Torii Hunter might be a White Sox before the week is out. According to Joe Cowley, "’the climate was there for a deal to be announced soon." Of course, Cowley adds that this is unless another team swoops in at the last second with a mind-boggling offer. Next to the White Sox, the Rangers are mentioned most often as Hunter’s destination. The Royals also have interest.
This report is coming from sources within both the club and Hunter’s camp. The two sides have sat down twice, with the financial package being discussed in the latter meeting. Buster Olney has mentioned a six-year, $90 million potential deal with the Rangers (or was he just speculating?).
Cowley says that this all fits in with Ken Williams’s plan to model the team after the 2005 one: pitching and defense. And while having Juan Uribe (if indeed he does move to second), Orlando Cabrera, and Torii Hunter up the middle is potentially solid for next year, they aren’t exactly flush with pitching, and losing Jon Garland doesn’t help. Mark Buehrle and Javy Vazquez will head the rotation, but after that it’s some combination of Jose Contreras, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and possibly Gio Gonzalez.
Ah, but some people in the ChiSox organization "privately some in the organization felt that Garland had reached his ceiling in 2005 and ’06, winning 18 games in both years." Well, his walks rose and his strikeouts fell a bit in 2007 (and his home runs plummeted), but based on pure results, he had a better 2007 than 2006.
Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.