Friday, March 24, 2006

Off-Season Recap

Here's a recap and my thoughts of all the big moves the Sox have made since they won the World Series.

(I know some of these moves are really old news, but it's good to take a look back at them.)

Acquired Matt Thornton from the Seattle Mariners for Joe Borchard

Joltin’ Joe’s another player that didn’t pan out, whom I really wanted to become a star. You couldn’t help but be in awe of his power. That massive blast he hit at The Cell was unreal.
For those of you who don’t know why he got traded, it’s because we ran out of minor league options on him. It was either put him on the roster or trade him. I know Kenny would have wanted to keep him, but he did well to get a LHP to replace Damaso.
Let’s see if Don Cooper can tap this kid’s potential.

Acquired SS Alex Cintron from the Arizona Diamondback for RHP Jeff Banjenaru

The D-Backs had a glut of SS and had to get rid of one, which is why they gave up Cintron for such little in return. He’s a pretty good player, he did bat .273, but his OBP leaves a bit to be desired (.298), so we’ll see.
This looks like a good trade, but I wonder if Cintron will accept a very limited role. He ended up playing a lot for the D-Backs last year 122 games, so it’s yet to see if he’ll play the good soldier or if he’ll make a stink.

Re-signed LHP Neal Cotts, RHP Bobby Jenks, and RHP Brandon McCarthy

Alrite! Lock up those young guns.

Re-signed 3B Joe Crede

Sweet. Crede is Mr. Dirtbag and Mr. Clutch for us. He makes a ridiculous number of clutch plays. I’ll always remember this one home run he hit vs. the Tigers on July 24, 2004 to win the game. It was a clutch hit and all, but what made it memorable was the fact that the pitch before, he fouled a pitch back and I caught the ball.Let’s see if Crede can put together a consistent season this year

Re-signed RHP Jon Garland

Wow. We’ve waited a long time for him to break through. Hopefully he’ll put on a repeat performance this year, and doesn’t pull an Esteban Loaiza on us.

Non-tendered 2B Willie Harris and OF Timo Perez

Timo was a pretty good role player. Mackowiak more than adequately replaces him.

Man, I’m bummed Willie didn’t pan out. I really liked him. I remember seeing his first game with the Sox after the Chris Singleton trade. He ran onto the field and did some aerial flips a la Ozzie Smith, and then he hit his first homer. I thought for sure after that performance he’d be good, at least the next Ray Durham, but he didn’t pan out. Good luck, Willie!

Acquired RHP Javier Vazquez and cash from the Arizona Diamondbacks for RHP Orlando Hernandez, RHP Luis Vizcaino, and OF Chris Young

I’m conflicted about this one. I guess I’ll have to judge it after we see how things pan out.

On one hand, we traded an aging, starting pitcher and our most unreliable reliever for a young pitcher with a lot of potential. On the other hand, we give up a top prospect, one who Kenny Williams said is the first prospect he gave up that may actually pan out, and we exile Brandon McCarthy to the bullpen.
It’s nice having 6 legit starters, but I really like McCarthy and I was looking forward to him starting this year. His delivery may be a bit herky-jerky, but hey it works for Dontrelle.Hopefully Vazquez will start pitching like he did back in Montreal and he will make Kenny Williams look like a genius again.

Re-signed C A.J. Pierzynski

What a difference a year makes! A.J. had to beg his way onto the team last season, but now he’s an integral part of the team. Hopefully he puts up similar production and handles the staff the same way. We don’t need much from him just leadership. It would help if he just makes things happen again…see ALCS, Josh Paul.

Acquired INF Rob Mackowiak from the Pittsburgh Pirates for LHP Damso Marte

Damaso can be a great pitcher when he’s on, but I found him to be too much of a liability as the season came to a close. I found myself holding my breath every time he got the call from the ‘pen. For all I know, he may bounce back in Pittsburgh, but Mackowiak is another good role player. It’s good to have him aboard.

How many former Sox pitchers do the Pirates have?
They have Damaso now, who joins Kip Wells, Josh Fogg, and Roberto Hernandez.

Seeing how the other pitchers worked out, you’d think they’d quit taking pitchers from us.

Re-signed 1B Paul Konerko

Pau-lie! Pau-lie!
He’s staying, oh happy day!
I can live with the fat contract. If we lost Konerko on top of giving up Rowand, we would have lost the soul of the club.

Acquired DH/1B Jim Thome and cash from the Philadelphia Phillies for CF Aaron Rowand, RHP Dan Haigwood, and a player to be named later

My initial reaction when I heard Rowand was traded was disbelief. I was shocked! But as I learned the details of the trade and thought about it, I realized it made sense. It was a legit trade for the White Sox. In Thome they got two things, protection for Konerko (an added incentive for him to re-sign with the Sox) and an insurance policy if he decides to chase greener pastures.

I love Aaron Rowand; I can’t say enough about how hard he works. I mean his reckless play in centerfield illustrates just how hard he works. It pains me to see a life time Chi-Sox player leave, it sort of brings back Robin Ventura feelings, but at least this time it makes sense.

I just hope Thome’s back and elbow and body hold up for a full season.

Re-signed INF Pablo Ozuna

Solid role player. I like it

Re-signed C Chris Widger


Declined options on DH/OF Carl Everett and DH Frank Thomas

At the time these moves in tandem seemed a bit risky. Thomas and Everett represented two big bats in the middle of the line up.
These two guys, though, are both aging and can be clubhouse cancers, so I wasn’t overly upset with them being released.
Solid role player. I like it


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