Well not yet exactly, but its coming soon. An addition here or there and the 25 man roster is pretty much set.
About four more White Stockings are still hung from the chimney this year. Kenny Williams, a big fan of an old fashion Christmas, is sure to be filling them with care.
Juan Pierre, Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin are in the outfield. Paul Konerko, Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez and Brent Morel are taking the infield with A J Pierzynski behind the dish. Adam Dunn is the DH. Those are our regulars. Im not even going to try and guess the batting order, but that's probably your opening day line up.
Riding pine we see Omar Vizquel, Mark Teahen, Ramon Castro, Brent Lillibridge, and possibly Dayan Viciedo. There's not an outfielder in the bunch. The Bridge appeared in the outfield for all of 8 games last season, 1/8 his total. The rest are all infielders or Mark Teahen.
We need one more guy out there. We also need another pitcher or two or three.
Although the field of free agents is generally pretty weak, I was optimistic they could land one of the better left overs out there for the outfield spot. Then Magglio Ordonez got ten million bucks. Oh. will cost too much. Willie Harris is available. That would be funny. Almost as good as mrs. e-gus' suggestion of Jermaine Dye.
Lastings Milledge was non-tendered. He's about the most interesting name out there. The former first rounder(12th overall by the Mets) is just now entering his prime. He hit a double in winter ball this week and threw a mimed grenade into the opposing teams dug out to celebrate. In the seventh they beaned him. He stole second, then this happened. A double, a stolen base, a fake grenade and a fight? He sounds fun, lets sign him.
If they want to truly get the band back together they can offer Andruw Jones another one year deal. Unfortunately, I think we'll be stuck seeing a lot of Teahen out there, especially on Sundays, so its probably coal in that stocking for you. Alejandro De Aza can make the team this spring if they want to keep it cheap, in house and get another lefty for that 5th outfielder. There are also a plethora of other replacement level shmoes out there ripe for the picking. I say either go big or stay home. Its also hard to be big when all you have is fifty cents.
The pitching staff looks pretty good. In fact the pieces in place look excellent, its just an incomplete puzzle at the moment. The rotation is a healthy Jake Peavy away from being the best 5 man rotation in the American League. John Danks, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson and Gavin Floyd need a 5th. Hopefully this job opening is just temp work, but the need remains. The bullpen is light too, so for this stocking stuffer lets look again at the free agents that are available. Once more, not an awe inspiring field to draw from.
Jeff Francis came back from missing all of 2009 to pitch mostly all right last year. I brought him up a month ago and he's still out there as the guy I like the best. The 2004 minor league player of the year fits Kenny's modi operandi as a former star who lost some of his shine. Sign him, and if Peavy can give us anything in 2011 Francis can be our third lefty out of the pen to handle the M&M boys of Minnesota.
If the Sox sign a starter or go with a kid like Lucas Harrell(does not equal all in BTW) they have a 10 man staff. Thats two more stockings still hanging there empty on the 25 man mantle. I'm counting on Chris Sale being in the majors for this little exercise by the way. There just arent three affordable arms worth a damn out there, and money has to be tight right? We've called an all in bluff from the Tigers, but are there still any chips to push now that we've seen the flop? Lets pretend there are and that we won't have to rely on the emergence of a Gregory Infante or some other farm hand.
Octavio Dotel is out there, but he'll be costly, and if we're going costly then we'd want Rafael Soriano anyway. No, we need to take a more economical approach to replace Jenks, Putz and Linebrink or get crafty with a trade.
Scott Linebrink is no longer on the Sox, so yeah, Merry Christmas. Addition by subtraction there. The slight hang up here is that Bobby Jenks and J. J. Putz are also gone.
The problem here is that basically everybody I was planning on mentioning seems to have signed something this week. Bobby Jenks and Kerry Wood moved on, Sammy Gervacio and J. P. Howell stayed put, it looks like the guys with decent potential are getting snapped up or will cost a lot of money and possibly a draft pick. The well seems to be running dry making the price high as a result. What I don't want for Christmas are any more 3 year deals to relievers. One and done, please.
The back end of the bullpen might have to filled up as part of a gift exchange. The only trading chip the Sox seemingly have is Dayan Viciedo. Hes blocked at first and DH for the next few years now anyway. Maybe they think he can still come around at third or at least make up for his bad defense with his thunderous bat. Man, thats what I really want for Christmas. Dayan Viciedo to develop a passable glove at third base. He wouldn't need to ever walk with a good enough glove over there. How sick would that line up be? Could you imagine the meat of that order. Rios, Donkey, Kong, Quentin, Viciedo- south side hitmen indeed. Another trade option is Tyler Flowers, but leaving him out of your top ten prospect list isn't exactly a glowing recommendation. What the heck is he worth now anyway?
Losing focus here. Look, I'm not going to try and roster-bate the perfect trade. There are a few teams out there with depth where the Sox have holes. Houston has a full pen, Oakland is a nice fit with both a ton of outfielders and a full bullpen. They're probably the best fit as far as potential trade partners go based on what we need anyway. All we know for sure is that the White Sox aren't done just yet. Hopefully the brass will deliver with a few more nice gifts for Hannakuh and Christmas respectively.