Last week I thought it was a certainty that Contreras would be signed before then end of the year. Tonight, it appears much less likely as the Sox start to feel the ripples from the out of control market for pitching.
Jaime Torres, Contreras' agent, said Monday he wasn't encouraged by the White Sox's initial offer to keep him past 2006.
"We have to look at today's market," Torres said.
Right now, I don't know what is going to happen. I would go into the season with McCarthy in the pen, Garland and Contreras in rotation, and see which one of the impending free agents appeared more likely to repeat their '05 performance over the life of the next contract. I would sign that one, whatever the cost, and ship the other out at the deadline for top prospects or whatever the team currently needed at the time.
It's going to be a much more entertaining rest-of-December and January that I had first envisioned.