1 year contract there isn't a whole lot the Cubs are going to get for him for 2 to 3 months of his service.
   23. chisoxcollector Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4261523)
It's just not much of a system of those guys are your jewels. Everybody has _some_ prospects who have some chance of being something. The White Sox seem to be weaker in that regard than most.


That's like...nothing...dude.


Don't get me wrong, the Sox have a horrible system. I was just responding to the earlier post saying that the Sox have NO position prospects. After 2011, I might have agreed with that statement. Thompson had been struggling, Mitchell looked completely lost, Sanchez was a non-entity, and Hawkins hadn't been drafted yet. At this point, they have 3-4 guys that have a chance of being somebody... less than most (all?) other teams, but not nothing, and certainly more than a year ago.

I mean, who was their best position prospect a year ago... Tyler Saladino?

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