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Reading Room: Williams hints that hands are tied

In his first postmortem of the year, Kenny Williams offered no real surprise when he said the White Sox would push their youth to the forefront while seeing what 2011's underachievers have left:

"The combination of good young talent that we need to see play more and veterans that we need to see how they will bounce back, leaves us in a holding pattern until the two blend and reveal to us who we are," Williams wrote Monday in an email. "Only then can we plot an aggressive course for either more youth or additional veteran help."

This means some combination of the following:

  • Chris Sale will be ticketed for the rotation, and Phil Humber cemented in as well.
  • Brent Morel, Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza will have full-time jobs.
  • Tyler Flowers, Eduardo Escobar and some outfielder will get scant backup playing time action.
  • Carlos Quentin, John Danks and/or Gavin Floyd could be dealt.
  • Addison Reed will play a part in the bullpen.
  • Mark Buehrle might not be back.

The overall philosophy isn't exciting -- it's as much of a hoping pattern as it is a holding pattern -- but it is prudent.

There's not enough salary relief with this season's expiring commitments alone, but when combining it with next year's lame ducks, the payroll problems ease up a considerable amount and allow for a more real reshaping of the roster. After all, most of Jake Peavy is off the books (a $4 million buyout remains), which is a big relief. A.J. Pierzynski's backloaded contract is over, and Paul Konerko's contract is cut in half. You still have Zombie Adam Dunn and Zombie Alex Rios walking the earth, but then again, if Dunn has another season like this one, a buyout could be in order. He's simply useless in his current state, and he knows it.

About those last two points:

*Did you realize that Reed pitched only once over the last 12 games of the season? That's what you get when your manager already knows that he's working for another team in 2012, tampertampertamper.

*Whereas it's hard to imagine Buehrle in another uniform in 2012. I still think it's going to get done. After Buehrle, Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't really have any of "his guys" left.


Christian Marrero Reading Room

Mark Gonzales offers his offseason preview, saying that Williams will have to "rely on his scouts and numbers crunchers more than ever." That's a little scary, since neither have been strengths in recent years.

Cheryl doesn't have too much faith in Williams to dig himself out of this hole. She would rather see Rick Hahn take the wheel, as many of us would.

This is a Phil Rogers article, so standard caveats apply. But this is the first time somebody in the mainstream media has implied that Hahn might be guilty by association in this mess. Also, he relays that Baseball America's Jim Callis thinks David Holmberg would be the No. 1 prospect in the White Sox's system had they not thrown him into the Daniel Hudson deal for no good reason, which is neat.

Manager expert Chris Jaffe looks at the twin releases of Ozzie Guillen and Terry Francona, noting the rarity of two champion managers becoming available in the same offseason (although Guillen probably wasn't available, tampertampertamper).

One additional benefit of Guillen's departure? No more stupid Carlos Zambrano rumors!

J.J. gives Dave Martinez his support, while James asks, "Who can drive this thing into the lake before it's too late!?"

And finally, Gordon Beckham, ladies and gentlemen:

I'm going to have to remember that for next season.