Report: Matt Lindstrom clears waivers

Jason Miller

Veteran reliever is least costly of the tradeable White Sox, but going unclaimed suggests interest is tepid

When Paul Konerko cleared waivers, it really meant nothing more than a sad headline. Teams place lots of players on waivers, and he was going to go unclaimed. So now his White Sox legacy and his 10-and-5 rights will allow him to spend the rest of his contract in Chicago, unless he and a contender (Rays? Orioles?) want each other enough, and Jerry Reinsdorf loves him enough to set him free.

When Adam Dunn cleared waivers, that didn't surprise anybody, either. He's making $15 million next year, and Kenny Williams couldn't quite come up with an angle to make that seem tempting.

Now, Matt Lindstrom clearing waivers -- as tweeted by Ken Rosenthal Wednesday evening -- that tells us something, even if it results in nothing.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Matt Lindstrom 2-3 58 0 0 0 0 4 46.2 46 20 18 1 23 33 3.47 1.48

Did you know that Lindstrom is tied for the league lead in appearances? It's true, because it's not worth lying about. He and Tampa Bay's Joel Peralta have appeared in 58 games. Kelly Wunsch was the last White Sox pitcher to lead the league in games pitched with 83 in 2000, but since the Sox are out of it, I don't think Lindstrom will usurp Wunsch's spot in White Sox history. Either some of Lindstrom's appearances will go to the September callups like Daniel Webb and/or Jake Petricka, or he won't be on the Sox by the end of the month.

Lindstrom can now be traded to any team, but it's telling that no team put in a claim, considering his rather minimal cost. He has a little over $1 million owed to him when including the remainder of his $2.8 million salary and his $500,000 buyout for 2014 (or a $4 million club option), so you'd think a reliever-needy team like the Tigers might want to play keep-away.

And normally, leading the league in appearances would signal great things for Lindstrom, because only isolated injuries held him back in previous years. That's not the issue in 2013 -- he's always been available, and throwing as hard as he did last year.

He just hasn't been as sharp. Lindstrom has battled a noticeable uptick in walks accompanied by a drop in strikeout rate. Neither number has found the right direction, either, as he's walked more batters (seven) than he's struck out (six) in the second half. Most of it's because he's tentative against lefties, although he's lost some of his effectiveness against righties, too. His ERA hasn't suffered too much, although an unimpressive performance with inherited runners (16 out of 41 have scored) saves his own numbers somewhat.

Lindstrom's track record suggests he can do more, and I imagine there are a couple teams keeping an eye on him. But since no team was interested in taking him for nothing, the Sox would probably have to cover the buyout, or close to it, if they were interested in saving a relatively small amount of money.

And they might, because this series of events suggests that the $4 million club option is a non-factor. Lindstrom has expressed a desire to stay with the Sox, perhaps because that option is better than he can do on the open market. If they shared a mutual interest regardless of the option, the Sox could probably retain him for something close to his 2013 salary, even when including the buyout.

Regarding the right-handed veteran reliever the White Sox already traded away, Jesse Crain:

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