Offseason Outlook: Chicago White Sox

Next up in our Offseason Outlook series, the White Sox.  Their likely commitments for 2009:

C – A.J. Pierzynski – $6.25MM
C – Toby Hall – $2.25MM (club option, $150K buyout)
1B – Paul Konerko – $12MM
2B – Chris Getz – $400K
SS – Alexei Ramirez – $1.1MM
3B – Josh Fields – $400K
IF –
LF – Carlos Quentin – $400K
CF – Brian Anderson – $400K
RF – Jermaine Dye – $11.5MM
OF – DeWayne Wise – $400K+
OF/1B – Nick Swisher – $5.3MM
DH – Jim Thome – $13MM

SP – Mark Buehrle – $14MM
SP – Javier Vazquez – $11.5MM
SP – John Danks – $400K
SP – Gavin Floyd – $400K
SP – Clayton Richard – $400K

RP – Bobby Jenks – $550K+
RP – Scott Linebrink – $4.5MM
RP – Octavio Dotel – $6MM
RP – Matt Thornton – $1.325MM
RP – Boone Logan – $405K
RP – D.J. Carrasco – $400K+
RP – Ehren Wassermann – $400K

Buyouts: Ken Griffey Jr. – $2MM

Other commitments: Jose Contreras – $10MM, Mike MacDougal – $2.65MM

I’m not sure if any of the $22MM received from the Phillies will go toward Thome’s 2009 salary.  I’m also unsure if Chicago’s portion of Junior’s buyout goes toward ’09 payroll.  To play it safe I will include all of that.  That brings us to $108MM plus arbitration raises, notably to Jenks.  So figure a little north of $110MM committed.  The Sox began the year with a $121MM payroll, though GM Ken Williams will not necessarily use every last dollar.  It seems that the Sox can afford one decent free agent if that’s Williams’ preference.

The Sox have talked about wanting to add speed at the top and bottom of the lineup.  A guy with a strong OBP would surely be preferable.  Willy Taveras, Juan Pierre, Ichiro Suzuki, Brian Roberts, Orlando Hudson, Chone Figgins, Randy Winn, Cesar Izturis, Bobby Abreu, and Coco Crisp may be available to varying degrees.  Roberts would be perfect, but the Orioles may still want young pitching or a shortstop.  Winn or Crisp could be easier to acquire.  The Angels may prefer to keep Figgins.

There’s talk of moving one of the pricier vets, maneuvering past no-trade clauses.  Dye would be appealing to many clubs; Abreu could be signed as a replacement.  Another option: shop Jenks.  Three years of Jenks is quite valuable, and he’d make an appealing alternative to signing Francisco Rodriguez or Brian Fuentes.

At this point we have learned to just sit back and watch Williams work…he has proven he’s unpredictable and very good at his job.

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