Tuesday afternoon, MLB Trade Rumors posted a chart detailing the 30 teams' expenditures on free agents this offseason. You have to scan right for quite a while until you hit the White Sox:
Free agent spending to date: #1 Cubs ... #7 Royals #8 Dodgers #9 Mets ... #30 Yankees. https://t.co/vVSRkl7nIL pic.twitter.com/TCrlIik1fm— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) February 2, 2016
The White Sox sit at No. 23, with only $10.25 million spread out among four free agents (Alex Avila, Dioner Navarro, Matt Albers and Jacob Turner). Looking only at free agents doesn't capture the White Sox' most transformative moves of the winter -- the trades for Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie -- but it does seem like at least one big purchase is missing. You may have sensed the same from our discussions for most of the last two months.
Tuesday evening, 3E8 (who isn't around here as much as he should be) posted a couple of unseemly graphs of his own detailing American League teams' expenditures on black holes:
# of CWS "black hole" seasons compared to rest of AL. I'm arbitrarily defining "black hole" as 400+PA, -0.5- fWAR. https://t.co/VLRDmL0XSW— 3E8 (@_3E8) February 2, 2016
You might think that's just Dunn and Konerko running up the total. It's 10 different players.— 3E8 (@_3E8) February 2, 2016
Here's how much we've spent on black hole seasons. https://t.co/Nn2tQiiOl8— 3E8 (@_3E8) February 2, 2016
Shield your eyes, because the second chart is pretty gross:
Long story short, it's possible the giant spike in the latter graph results in some hesitancy toward increasing the White Sox' line in the former.
The Andre Ethier rumor is no longer an exclusive Phil Rogers affair, as Bruce Levine seconds the word of discussion between the Sox and Dodgers.
Adam Eaton said he didn't know what was behind his dramatic midseason turnaround. Sahadev Sharma dug into the numbers and says he became more aggressive, albeit in an unusual way:
So, while Eaton wasn’t putting [low pitches] in play more often (which, as Ortiz pointed out, is likely a good thing), he was fouling them off more frequently by a significant margin.
Eaton’s swing and misses on sinkers actually ticked up by nearly two percentage points in the second half (the whiffs dropped by a fraction of a point on changeups), but as mentioned before, the overall strikes dropped dramatically. Staying alive more often and really attacking these pitches in the zone — Take a look at the huge jump in swing percentage at pitches right in the heart of the zone, as well — allowed him to do more damage on a regular basis.
Scott Ferkovich does his best John Updike impersonation in an attempt to capture how Shoeless Joe Jackson's last game with the White Sox would've been received had it happened on his terms.
There seems to be a template with the kind of pitcher the White Sox draft in the first round:
"I will not be the one to tell Carson Fulmer he won't start, because he's liable to punch you in the face," White Sox scouting director Nick Hostetler said.
There has to be a reason -- besides performance -- why the Sox DFA'd Jeff Keppinger with extreme prejudice in 2014. Alas, Rick Hahn didn't offer any personal commentary. Instead, he kinda opened himself up to examination on the outfielder shortage, which is only going to get worse without an infusion of talent from the outside.
"The best lesson to come away from it is you're ideally in a position where as you see those holes arising in the future on the horizon, that you make those acquisitions a few years in advance," Hahn said. "You target those guys a little sooner, so that you are not at the mercy of what happens to be available on the free-agent market at a given time."
Carlos Quentin's retirement was short-lived. He's heading back to spring training on the invitation from the Minnesota Twins, who will pay him $750,000 if he somehow makes the roster. That seems like quite the hurdle, but it's easy to prepare for pain.
Surely there's no way THIS former Sox stud finds a second life as a DH after signing cheaply with the Twins https://t.co/COXg86wF8X— James Fegan (@JRFegan) February 2, 2016