I haven't written anything substantial lately, because, well, there hasn't really been anything to write about. Here's a brief recap of some of the stuff that's come across my computer screen.
- As expected, the White Sox picked up the options of Mark Buehrle, Jermaine Dye, and Tadahito Iguchi and used the 7-11 clause to get rid of Dustin Hermanson's price tag for '07.
- Soon after the Sox officially announced that they picked up those options, Scott Merkin penned an article stating that Buehrle could be shopped, which is especially interesting since MLB.com is the first outlet to really speculate that he could be on his way out. Then I stumbled across the Elias Player Rankings for draft pick compensation, which will be calculated slightly different next year. In the new calculation, which uses only two years of data, type A free agents are defined as the top 20%. Thanks to Buehrle's terrible '06, I figure that he has to post a season very similar to '05, possibly his best single season, to even be considered a type A free agent in '07. To me, that just gives the Sox extra incentive to trade him if they feel like they can't get a deal worked out.
- Razor Shines was officially named the third base coach, with Joey Cora taking over bench coach duties. I'm still waiting for press release officially changing Shines' first name to "Motorola" in an effort to help boost the payroll.
- AL Gold Gloves were announced this afternoon. No surprise, no White Sox won, and 7 of the 9 winners were repeats. Torii Hunter takes the title from Derek Jeter as being the most undeserving recipient this season. Ric Chavez was the 3B winner even though he would have been the 4th best defensive 3B in the AL Central this season.
- I talked to Tom Dierkes, who runs MLBTraderumors.com, about who I think the Sox will be targeting at free-agency this off-season. I still think they'll be looking to trade for a speedy leadoff-man (Crawford, Baldelli, Crisp, Figgins) and that they won't bite at Juan Pierre, which leaves only Dave Roberts left in the highly successful base stealing free agent category.
Roberts' agent seemed to indicate, in an article that I can't find at the moment, that his client would be most likely to sign with a club that showed heavy interest early in the free agent process. Since I think the Sox will explore other options first, I don't think he'll end up here either. Though Kenny could just be doing some of his patented Under The Radar maneuvering.
I've only seen the Sox linked to Sarge Jr. in passing, but I think they could be major players for his services. I also wouldn't be surprised to see them sign a non-Matsuzaka Japanese free-agent pitcher to help fill out the pen, or, in Kei Igawa's case, make two of our starters potentially expendable.
You can thank my input for the reason the Sox aren't listed on his Top 50 Free Agents list.
- Aaron Rowand had his 2007 option declined by the Phillies. Before the diaries start flowing in, he's arbitration eligible and still under Phillies control. They say they want him back, and I see no reason not to believe them.