Sox Drawer: Free Agents, Anyone?

69536.jpg

Sox Drawer: Free Agents, Anyone?

Friday, November 20

Baseballs free-agent market opened for business at 11 p.m. on Thursday night. All of the free agents you want (and can afford) are there on the shelves. Jason Bay, John Lackey, Matt Holliday, Chone Figgins, Jermaine Dye, etc.

But as I write this 12 hours later, it hasnt exactly been a Black Friday Thanksgiving stampede of general managers ramming themselves through the front door of the Baseball Free Agent Store, shelling out wads of cash for John Q. Overpriced Center Fielder or the Scott Boras Overhyped Client of the Week.

At least not yet.

Maybe its a sign of the times. Maybe teams (other than the Yankees and Red Sox) are choosing to sit on the sidelines with the hopebelief that many of these players will be left unsold after the holidays, and they can hunt for bargains when the players end up at the Lighthouse Outlet mall in Michigan City, Ind., come January.

As for the White Sox, they are gradually plotting their course for next season, and putting a priority on defense.

Thank goodness.

Ken Rosenthal reported Friday morning that the Sox are close to signing a one-year deal with 11-time Gold Glove shortstop Omar Vizquel to be a three-tentacle utility infielder, playing shortstop, second base and third base. Yes, Omar is old. Hell turn 43 in April.

But he is still in great shape. He didnt make a single error in 62 games last year with the Rangers. Think Juan Uribe without the strikeouts and large booty.

What do Sox fans think about Vizquel? Heres what some of you sent back to me on Twitter:

OneOfTheMikes@ChuckGarfien: I like the defense and versatility it provides, and its hard to be as bad as Lillibridge was with the bat. So yeah, thumbs up

Kaufmak@ChuckGarfien: Vizquel is getting long in the tooth, but still plays a solid SS and I'm guessing BA is in the high 200s. Me likey.

Lawry29@ChuckGarfien: Love it ... amazing defense

discodan42@ChuckGarfien: No. Isn't he collecting social security?

mukite@ChuckGarfien: Can Omar play manager instead and have Ozzie be shortstop when needed?

Good stuff. And for the record, Vizquel batted .266 last season with a .316 on-base percentage. He even hit a home run. His last Gold Glove came in 2006.

In other news, the White Sox are still looking for someone to play right field. They bought out Jermaine Dyes contract two weeks ago. The Sox could bring him back at a lesser price. Thoughts?

ChiSoxExaminer@ChuckGarfien: as a DH maybe, as a RF no. But JD says he only wants to play RF ... so no.

OneOfTheMikes@ChuckGarfien: Thanks for the memories Jermaine, but your .184 second half bought you a one-way ticket out of Chicago.

pirate_prentice@ChuckGarfien: Time to move on. I love Jermaine, but I don't think he fits into what the Sox need to do.

Not much love for Jermaine.

Yesterday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Yankees are quietly shopping former Sox outfielder Nick Swisher. So soon? A Yankees official said today that the report is untrue, but before he did, I got this reaction via Twitter:

bengarmoe@ChuckGarfien: I only want Swisher if we can get Erstad, Anderson and Mackowiak for an an outfield all-decade bust team.

EversoleJ@ChuckGarfien: How could someone not like his childish behavor? Oh yes, this is professional sports, not the Alpha Beta Phi House.

ryanwallace@ChuckGarfien: Surprise, surprise! Tell them they can have Jeff Marquez, but Jhonny Nunez is untouchable.

joelshoe@ChuckGarfien: We should try to get Wilson Betemit back, and re-acquire Swisher for Betemit. Joking, but he would fit well at DH, I think.

KimmyisAwesome@ChuckGarfien: to quote Journey, I would welcome @NickSwisher with "Open Arms.

I dont think Ozzie would.

And finally, fill in the blank: On Opening Day, the White Sox leadoff hitter will be________

TiffanyHeyy@chuckgarfien: SCOTT PODSEDNIK

Princesss919@ChuckGarfien: Scotty Pods (I hope)

OneOfTheMikes@ChuckGarfien: Johnny Damon

SoxMachine@ChuckGarfien: Lousy.

Sore Adam Eaton out of White Sox lineup for several days

Sore Adam Eaton out of White Sox lineup for several days

CLEVELAND — Adam Eaton feels sore everywhere and chances are slim he’d play again before he is re-evaluated on Monday when the team returns home.

