Non-Tender Candidate: Bobby Jenks

It's not often that a team cuts ties with an established closer before he accrues enough service time to qualify for free agency, but that's exactly what could happen with the White Sox and Bobby Jenks this winter. With a $7.5MM salary in 2010 and another year of arbitration eligibility left, Jenks' salary is only going to go up next season, possibility into the eight-figures.

Of course, the White Sox probably wouldn't entertain the idea of non-tendering their World Championship closer if his performance was in line with his compensation. His 4.44 ERA, .267 batting average against, and 3.08 BB/9 this season are career worsts, and it doesn't appear to be a one-year fluke either. Those three stats have gotten worse and worse every year since 2007, and Jenks will begin next season at 30-years-old. It's entirely possible that he's already reached his prime and is now on the way down.

Despite that, Jenks is still one of the better relief pitchers in the game. His 10.42 K/9 ranks right up there with other elite bullpeners, and after a gradual decline his average fastball velocity jumped back up to 95.0 mph this season. Jenks has also been victimized by some poor luck, with a .368 batting average on balls in play (league average is .302) and a 65.4 left-on-base percentage (72.0% league average). If those regress back to his career marks (.306 and 73.5% respectively), his ERA will almost certainly drop back down into the 3.00's.

The White Sox have absorbed a ton of salary obligation in the last two seasons, most notably in the form of Jake Peavy's and Alex Rios' long-terms deals, so they may decide that the money that would be spent on Jenks could be better used elsewhere. For what it's worth, the ChiSox already have a replacement closer in-house with Matt Thornton, and young (and cheap) hard-throwing setup men Sergio Santos and Chris Sale give the club some more options if nothing else. 

Do you think Chicago will part ways with its closer after the season? Click here to vote in the poll, and here to see the results.

23 Responses to Non-Tender Candidate: Bobby Jenks Leave a Reply

  1. jwsox 5 years ago

    bobby should have been gone last season. the trade with the rays should have happened but they signed a better closer…while sale figures to be starting in AAA to get back into starting shape, thornton, santos are more than able to close and dont discount a putz resigning

    • jwsox 5 years ago

      now that i think about it chris sale will be on the 25 man to begin the season as the long man/ emergency starter if peavy is not ready/ late inning bullpen guy if peavy is ready….he will no matter what be cheaper then resigning freddy who has had a decent enough year for other teams to offer him a bigger deal than the sox will/ should

      • I wonder what it will take to sign Freddy. I think he should be brought back…assuming hes reasonably priced…and get rid of Pena. Freddy could be the long man and start occasionally

  2. comegys 5 years ago

    Kenny Williams does not non-tender players. Teahen, Mackowiak, and MacDougall are examples. I predict Jenks being traded to either Tampa Bay (Soriano a free agent and may get better deal elsewhere) or Atlanta (Wagner retiring).

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      Even if, why would Kenny Williams have non-tendered Mark Teahen? They had just acquired him so if they were then why acquire him in the first place?

      I don’t think Chris Sale is helping Bobby Jenks stay in Chicago. But the Sox need to keep Putz and Thornton.

      • comegys 5 years ago

        I did not explain Teahen correctly. You’re right; they would not non-tender him after acquiring him but instead give him 3 years instead of the 1 year he should have gotten and then he would be non-tendered this year (he was a Super 2 so he had 4 years of arbitration). Instead because Kenny will not use non-tender Sox have Teahen for two more years and 9 million.

    • LioneeR 5 years ago

      Jenks will be too expensive for Tampa and the Braves don’t need a closer next year. The braves will be going with Venters or Kimbrel, 2 rookies that have impressed in Atlanta this year.

    • It won’t be Atlanta, we’ve got two cheap, quality options in Venters and Kimbrel. We could nab someone that would be just as, if not more, dependable than Jenks on the free agent market if we don’t trust our young arms.

  3. jwsox 5 years ago

    why is teahan on that list…he has not gotten the opportunity to be non tendered by the sox, this was his first season with the club….but speaking of teahan he should be dfa’d

  4. danks50 5 years ago

    This is an easy one. Of course he’s going to be non-tendered. $10 million dollars for a closer that has been very streaky and injury prone throughout the year? No thanks, we have some pieces to work with in the bullpen and with the team needing to allocate money to resign Konerko/fix holes at 3rd/DH/etc, were not inline to be paying close to 8 figures for a scuffling closer.

    • jwsox 5 years ago

      resign konerko that solves 1st, vicedio will more than likely be the starting DH next season if not traded….3rd is looking more and more like brent morell, kid has speed great glove work has pop and can hit for an average….teahand will be gonezo….now there is the possibility of resigning konerko to play 1st move carlos to DH and sign an outfielder…

  5. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    Jenks’ problem is that he’s gotten fat and complacent the last couple of years. He still has ability, it’s just that he’s not in the best of shape possible and it’s starting to catch up with him. The last two years, he has put on a few pounds and worn down as the season’s progressed. If he sheds some weight, he’ll regain some of his past form.

    • And here I thought his problem was that his lack of shaving made him look like a goat.

  6. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Yeah that is the problem, because Chicago natives get sensitive when discussing goats.

  7. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    Thats really a BAAAAADD!!!! thing to say

  8. Sniderlover 5 years ago

    If he was non-tendered, I can see the Jays getting on him. We may need a closer for next year and Jenks would be a buy-low and perhaps sell-high option (assuming he returns to form).

  9. cookmeister 5 years ago

    i could see the angels getting in on him… he was drafted by them and could use an arm

    • jwsox 5 years ago

      thats true…if he is cheap enough, should be on the open market( the only real chance to make good money is with the sox through arb)..i would bet an NL team goes after him…possibly the D’backs…he could use the switch to the “easier” league

  10. cookmeister 5 years ago

    well he will get to face oakland and seattle more, which makes it somewhat easier haha

  11. matt capps 2.0

  12. thanks for 2005 and your few good seasons Bobby, but its time to move on.

  13. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    They do not have to non tender Jenks. They just trade him somewhere before that decision comes up. You don’t get premium anything for players in his situation, but you really ought to get something, even if it’s only organizational filler or future considerations. I just don’t see the Sox simply giving him away.

  14. Disqus01 5 years ago

    Since alcohol is a depressor of the central nervous system, i see how drinking can have a ‘good’ effect on someone prone to histeric or nervous breakdowns (one of the ‘bad’ effects is that it makes people ‘sluggish’ and slow), but if he was a heavy abuser of alcohol, then it might (more than likely) have an adverse effect on him if he stopped drinking all of a sudden.

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