Offseason In Review: Chicago White Sox

Next in our Offseason In Review series, the White Sox.

Major League Signings

  • J.J. Putz, RP: one year, $3MM.
  • Mark Kotsay, OF: one year, $1.5MM.
  • Omar Vizquel, IF: one year, $1.375MM.
  • Freddy Garcia, SP: one year, $1MM.  Club option exercised.
  • Ramon Castro, C: one year, $1MM.  Includes $1.2MM club option for '11 with $200K buyout.
  • Andruw Jones, OF: one year, $500K.
  • Total spend: $8.375MM (not included in this number is Matt Thornton's $2.25MM club option, as he would've been arbitration-eligible anyway).

Notable Minor League Signings

Extensions

  • Mark Teahen, 3B: three years, $14MM.  Bought out two arbitration years and one free agent year.

Trades and Claims

Notable Losses

Summary

The White Sox made a pair of big moves last summer, acquiring Jake Peavy and Alex Rios.  Peavy has three years and $52MM remaining, while Rios has five years and $59.7MM.  While those were huge commitments, GM Kenny Williams was still pretty active this offseason.

Williams managed to spread $8.375MM over six veteran free agents, keeping his risk low.  Williams' riskier moves were the acquisitions of Pierre and Teahen, who will both be given starting jobs.  On the open market, would Pierre have matched the two-year, $8MM commitment taken on by the White Sox?  And why not go year-to-year with Teahen, who hasn't hit like a corner infielder since '06?

Based on CHONE projections and the Baseball Musings lineup analysis tool, the Sox should score around 780 runs in 2010.  That'd place in the middle of the AL and above last year's output, though the projection is probably optimistic since it doesn't account for injuries.  There is a decent chance Chicago's offense remains below-average.  It would've been worth putting the $2MM used on Jones and Kotsay toward a more productive free agent DH.

Using CHONE projections for earned runs while tweaking their innings estimates, it does seem reasonable to envision the club ranking second in the AL again in starter ERA.  The highest projection among their front four is Gavin Floyd's 4.33.  Bullpen-wise, the addition of Putz and a full season of Tony Pena offsets the losses of Dotel and Carrasco.  Defensively, the Sox will benefit from the subtraction of Dye.

The 2010 White Sox will potentially suffer subpar production at traditionally offensive spots – left field, third base, and designated hitter.  They still look like contenders, but it'll be on the strength of their run prevention.


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