According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, shortstop David Eckstein is the #1 target of the White Sox this offseason. An Eckstein signing would then result in the team paying $300K to buy out Juan Uribe‘s $5MM option for ’08.
Eckstein signed a three-year, $10.25MM deal with the Cardinals after being non-tendered by the Angels in December of 2004. He’ll be 33 heading into the ’08 season, and injuries have been increasing over the years. Another three-year pact for $15-18MM would be fairly risky for the White Sox. Especially for a player whose value is tied so closely to his batting average.
A coworker of mine, Mike, mentioned that the Sox might be trying to assemble an all-grinder type team. They could conceivably have Eckstein, Darin Erstad, Jerry Owens, and Aaron Rowand in the lineup next year.
However, they won’t be signing Rowand if, as Cowley claims, he demands a contract similar to Torii Hunter‘s. Ken Rosenthal recently talked to an exec who set the floor for Hunter at 5/75, with 6/102 certainly within reach. I imagine the White Sox will top out with an offer around 3/33, a little more than Eric Byrnes received. I could be wrong though.