2011 Contract Issues: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox face two contractual options after the season:

  • Reliever Matt Thornton has a $3MM club option with a $250K buyout.  This is a good bet to be exercised.
  • Backup catcher Ramon Castro has a $1.2MM club option with a $200K buyout.  He's missed most of the season with a heel injury.

The team's other free agents are earning $26.125MM this year, led by Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.  If they also let Castro go and we add in buyouts paid to Jermaine Dye and Mike MacDougal, the Sox have nearly $29MM coming off the books.

Increases to players under contract total $11.3MM, with Alex Rios, Juan Pierre, Mark Teahen, and Gavin Floyd getting bumps of at least $2MM.  There are also arbitration cases to consider: Alexei Ramirez goes for the first time, John Danks, Carlos Quentin, and Tony Pena a second, and Bobby Jenks a third.  Technically Ramirez is already under contract for '11, but perhaps he's allowed to choose arbitration if he prefers.  I think Jenks will be non-tendered, meaning another $7.5MM off the books.

Using the above scenarios I think the White Sox would have approximately $15MM to work with if they hold payroll steady.  Keep in mind that's before re-signing any free agents, including 2010 offensive standouts Konerko and Andruw Jones.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.


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31 Comments on "2011 Contract Issues: Chicago White Sox"


knoxfire30
5 years 3 months ago

Carlos Quentins lack of production in 09 and 2010, with his injury history and his horrendous outfield play is making him an actual non tender canidate. Especially if the sox want to bring Jones back into the mix.

TwinsVet
5 years 3 months ago

$20m for Pierre and Rios. That’s brutal.

Soxball
5 years 3 months ago

Half of Pierre is being paid for by the Dodgers. $5 million is still too much for him, but not terrible. Rios if you have not paid attention is one of the best outfielders in baseball right now.

TwinsVet
5 years 3 months ago

Apparently I haven’t been paying attention. I thought Rios was a career .780 OPS guy…

5 years 3 months ago

Guess you haven’t been then.

chetkincaid
5 years 3 months ago

Dude… I’m starting to think that you hate the White Sox more than you like the Twins. That’s actually sad and funny at the same time.

jrenardo
5 years 3 months ago

The Sox aren’t in THAT bad of a situation. Out of the starters whose contracts are up at the end of the year, only AJ Pierzynski is performing at sub-par level. If the Sox continue losing, they can probably find him a new home by the all-star break and take advantage of the wasted season by calling up Tyler Flowers in his place. The Sox would probably have to act quick though, considering AJ acquires 10 and 5 status by June.

Paul Konerko is having the season of his life. If he continues, there’s no question the Sox will sign him back for another year. In addtion, his defense isn’t in question either and this shows by how much leather he’s flashed in the first portion of this season. He’s single-handedly saved innings for some pitchers and in some cases, saved games. If anything, the Sox upgrade by adding a first baseman/outfielder like Jason Kubel to add a little pop from the opposite side of the plate and provide Konerko with opportunities to rest and bat in the DH spot.

Internal upgrades can be made if some players don’t start to produce, like Jordan Danks or a healthy Jordan Mitchell in the outfield and Daniel Hudson in a long relief or even starter role, and as previously mentioned, Tyler Flowers for AJ Pierzynski.

Other players to consider are Andruw Jones, Mark Kotsay, Omar Vizquel, and Ramon Castro. The only player who has performed well is Jones, and he has been HOT at the start of the season. Look for the Sox to re-vamp if their woes continue.

AshleeMarie
5 years 3 months ago

AJ will come around. No need to call up Flowers. Its called a slump. AJ has been consistently one of the best hitters we had the past few years….I’m pretty sure everyone was quick to wanna trade Konerko last season when he was slumping and the season before. Sox would be stupid not to extend AJs contract. His bat will heat up.

jrenardo
5 years 3 months ago

I understand why you say AJ will come around. Yes it is a slump, but its a 30+ game slump. If the Sox plan on keeping him, he better heat up fast.

knoxfire30
5 years 3 months ago

Rios? Yea I hate those gold glove level centerfielders who hit 320 with a 965 ops and steal bases. Cant wait to get rid of that guy!

cachhubguy
5 years 3 months ago

15 million? That’s not enough for Adrian Gonzales.

Soxball
5 years 3 months ago

Adrian Gonzales is not a free agent after this season, so what is your point?

lefty58
5 years 3 months ago

None of this really matters until we see what is left over after the trade deadline and who the next GM will be.
People like Jenks, Buehrle, Floyd?, AJ, Pierre, Quentin, Ramirez and Konerko are all parts that could be moved and most should have been moved last year.
Guys like Ramirez, Teahen, Linebrink, Jenks, Peavy are close to untradable with their contracts and talent level. Ramirez has a low salary but is horrible defensively.
Any way around it, this team needs to be blown up, the problem is that they don’t have a GM competent enough to do it. But a really bad team and a worse farm system need to be rebuilt and the bait they have needs to be used.

JimBaily
5 years 3 months ago

I may not be as anti Kenny as you but I agree that he has completely lost touch with the team building concept and has buried this team by destroying the farm system.

Over the last four years no team has been as bad fundamentally as the Sox, the defensive side has been completely ignored and now throw in the hitting too.
It is time for a change at the top and that’s where Williams sits.

cgrachan
5 years 3 months ago

I believe Kenny Williams is one of the worst GM’s in baseball. After 5 years we are still looking for a center fielder, who’s on third? shortstop is still weak, left field? right field?. Past aquisitions are mostly bad. He looks to rehab projects to get lucky and catch lightning in a bottle (as he did in 2005). All in all he is probably in the bottom 10 of general managers and not getting any better.

