Election Day Sox Exchange Part I

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By Soxman and Paul M. Banks

It’s election day! And the Soxman-Banks ticket is here to give you the final Sox Exchange of the year…until spring training that is. We’ve come to the end of campaign season, but remember the next election cycle is right around the corner. Last time out, we discussed a plan to fix the lineup. Today we banter about the strong leadership required to lead the United Sox Nation (blue-states and red-states alike) into the next Golden Age.

(PMB) At the time, I thought that Jose Contreras was a great long term investment because of his durability. I based this on the fact that he is one of the few who can vary his delivery between overhand and three-quarters sidearm. I had an email chat with pitching injury expert Will Carroll on this topic in May and he agreed. However, as Boyz II Men once sang, “we’ve come to the end of the road” with his age and latest injury making him damaged goods, agree or disagree?

(SM) Well the first thing about Jose Contreras, as with any Cuban defector, he could be anywhere in age from 36 (his listed age) to 40+ as Cuban players frequently doctor their birth records, to assist them in contract negotiations.  Regardless of his age, the best-case projection won’t have him seeing major league action until August 2009.  Damaged goods or not, he cannot be a “cabinet” member of the 2009 White Sox.  Interesting side note- since 2003, Contreras has only topped 200 innings pitched once.  That is hardly the mark of a durable pitcher.  No one will ever forget his contribution to the 2005 World Championship, but we cannot live in the past.

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(PMB) To quote the latest single from The Game and Kanye West “you wouldn’t get far” in the pennant race without us finding a replacement for his spot in the rotation. What pitching candidates are realistically on your radar in the free agent market?  Who we might be able to trade for?

(SM)  You never know what Kenny Williams is going to do.  My guess is that Clayton Richard and hot prospect Aaron Poreda could get a crack at the rotation.  The 6-foot-6 left-hander, who turned 22 on Oct. 1, finished the 2008 season at Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham with a combined 8-9 record and 3.13 ERA over 27 total starts. He fanned 118, walked 40 and yielded just 148 hits over 161 innings.

Kenny is known for liking the familiar, so it is possible but not likely he could make a call to Jon Garland’s agent.  Anyone could come back in a trade as well, but my gut says if Williams is fairly confident in his young arms, you will see him sign a scrap heap free agent like Carl Pavano, Kris Benson, Freddy Garcia, Mark Mulder, or Matt Clement.  Or he could go the Japanese route and try to sign Koji Uehara or Kenshin Kawakami.

Williams has a history of taking a gamble or two every year, so it would not surprise me if he played that card here.

(PMB) You addressed another topic on everyone’s minds in your latest MySpace blog: the bloated salary of Javier Vazquez and how trading him is high on the off-season priority agenda. What other “party” would be served by having Vazquez as a member? Despite him having electric stuff sometimes, he’s never lived up to his previous All-Star billing here in Chicago. I can live with the idea of him as our #5, albeit a very expensive one. The idea of Javy as our #4 though is not change we can believe in.

(SM) Yeah but if you are in the trade market, you have to convince others that the “Javy Dollar” is strong.  I think the Sox would be foolish not to get some bounty in return.  The bottom line is- he’s owed $23 million over two seasons.  $11.5 million for a starting pitcher with a career ERA of 4.23, has topped 200 innings pitched every year, but one since 2000 (in 2004 he had 198 IP for the Yankees), and averages almost 8 Ks per nine innings pitched was a bargain last year.

Forget the fact that he tanked pretty much the entire last month of the season.  You need to sell on track record and history.  In two years he would be at least a type B free agent, yielding solid draft picks.

I think the Angels or the Mets would be his top suitors right now.  I’m not sure what he would yield in return from either team, but if it were Chone Figgins, I’d say “make it so.”

(PMB) During the course of covering the team last season, I saw pretty much every member of the rotation handle the media following a loss or bad outing. He’s the only one who stuck out to me as not having a ton of “passion and swagger.” Not saying he’s a Manny Ramirez or anything, but you know what I’m talking about?

(SM) Some folks just don’t handle the media well.  I’d never admit this if I were the GM trying to trade him, but since becoming a free agent in 2003, he’s been with three different teams.  Something is not right with a guy who has “electric” stuff.

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(SM) Richard is favored because of the way he rose to the challenge in the play-offs after Javy imploded.  Ozzie likes his competitive nature.  Strangely, Broadway is not even being mentioned as an option right now likely because he struggled in his short stint in the majors (7.07 ERA), but he will be a competitor either for both a rotation or bullpen spot.

Pitching prospects are pretty thin aside from Poreda, who I mentioned above.

