Going after pitcher Jake Peavy in 2009 proved that the White Sox are serious about getting their ace in what has become an ace-happy league. This is something that their rivals, cough, cough – the Minnesota Twins, have refused to do. No, Minnesota, it’s been four years, Francisco Liriano is not an ace.
Of course, the deal has been a major bust so far, as Peavy cannot stay healthy to save his life. The White Sox have the best rotation in the division with Peavy (if he recovers from his detached lat), Mark Buerhle and John Danks leading the way. But the question with the White Sox is whether or not their bullpen and lineup can keep up with the pitching.
Let’s take a look.
Oh, Jesse Crain. As a Twins fan, I was forced to watch Crain throughout his career. His ERA was 3.04 in 68 innings last season. What am I complaining about? Well, his ERA was 4.7 or above for two of the three years before that. Good news? He has postseason pitching experience. Bad news? His ERA was 54.00 in last season’s postseason against the Yankees.
Dunn is one of, if not the league’s best power hitter. With Dunn and Paul Konerko, the White Sox created a two-headed monster that will strike out AND hit more home runs than anyone else in the league.
If this were 2004, this list would be a devastating one. Thankfully for the White Sox, none of these players leaving will hurt the White Sox too much – especially since they signed Dunn.
Garcia was 12-6 last season, but had an ERA of 4.64.
Funny how after the league starting testing for steroids, Jones’ homeruns went from 41 to 26 to three to 17 and finally to 19 last season. Interesting.
The loss of Jenks is harder to take as a fan than a manager. While he was a huge piece of Chicago’s World Series team, he inflated both his wasteline and his ERA over the past season. Losing both Jenks and Putz might hurt the bullpen. Oh yeah, nevermind. They got Crain. Keep thinking he’s good, Chicago. I’m waiting until August until everyone in Chicago goes, “God, this Crain guy isn’t that good. Can we give him back to the Twins? For free?”
Who needs to play great?
Peavy. Although you may not see him till May. And not only does he need to play great, more importantly he needs to stay healthy. If Peavy can get back to his days as a Padre and become a top-5 pitcher in the AL, the White Sox will be the favorites to win the Central. Especially if Miguel Cabrera continues to drink.
Offseason grade: B+
Dunn might have been the biggest signing in the AL…if the Boston Red Sox didn’t exist. The test will be whether or not the bullpen holds up, but with their top-3 starters giving them 6+ innings, they’ll be less pressure on them.