Non-Tender Candidate: Phil Humber

Five months ago it appeared that Phil Humber could be on the cusp of a breakout season. He had just pitched a perfect game in Seattle, striking out nine Mariners on day that his fastball sat in the 90-95 mph range. Since then Humber has allowed 72 earned runs, including 23 home runs, in 87 2/3 innings. There’s no guarantee the White Sox will tender him a contract this offseason when he’s arbitration eligible for the first time.

Phil Humber - White Sox (PW)

The White Sox selected Humber off waivers in January of 2011 and he responded with a solid season, pitching 163 innings with a 3.75 ERA and three times as many strikeouts as walks. The right-hander’s numbers have dropped off considerably in 2012. He has a 6.44 ERA with 7.5 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 34.9% ground ball rate in 102 innings this year. Humber’s average fastball velocity is 90.5 mph and he has a swinging strike rate of 7.8%. He has been exceptionally homer-prone, allowing 23 home runs, or 2.0 per nine innings.

Humber started the year in Chicago’s rotation, spent a month on the disabled list with a strained elbow midseason, and lost his rotation spot in early August. He has been pitching out of the bullpen since, but Robin Ventura has used Humber sparingly in September, another indication that the White Sox don’t count him among the organization’s most dependable arms.

Humber, who turns 30 in December, could obtain a salary in the $2MM range if the White Sox tender him a contract this coming offseason. The perfect game wouldn't make a major difference in an arbitration hearing, but his 2011 season was a strong one, and he has more than 300 MLB innings. Perhaps last year’s success would be enough to create some trade interest in Humber, the third overall selection in 2004.

Still, the White Sox don’t appear to view Humber as a $2MM player. If they considered him an essential part of their pitching staff, they’d have asked him to pitch more than twice this month. It means a season that began with a perfect game could end with a non-tender.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.


9 Responses to Non-Tender Candidate: Phil Humber Leave a Reply

  1. HARRISON ROSE 3 years ago

    White Sox staff is going to look a lot different next year. The only guaranteed spots are Danks (assuming he is back and healthy) and Sale. No way they excercise that massive option on Peavy, and Floyd isn’t deserving enough of having his option ($12.5 or 13 MM…right?) picked up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Quintana start in the minors, to be honest. If I’m Rick Hahn (see how I remembered he’s the new GM next season, and not Kenny), there’s absolutely no way I waste money on Humber.

    • rockfordone 3 years ago

      2013 rotation will be Sale, Danks, Quintana, Liriano, and a FA (McCarthy). Humber can be a longer man(2 M is cheap).Castro and Molina in AAA. All teams need 7 Starters per season.

      • jwsox 3 years ago

        McCarthy will be too expensive even with his injury he worked his way into a decent pay check. Liriano won’t be on the roster he has not pitche well enough and Santiago is working on innings to become a starter my guess is if they want 4 lefties is sale-danks-Quintana-Santiago. But I doubt they want more than 3 lefties

    • jwsox 3 years ago

      The peavy option won’t be picked up but don’t be surprised to see him still with the team for a longer term cheaper deal 2-3 years at 7-8 per.

      Quintana is more than likely going to start the season as the 4th starter. Floyd will be moved for some low level prospect. Sale clearly is the ace. Danks should be back healthy but could be traded this winter for a low level prospect or two or loved at the dead line. But he probably won’t be traded till next winter. Molina should be up in the majors next season. Humber is straight gone same with liriano.

      Sox rotation. Sale-peavy-danks-Quintana- Molina. Santiago will start the season in the minors as a starter and will be called up by the dead line if danks is moved or peavy is no resigned. The whitesox are going to look very different unless they win the World Series

      • baseball52 3 years ago

        High hopes for a guy with a 1.5 WHIP and 4+ ERA in AAA and AA this season.

        • brian310 3 years ago

          Team is going to be a mess for the next few years I have a feeling

    • brian310 3 years ago

      With the Marlins looking to cut payroll, a Buehrle come-back wouldn’t be very surprising

  2. Given that Humber’s qualifying offer is only $2M…the only way that Humber might be non-tendered is if Robin Ventura has lost all faith in him. In what situations was Humber used this month – complete blowouts either way or last man in the bullpen?

    • Kevin Swords 3 years ago

      A qualifying offer will be in the $13-$14MM range and is used once players reach free agency. This has little to do with players still eligible for arbitration. If they tender Humber a contract, then he will go through arbitration to secure his new deal, unless they reach an agreement before.

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