But the White Sox outfielder said Saturday afternoon that he felt better than he did Friday when he was cleared for a concussion after crashing into the outfield wall making a fantastic catch.

Eaton, who left in the sixth inning of Friday’s game, said he stayed down on the ground for several minutes after he knocked the wind out of himself. Manager Robin Ventura mostly ruled Eaton out for Saturday and Sunday after his hip, shoulder and back were all involved.

“If anybody has ever been in a car accident, it’s kind of the same thing,” Eaton said. “It’s taking inventory of the body parts and making sure everything is back to where we’re supposed to be, and as soon as that is accounted for, we’ll get back out there and play again.

“It seemed like I passed (the concussion test) pretty well.”

Whereas early in his career the White Sox asked Eaton, who played as if his hair were on fire, to dial it back, Ventura appreciated the outfielder’s effort. Not only was there a possibility Eaton could get to the ball, he made a fantastic grab before slamming into the wall. Ventura applauded how much progress Eaton has made in knowing when and when not to go all out in the name of his own safety.

“He’s been a lot better,” Ventura said. “He would run after balls that were probably 10 rows deep. …

“Before he was just out there running crazy and right now he has a better understanding of what he can get to. Last night was just a great play, he runs into the wall and gets himself banged up.”

Staying on the field has made Eaton an extremely valuable asset for the White Sox. Not only is he a strong candidate to win a Rawlings Gold Glove, Eaton has a .791 OPS in 683 plate appearances. He headed into Saturday seventh among the American League position players with 6 Wins Above Replacement. And he has proven versatile with the ability to play right and center field and hit in several spots in the lineup.

“When you look what he does … he’s been pretty dang valuable,” Ventura said.

Eaton feels like part of the value he brings is his willingness to go all out for his teammates. He doesn’t intend to slow down any more than he already has. Eaton said Saturday he was a little ticked by some of the responses he received on social media after the play, feeling like he would have heard criticism if he had backed off.

“You play hard and then all of a sudden you get hurt playing hard and then people have a problem with it and then they say you should play hard,” Eaton said.

“Instead of choosing my body, I chose my team. People can curse me for it, but the day that I backpedal and let the ball hit off the wall is the day I’m going to quit baseball.”

White Sox: Tim Anderson adjusting to 'grind' of first MLB season

White Sox: Tim Anderson adjusting to 'grind' of first MLB season

CLEVELAND -- He’s played far more than ever before this season, so it’s no surprise that Tim Anderson has started to feel a little more tired than normal.

This is exactly what baseball players mean when they mention the “grind,” that time of the season when the body aches more and each day off is important. It’s not something players can be prepared for — they learn how to handle it as they experience it for the first time. And that’s just what the White Sox shortstop is figuring out — how to manage himself in uncharted territory. Between Triple-A Charlotte and the majors, Anderson has accumulated 646 plate appearances, which is 96 more than he had in 2015. The White Sox have nine more games remaining, including Saturday night’s contest at the Cleveland Indians, which means Anderson could easily reach 680 plate appearances.

“Just working on locking in and staying focused and keeping myself healthy and doing what I’m supposed to do to stay healthy,” Anderson said. “It has been a little tough some times. My body is tired going through this extra month, I’m not really used to it. I’m holding up pretty well and my body is holding up pretty good.”

Anderson appeared to benefit from a day off Thursday when he returned to action on Friday. The team’s top position prospect since Gordon Beckham, Anderson said he spent Thursday hanging out and relaxing at the area home of his cousin, Cleveland Browns fullback Malcolm Johnson.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

He responded to only his third day off all month with two hits, including a first-inning triple on Friday. It was the 30th multi-hit game of Anderson’s career, but only the fifth in September. Anderson, who has a .710 OPS this season, has a .647 September OPS.

“You take advantage of (the time off),” manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s played hard. Coming up and realizing that if you are playing everyday, everybody tries to take advantage of it. When you are in your first year, you realize the grind you are going through and you are trying to find a way to be fresh and things like that. You rest and that’s the biggest thing for a day off.”

As much as he’s happy to see the finish line, Anderson wouldn’t mind if the White Sox were gearing up for a postseason run. Though he’s tired, Anderson is still hungry. He said he has no major changes planned in his offseason physical preparation and thinks this experience will be extremely valuable when he goes through it again next September.

“Basically it’s just the first time as a trial,” Anderson said. “See how it is and see how my body reacts and I know what to do next year at this time.

“It’s good. You also want to play more. Just trying to finish strong and end on a good note.”