Soxball
5 years 3 months ago

Nevermind that he got Rios to play centerfield. Do people not understand that?

cgrachan
5 years 3 months ago

At what cost? See me in September when Rios reverts back to a 230 hitter
for 15 mil a year. Kenny is bottom 10, in my opinion, in gm”s. Did I
mention 2nd base? He didn’t even see Iguchi (sic) play other than on
video. Third best in the AL central is like being 10th best in the AL.

5 years 3 months ago

Dayton Moore and company severely disagree.

GDane
5 years 3 months ago

Why do you think those players should have been moved last year? The White Sox are/were set up to make a run at the AL Central title this season. I’d say roughly 50% of the publications I read had the White Sox winning the central. By the way, your constant bashing of Kenny Williams on this site is a tired act. He is one of the better GMs in the game.

lefty58
5 years 3 months ago

If you think a guy who constantly has a payroll over 100m and is now going for his 4th 3rd place or worse finish in 5 years in that division is doing a good job, God bless.
All this while destroying an entire farm system too.

The team last year at the deadline was done, he should have been dumping and restocking, and not trading Jenks and then throwing away 7.5m on him this year is beyond comprehension.

And do you seriously think this team will contend? Come on.

GDane
5 years 3 months ago

“going for his 4th 3rd place or worse finish in 5 years” Nice spin lefty, you should be a political reporter. The truth is that his teams have won the division 2 out of the last 5 years (also finished 3rd twice, and 4th once), and one of those years was a CHAMPIONSHIP.

“All this while destroying an entire farm system too. ” Who has Kenny traded that has come back to bite him? I’ll wait.

“The team last year at the deadline was done” Aside from your lack of baseball knowledge, your memory is terrible. The White Sox were 1.5 games back at the deadline last year.

danks50
5 years 3 months ago

What?

Pierre should’ve been moved last year when he was acquired in the offseason? Ramirez and his contract that pays his a little of $1 million next year is unmovable?

Another solid White Sox related post lefty.

TwinsVet
5 years 3 months ago

Not that lefty is a fountain of insight, but I do believe he was referring more to Ramirez’s “horrible defense” and talent level than salary in making him unmovable…

el_doggo
5 years 3 months ago

edit – lack of read

danks50
5 years 3 months ago

Fangraphs valued him at $10.5 million dollars or about 2.3 WAR last year. He’s obviously not worthy of that kind of salary but saying he has no talent or can’t be move at a little over $1 million for the next two seasons is ridiculous.

TwinsVet
5 years 3 months ago

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sticking up for him or insulting him (alexei). I was just clarifying leftys argument.

lefty58
5 years 3 months ago

“are all parts that could be moved and most should have been moved last year”

“Most”

Ramirez would be tough to move because of a lack of interest. No bat and no D equals minimal demand.

danks50
5 years 3 months ago

I’ll preface this by saying I’m not a big fan of Alexei Ramirez considering he can have a few weeks of brilliant defense surrounded by other weeks or simple throws buried in the dirt to call for a difficult pick. However saying he has no value is downright stupid. I’m not sure if you believe he’s actually a .217 hitter as he did the exact same thing last april and produced consistently for the rest of the season.

As for his defense, like I said above its occasionally sloppy however this isn’t the stone-age and their better ways to measure defense then your apparent eye test as he’s been posting above average UZR numbers for the past two years at short and covers ground very well with a strong arm.

You act like shortstops that hit 15-20 hrs, steal around 15 bags, and cover ground at short grow on trees. Maybe that’s why your White Sox related comments are rendered useless.

lefty58
5 years 3 months ago

He’s a classic Kenny player, poor D (at best) low OBP and gives you a few HRs. If he wasn’t so lazy he would be tolerable, but for every great play he ‘s sleeping on two others.
Teahen, Pierre, Quentin, AJ, Beckham, Ramirez, all starters, all poor defensive players, all low OBP players, all brought in by Kenny.
He does it every year, I’m sick of it.
As a Sox fan of over 40 years, I can’t understand how any Sox fan isn’t tired of seeing this crap and the guy who keeps bringing them in.

whitesoxfan424
5 years 3 months ago

I agree Kenny has handcuffed the sox a bit. But honestly, I would rather a GM who tries to make out-of-the-box moves and tries to do something. “Completely blowing” up a team and hoping and relying on a bunch of minor leaguers when only 1% of them actually show up in the majors, let alone make a difference, is the last thing I want as a fan. Teahan was a bad move if defense was so important, his offense will get better, not by much. I still stand by that Pierre will get better, his career numbers warrant that.

Although I was ridiculed earlier, I think Kenny could have made a play at Beltre and Damon (instead of Teahen and Pierre) and this team would have been much better off, with more of your beloved prospects.

coldgoldenfalstaff
5 years 3 months ago

Kenny hasn’t handcuffed the Sox, ownership has handcuffed Kenny by giving him a low budget. You add Rios and Peavy, then only spend $3M on Pierre, $3M on Putz and 500k on Andruw? Is that considered making a push towards contention?

Remember, they lost out on Damon because they couldn’t or weren’t willing to pay up

Damon cost $8M and Beltre $9M. Where do you get the rest when taking away Pierre’s $3M and Teahen’s $2.25M (after cash sent on both deals)?