Sox Stove Report: Formulating Plans


Sox Stove Report: Formulating Plans

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
5:40 PM

By Brett Ballantini

With the official opening of baseballs Winter Meetings just a week away and little movement by the Chicago White Sox, heres a peek at the current state of affairs for the 2011 club:

CHICAGO Just one week from the Winter Meetings, White Sox general manager Ken Williams is keeping his plans for the 2011 squad as close to the vest as ever. So close to the vest, in fact, that hes not even admitting yet that he has a plan heading into next week (telling MLBs Scott Merkin, I will expound on any thoughts, ideas, formulation of plan or plans then).

Fine and good, but even Williams would admit that the White Sox are still unsettled in some key areas: catcher, first base, designated hitter and closer, with viable questions at third and in right field, as well as an anticipated surplus of one potential ace-level starter.

Yesterday, Merkin also cited a major-league source who denied the White Sox ever made a formal offer to new Detroit Tiger Victor Martinez, who could have been an ideal fit for the 2011 White Sox. Pale Hose faithful had better hope that, if true, its some kind of face-saving maneuver over being reportedly outbid by just 500,000 per season for a player who could have slipped into either one of the teams gaping needs at catcher and first (likely a bit of both).

Even when Williams could have been expected to mellow down, hes pounced (case in point: Aaron Rowand for Jim Thome in 2006, with the bloom still on the World Series trophy), so the Winter Meetings are indeed Williams time to shine, and even with the omnipresent budget restrictions, the decade-tenured GM generally has excelled. So with that in mind, lets anticipate where Williams fingers will do their walking.


Chisox stalwart A.J. Pierzynskis potential suitors are drying up with recent backstop signings, making the White Soxs gamble in not offering him arbitration (and a salary commensurate to or higher than last years 6.75 million) look smart. However, with Martinezs bolt to Motown and an inviting right-field line to offer, the Boston Red Sox still loom as a promising possibility for Pierzynski. Pierzynski is certain to have to take a pay cut wherever he signs and has further limited his options by desiring teams somewhat near his Florida home (the White Sox being one clear exception).

Williams is definitely in dollar-saving mode with regard to his catchers and is unlikely to top a 3 million offer to his veteran. Turning his back on Pierzynski (and similar players such as Miguel Olivo and Rod Barajas) would be risky, leaving rookie Tyler Flowers and veteran Ramon Castro, right-handers both, to man the dish.

Prediction: Pierzynski returns on a team-friendly deal, 7 million over two years, while Flowers is at the ready in Charlotte.

First BaseDesignated Hitter

Choices abound here even with Martinez off the board (ironically, wooed by Ozzie Guillen compadre and Tigs first baseman Miguel Cabrera), and whoever is acquired at first base will likely see time at DH, or vice-versa. If Williams could get both Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn onto the South Side for 25 million per year combined, the GM could likely get one of his Williams Exceptions from owner Jerry Reinsdorf and raise the clubs payroll.

With the bidding on Dunn expected to start at 15 million a year, that would mean Konerko would have to come back at a cut from his 12 million per season dealnot as farfetched as it might seem, as the Captain is comfortable playing in Chicago and not looking at money as the only, or even main, factor in choosing his next club. (At seasons end, Konerko spent more time discussing, albeit obliquely, what the White Sox needed to do to get back into serious contention in the AL Central than he did his salary demands.) Adding Dunn as a DH1B and contingent tweaks to the roster could get Konerko back and fired up for another two- or three-year run with the White Sox.

Some lower-budget choices are out there in a thick field of first basemen, including slick fielders like Carlos Pena and Derrek Lee. Adam LaRoche is also a consideration. If the White Sox could pull in Dunn along with any of the other first base candidates for 20 million annually, theyd be pleasedand in the case of Pena or LaRoche in combination with Dunn, thats not completely farfetched.

Prediction: Dunn and PenaLaRoche at 1BDH for 23 million annually.


With the money splurged to bring lefty power to the South Side, theres little room left to import a new closer, even after trimming Bobby Jenkss 7.5 million salary. J.J. Putz, who recently declined arbitration, remains a viable option to play the key set-up role in Chicago for a few years to come.

The good news is Williams has stocked the White Sox pen with power arms, including closer candidates Matt Thornton and Sergio Santos. And while the White Sox envision Chris Sale as a longtime rotation member, if injured hoss Jake Peavy is ahead of schedule in his rehab and can start the season in the Chicago rotation, Sale could serve another year in the pen and possibly close for the club as well.

If Sale is in the rotation, whether from April forward or penciled in to sub for an injured or slumping starter, the White Sox will need to find another lefty for the pen, but that inking wont break the bank.

Prediction: Three years, 11 million for Putz. Closer by matchup, split between Thornton and Santos.

Other Questions
Is Brent Morel the 2011 third baseman?
While many (including me) might look at Chicagos third base situation as unsettled, the White Sox were pleased with Morels audition and enters Spring Training as the incumbent starter. The good news is that a number of players, including Mark Teahen, Dayan Viciedo and Omar Vizquel will push Morel for playing time. The bad news? None of the three (or four, including Morel) appear ready both offensively and defensively to provide standout production at the hot corner.

