Scott Merkin poses a question we all had at the beginning of the off-season but have backed off with all the talk of payroll ceilings; will the White Sox reinvest their massive payroll cuts (more like 10%) into the team in the form of extensions? Kenny Williams was his usual dismissively combative self in deflecting the query.
"You are way, way too far ahead there," Williams said. "I have to look at how the Dow Jones did today and see the general state of the economy before we start committing large sums of money out there."
Assistant GM Rick Hahn gave a rosier outlook.
"Historically, you talk about it in Spring Training, in a more relaxed atmosphere," Hahn said. "There has to be a meeting of the minds, with a willingness also on the part of the player and the agent."
John Danks seems to be open to an extension, though it would seem to me to be at least a year too early to go down that path. Danks has 4 more cost-controlled years with the Sox before reaching free agency, and since the Sox are resistant to give out 4-plus year contracts to pitchers there really wouldn't be much value in signing Danks at this point. It's probably best to wait a year so they can buy out a year or two of free agency. (Same goes for Gavin Floyd)
Hitters are a different story, and the Sox should absolutely be talking to Carlos Quentin this spring. But again, they might want to wait until he both proves his wrist is healed properly and that '08 wasn't a fluke.
Bobby Jenks is the only other realistic extension candidate, but he's already signed his '09 contract and now seems like he could be the Sox best trade piece in the next 12 months.