In the field, Gordon Beckham is being conditioned to play third and possibly second in addition to his natural shortstop position.  I’d be surprised if he tastes the majors before 2010 however.

Scouts are also salivating over Jordan Danks, John Danks’ younger brother, who could be better than Brian Anderson in time.  He’s another player not likely to be in the running for the 2009 campaign though.

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Comments

  1. My friends,

    Why is there no picture of myself in this exchange. Joe the Plumber would like to see Mr. Vazques move out of Chicago.

  2. Bleeding Cheese says

    Spot on work guys! Why is the exchange going away? I thought it was one of the more popular postings on your site? Is Soxman getting too pricey?

  3. I’d love to see Garland come back. Don’t end the Sox exchanges! hey are too good! That just does not make sense.

  4. Billy Blast says

    Very awesome points. There are a ton of FA pitchers out there. I’m willing to bet the sox sign at least one.

    ON this historic day, I vote to: KEEP THE EXCHANGE OPEN!!!

    VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  5. This and soxman’s sight are my place for sox news and notes!!!

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  6. EIU Cheerleader/SICA Chick says

    I support that! Keep the exchange going!

  7. I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

    Yes to bringing back Iguchi :)

  8. Ko’d Konerko says

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  9. Soxtober Kid says

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

    Soxman you were totally right about Taveras and Figgans…rumors abound today on the first day of winter meetings. You guys called this before ANYONE else on your myspace blog. If it happens..YOU DA MAN!!!

  10. What would a girl do without her sexy super hero and talk about hot SOX? :)

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  11. I really like Nix.

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  12. Heidi Hot Sox says

    What r we supposed to do now? read whitesox.com?

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  13. Heidi Hot Sox says

    WTF???

    Did somoene from the McCain camp come up with this idea?

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  14. Well said Heidi….

    Its like driving up the cost of gas. Cut production….

    Thank god we won’t have to worry about that anymore in a few hours…

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  15. Hey guys…its just like the corporate a-holes to make bad business decisions. I think you are two of the best writers on the net.

    They will likely sensor this and ban me from posting but I don’t care. You both rule!!!!

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  16. Cubby blue says

    Great as always guys.

    Hey sportsbank execs…less is not always more and I’m a Cubs fan.

    Hearing rumors that Peavy is going to the Cubs and that Javy will go to the Mets for Luis Catillo. Any truth???

    I VOTE NO TO PROPOSITION OFF-SEASON!

  17. paulmbanks says

    WOW!!!! Thank you so much TSB readers of the United Sox of America, I seriously didn’t think there would be a huge demand for such in-depth White Sox content to continue during the off-season, as headlines regarding trade rumors and transactions only occur sporadically during the season. And from Nov-Feb there is really only a week or true baseball news (December winter meetings or “hot stove league” not hot stive league as SICA Chick/EIU Cheerleader pointed out), so therefore I was pleasantly surpised to see all your comments regarding the proposition. Ladies and gentlemen, I have heard your call and might I say………

  18. paulmbanks says

    Instead of sending out the SOx Signal, I called the secret Sox Cave hotline, consulted with the Southside Dark Knight and………..YES WE CAN…………

    CONTINUE THE SOX EXCHANGE ALL YEAR LONG!!! The people have spoken, your voices have been heard and democracy has been served YES WE CAN continue to deliver Sox news, notes, and insights and predictions THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!! The pundits didn’t think we could win the AL Central in 2008, but our Sox thought YES WE CAN. No one gave our boys a chance to win the 2005 World Series, but Ozzie, Kenny and company instead thought YES WE CAN.

    We thank for your past, current, and continued support. We couldn’t do it without you the loyal citizens of Soxman and Sports Bank Nation. And throughout this year and into 2009, Soxman and I promise to make The Sports Bank.net Sox Exchange a shining city on the hill when it comes to online White Sox news. A glowing beacon for hope and change that all other White Sox websites look up to.

  19. paulmbanks says

    Now there is one last thing I need to ask of you loyal Soxman fans and readers, if you enjoy his Red Eye columns and read that paper regularly, write or phone your Congressman (by that I mean email and write-in to the Red Eye) and demand more Soxman feature articles!!!

    Because there is not a red America and a blue America, a Red Eye and a blue (and orange) thesportsbank.net, there is only one United Soxman of America!

  20. We understand there will not always be content to discuss, but appreciate the fact you now just won’t close shop for the winter. Some of us thought it was closing for good.

    Thank you thank you thank you.

  21. Thanks 4 standing by us! We know who is the best!

  22. Knowing the voice of the people was able to defeat the money hungry corporate machine at the sportsbank that was shafting Paul and soxman makes me a very HAPPY MAN.

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