I was going to write a recap before I read some dumb quotes about the future. In that recap, I planned to focus mainly on Contreras, and that if you paid attention to his stuff instead the results -- that is if you tried to objectively scout him without letting silly things like a Jose Guillen's "excuse me" double and Ichiro's free triple get in the way -- he had a pretty good outing. In fact it was probably his best outing of the season.
It appears that USS Mariner agrees, and is fully on board an attempt to acquire Contreras... Which is exactly the reason it won't happen. I mean listen to their closing paragraph
Honestly, if I could acquire Contreras tomorrow without giving up any real talent in return, I'd make the move regardless of how much salary the White Sox were willing to eat. If they offer to pick up some of the money, that's just a bonus. I saw enough tonight to confirm what I already felt that his performance record was telling us - he's not done, and he's not even really close to being done. He's still a useful major league starting pitcher, and on a team that is running out Horacio Ramirez and counting on Jeff Weaver and Jarrod Washburn, he fills a big hole.
There's no way we should be so lucky. I'd love to be rid of Contreras, even though I agree he isn't completely done. He's appeared like a pitcher whose career was over for most of the season, but since that stint in the pen Jose has regained his fastball and seems to be more willing to attack the strike zone. And that's why the White Sox will hold onto him. That, and with the price of starting pitching, 6 more mediocre-to-good starts will make Contreras much easier to move this off-season.
Remember, if last offseason showed us anything, it's that your most recent year performance isn't particularly important in terms of dollars received, as Jeff Weaver, Randy Wolf, Adam Eaton, and Jason Marquis all cashed in despite miserable 2006 campaigns. $10 million for each of the next two years for Jose Contreras just isn't a significant liability, given the current way teams view the value of guys like him.
If Contreras is able to throw as he did Friday for the rest of the season -- which at this point is still a big if -- the White Sox will have no trouble dumping his entire salary while receiving a quality player in return.