Wheres Carlos Quentin?
Re-signing Andruw Jones to play right field and bumping Q to designated hitter (heartily endorsed on these pages) is a plausible, low-cost plan, but does nothing to add a lefty bat at DH. Quentins relative health and impressive power numbers will earn him a healthy raise in arbitration (5 million?) but must be at least a part-time DH in 2011 if the White Sox hope to field a competitive defensive team. Its been reported that Quentin has been rendered off-limits by the Chisox (as off-limits as any one player can be in a Williams regime), a sign the team still loves Quentin and could ready a long-term deal for him once again (Q rejected the buyout of his remaining arbitration years last spring, as did John Danks).

Whats all the chatter about trading Gavin Floyd?
Preposterous stuff indeed. The White Sox rarely sell low on a player, particularly one with the upside of Floyd. Persistent reports out of Colorado have the White Sox demanding Ian StewartDexter Fowler combination for Floyd, but even those two promising players dont represent the value Floyd brings (and will continue to bring) to the White Sox rotation. Part of the reason Williams is so willing to raid his farm clubs is that his mode of operation is swapping potential for proven playersand has hardly been singed yet in that high-stakes game. One thing he does not do is trade high-value, low-cost, major-league players off his roster.

Floyd as the centerpiece of a Prince Fielder trade? Now that bears the markings of a Williams concoction.

Why does Williams hate the Colorado Rockies?
Aside from the rumors hes swapping his most inexpensive ace to the Rockies, because they just gave shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, a relatively comparable player to Alexei Ramirez, a 20 million per season extension. Ramirez is likely to opt out of the last year of his initial, four-year contract with the White Sox tomorrow and force the club to more than double his salary for 2011, to 2.75 million. Thats still a bargain, so it will be interesting to see if the White Sox lock up the Missile with a stab at, say, five years, 35 million. Ramirez is entering his prime years and has provided almost 25 million in value to the club (per FanGraphs) in the last two seasons alone, so something even beyond that range could prove a bargain for the White Sox.

Brett Ballantini is's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

He may be limited on experience, but Chris Getz already has a strong idea about player development.

Getz -- who on Friday was named the White Sox director of player development -- worked the past two seasons as an assistant to baseball operations in player development for the Kansas City Royals. A fourth-round pick of the White Sox in the 2005 amateur draft, Getz replaces Nick Capra, who earlier this month was named the team’s third-base coach. A quick learner whom a baseball source said the Royals hoped to retain, Getz described his new position as being “very task oriented.”

“(The job) is carrying out the vision of the scouts,” Getz said. “The players identified by the scouts and then they are brought in and it’s a commitment by both the player and staff members to create an environment for that player to reach their ceiling.

“It’s a daily process.”

Getz, a University of Michigan product, played for the White Sox in 2008 and 2009 before he was traded to the Royals in a package for Mark Teahen in 2010. Previously drafted by the White Sox in 2002, he described the organization as “something that always will be in my DNA.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

Getz stayed in Kansas City through 2013 and began to consider a front-office career as his playing career wound down. His final season in the majors was with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore hired Getz as an assistant to baseball operations in January 2015 and he quickly developed a reputation as both highly intelligent and likeable, according to a club source.

“He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago,” GM Rick Hahn said.

Getz had as many as four assistant GMs ahead of him with the Royals, who couldn’t offer the same kind of position as the White Sox did. Getz spent the past week meeting with other members of the White Sox player development staff and soon will head to the team’s Dominican Republic academy. After that he’ll head to the Arizona Fall League as he becomes familiar with the department. Though he’s still relatively new, Getz knows what’s expected of his position.

“It’s focused on what’s in front of you,” Getz said. “Player development people are trying to get the player better every single day.”

“With that being said, the staff members need to be creative in their thinking. They need to be innovative at times. They need to know when to press the gas or pump the brakes. They need to be versatile in all these different areas.”

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

The White Sox announced on Friday they have named former MLB infielder Chris Getz as Director of Player Development.

Getz replaces Nick Capra, who after five seasons in his position was named the White Sox third base coach on Oct. 14.

The 33-year-old Getz has spent the last two years with the Kansas City Royals as a baseball operations assistant/player development in which he assisted in minor-league operations and player personnel decisions.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

“I'm excited about the opportunity to help teach and develop young talent in the organization where my professional career began,” Getz said in a press release. “I was drafted twice, worked through the minor leagues, and reached the major leagues with the White Sox. Through this journey, I was able to gain an understanding of the individuals within this organization, who I respect greatly.  The director of player development is an important role, and the health of the minor-league system is vital for major-league success.  I look forward to putting my all into making the White Sox a strong and winning organization.”
White Sox Senior VP/general manager Rick Hahn added: “We are pleased to add Chris’ intellect, background and energy to our front office. He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago.”

Getz, originally a fourth-round selection by the White Sox in the 2005 MLB Draft out of Michigan, played in seven MLB seasons with the White Sox (2008-09), Royals (2010-13) and Blue Jays (2014).

Getz had a career slash line of .250/.309/.307 with three home runs, 111 RBI and 89 stolen bases.