Following teammate Clark Griffith, Chicago Colts (Cubs) pitcher Nixey Callahan jumps leagues to the White Sox. Callahan, like many of his cohorts who fled the National League for the American, saw his salary bump up, in his case to $3,300 ($117,000 today).
Callahan was amazing in his first year with the White Sox, pitching in 27 games to a 4.7 WAR — and also hit well enough to add another 1.3 WAR. That 6.0 WAR total was good for seventh overall in the AL in 1901 and second on the White Sox, behind Griffith.
Callahan would pitch just two more seasons after that, and finish his career out as a left fielder, compiling 13.5 WAR overall with the White Sox. He also player-managed and managed the White Sox, on two separate occasions — eight years apart.
It was an indication of how bad off the White Sox were financially: Ed Herrmann, one of the top catchers in baseball and an All-Star, is traded to the Yankees for four minor league players. The reason? According to Herrmann it was because he wanted a $2,000 raise! In six full years with the team Herrmann averaged 11 home runs, and there were few (if any) better at blocking home plate — thus earning him the nickname of “Fort” Herrmann.
The White Sox start the season with a torrent of runs in blistering Cleveland, 15-10. It was the second-highest Opening Day scoring output in franchise history. The Sox led, 14-0, after the first five innings.
Carlos Quentin drove in five runs, and newcomer Adam Dunn knocked in four.
In an sort of salary dump self-inflicted by GM Rick Hahn’s decision to pick up failed reliever Craig Kimbrel’s hefty, $16 million option, the White Sox pick up outfielder AJ Pollock (no bargain himself, at $13 million) from the Dodgers.
Kimbrel stabilized the downward slide of his career to a degree in Los Angeles, pitching to a 3.75 ERA and 22 saves (0.2 WAR). Meanwhile Pollock remained surprisingly healthy in Chicago, but in 138 games could produce just a .681 OPS/92 OPS+ and 0.4 WAR.
Pollock hated playing for the White Sox so much, and wanted so desperately to return to the West Coast where he’d played his entire career, he was willing to pay a million dollars to escape (he declined $13 million from the White Sox for 2023 and took a $5 million buyout from the White Sox, then signed in Seattle for $7 million).
The date of the 2022 trade ironically had come exactly six years after Pollock broke his elbow sliding into home at the end of Spring Training with the Arizona Diamondbacks.