Putz declines arbitration from White Sox

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Putz declines arbitration from White Sox

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
6:30 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

The White Sox' bullpen might look a whole lot different in 2011. Bobby Jenks could be out the door. Chris Sale could be headed to the rotation, at least until Jake Peavy comes back. And Tuesday, we learned that J.J. Putz declined arbitration from the White Sox, making him a free agent.

The White Sox have expressed a desire to re-sign Putz, but theyll have to wait in line.

Eight or nine teams have shown preliminary interest, Putz told Comcast SportsNet. Some for closer roles, others to be a set-up man with a chance for closing.

After suffering through an injury-plagued season with the Mets in 2009, Putz signed a one-year deal with the White Sox last winter and had a comeback season, going 7-5 with a 2.83 ERA in 54 innings. While many speculated that Putz would automatically decline arbitration, which would have given him a one-year guaranteed contract with the White Sox, Putz said it wasnt exactly a slam dunk.

We definitely had a back and forth about it, but realistically it was best on my part not to accept it.

Putz will likely command a two or three-year deal on the open market. If he signs elsewhere, the White Sox would receive a middle-round draft pick in compensation.

Although he has a home in Arizona, making it convenient to play for a team in the Cactus League during spring training, Putz is open to signing with teams in the Grapefruit League.

It is what it is, Putz said. Its nice to stay home, but if theres a better situation, Ill go to Florida.

As for when Putz might sign with a club, hes not expecting it to happen anytime soon, or at least until the Big 4 free agents ink deals: Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn and Jayson Werth.

Until those four guys sign, theres going to be a lot of unsigned free agents out there. Most teams are banking on them. Then theyll fill some other areas, said Putz.

And if the 33-year-old reliever goes elsewhere, hell leave behind his best buddy, Matt Thornton, who played a big role in courting Putz to the South Side last year. The two work out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. during the off-season. Theyll be back there bright and early tomorrow morning.

Will Putz be back on the South Side?

Thats a big unknown. But we do know this: the White Sox now have some competition.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox sluggers Frank Thomas and Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Where does Yoan Moncada fit in the White Sox lineup of the future?

Where does Yoan Moncada fit in the White Sox lineup of the future?

It may be fun to project what the White Sox lineup could look like in 2020, after waves of prospects land in Chicago and, potentially, the organization has splurged on a big-ticket free agent or two. But until those players make it to 35th and Shields, it's just a projection -- and even for the first hyped prospect to come to the White Sox, there's still plenty to figure out. 

Yoan Moncada is expected to be the centerpiece of that lineup of the future. But first, the White Sox need to figure out where in that batting order he’ll fit. 

After hitting sixth in each of his first four games since being promoted from Triple-A, Moncada hit second in Monday’s Crosstown opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. It’s a tantalizing possibility to hit Moncada ahead of Jose Abreu or whatever middle-of-the-order hitters the White Sox have down the road, given the 22-year-old’s ability to put together quality at-bats and drive in runs. 

“I know he handles the bat very well,” manager Rick Renteria said. “I think he’s showing he has some plate discipline. These are some of the things that were worked on and talked about with him. We’ll have to see how he continues to develop and where he’s at.”

Moncada’s speed and on-base skills could make him an intriguing leadoff. If his power continues to develop, he could hit third, fourth of fifth -- and if not, he still should be able to be a run producer hitting ahead of middle-of-the-order mashers. Or maybe the White Sox lineup in 2020 is so deep that he could hit sixth. 

It’s far too early to make any sweeping declarations about where Moncada could hit, of course. But the White Sox will have plenty of options, and have plenty of time to figure out which one of those will be the best. 

“He probably could be anything,” Renteria said. “Do I see him anywhere from the first to sixth spot in the lineup? Yeah, possibly. It would be very difficult for me to give you that assessment yet. 

“… Lineups the way they’re set up day, the way they’re configured, there are a lot of different variables people use, but certainly a guy with speed like that and if he can handle the bat, you can see him pretty much anywhere throughout the lineup.”
 

Cubs and White Sox release lineups for Game 1 of Crosstown Classic

Cubs and White Sox release lineups for Game 1 of Crosstown Classic

It's about that time again: the Crosstown Classic.

The Cubs (51-46) and White Sox (38-57) released their lineups ahead of Monday's series opener at Wrigley Field.

Kyle Hendricks (4-3, 4.09 ERA) will square off against Miguel Gonzalez (4-9, 4.89 ERA).

Here's how Joe Maddon's Cubs will line up behind Hendricks, who's back after missing six weeks.

CUBS

1. Jason Heyward - RF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Willson Contreras - C
5. Kyle Schwarber - LF
6. Ben Zobrist - 2B
7. Jon Jay - CF
8. Javy Baez - SS
9. Kyle Hendricks - P

On the South Side, Rick Renteria is shuffling things up a little bit, as top prospect Yoan Moncada has moved to the No. 2 spot. Melky Cabrera is also back in the lineup after leaving Sunday's game early.

WHITE SOX

1. Melky Cabrera - LF
2. Yoan Moncada - 2B
3. Jose Abreu - 1B
4. Avisail Garcia - RF
5. Matt Davidson - 3B
6. Tim Anderson - SS
7. Adam Engel - CF
8. Kevan Smith - C
9. Miguel Gonzalez - P

A reminder that Crosstown coverage begins at 12 p.m. with White Sox Pregame Live on CSN and streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports app.