After spending close to $97 million on its 2009 payroll, the Chicago White Sox have committed $72 million to 10 players next season. According to the vibe on the South Side, corporate spending will not be any better to help the team's payroll in 2010.
Sources say the Sox payroll for next season will be $95 million. In order to have a productive club ready to overtake the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins in the AL Central Division, general manager Kenny Williams and company will have to be more active in the trading market than the more costly free-agent route.
The future of closer Bobby Jenks will be a key component to offseason additions. After earning over $5 million in 2009, Jenks' automatic number if he goes to arbitration will be between $7 million-$8 million next season. That type of money may be too pricey for the White Sox as they put together the back end of their bullpen.
Team officials already believe set-up man Matt Thornton is ready to handle the physical and mental aspects of the closer's job. If indeed that's the case, Jenks could be used as trade bait for much-needed help from a set-up man.