Bernstein: Sox Have Work To Do

As baseball’s general managers’ meetings convened in Orlando, Florida, few attendees arrived with more heavy lifting to do than Kenny Williams. His 40-man roster stands at 31, and the everyday lineup looks like this, if the season were to begin today (in some estimation of batting order):

LF Juan Pierre, 2B Omar Vizquel, CF Alex Rios, RF Carlos Quentin, 1B Dayan Viciedo, SS Alexei Ramirez DH Mark Teahen, 3B Brent Morel, and C Ramon Castro.

Thankfully, the season does not start today, since that lineup gets you all of 75 wins.

All indications are that Paul Konerko will move on to a rich, three-year deal elsewhere. Beckham is still recovering from his late-season wrist injury, which complicates his future as the Sox’s second-baseman or as trade bait, which he has been reported to be.

Castro would last maybe a month as full-time catcher. The rotund veteran (he actually resembles a giant, humanoid monkfish more than anything else) can hit a little and spell the starter once or twice a week, but AJ Pierzynski’s value is inflated by thin options at the position. The Marlins had been Pierzynski’s primary suitor, but they signed John Buck last night – a solid sign a return to the Sox is now likely.

Williams must decide if Carlos Quentin’s horrible defense, injury history and moodiness are mitigated by the occasional power binge. They need home runs, but they may be better found elsewhere.

Konerko’s replacement will supply some, whomever it may be. The Sox look at that slot as a place for a lefthanded bat, be it a second-tier player like Adam LaRoche or Luke Scott or another Williams gamble on a fading great in Carlos Delgado. Adam Dunn would be ideal, but the money he’ll command is not.

Any trade of substance would probably involve a starting pitcher, since that’s all they have to deal that anyone would want. They are monitoring the recovery of Jake Peavy from surgery to reattach a torn muscle, but are not counting on him to join a mix that still includes Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Edwin Jackson and Gavin Floyd, and likely will add Chris Sale.

Forget about material trades centered on prospects. The farm system is bare, essentially, with Sale and Morel promoted, Daniel Hudson traded and nothing much else in the pipeline. Eduardo Escobar is the tallest midget, for now.

The good news is that the Sox are pursuing All-Star closer Rafael Soriano, since it still looks like they’re leaning toward cutting ties with Bobby Jenks and his expected new price tag from arbitration eligibility.

Williams has been quick to temper expectations for rapid remodeling, reminding reporters that there’s plenty of time before a pitch is thrown. He seems content to watch the other players at the table before moving, maintaining flexibility.

The off-season may yet prove eventful. Looking at that lineup right now, it may need to be.

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Jakeman

    Thank you, Dan, for mentioning the White Sox and bringing their offseason back into our focus for a minute. I’m not saying that the recent emphasis on the Cubs and the Ricketts Family backroom monkeyshines isn’t justified. It is; the financial state of the franchise and its park are very important to not just Cubs fans, but the whole city. My personal preference, however, is for discussion of on-the-field matters and I found your entry a welcome reminder of the potential excitement (and depression) that Ken Williams can stir up before spring training for the other team in town.

    Oh, and humanoid monkfish? I went on wikipedia, and you are absolutely right, but how do you come up with this stuff?

    • Beverly Brewmaster

      I prefer the Thelonious Monkfish myself…

  • Real Chicagoan

    I was just wondering. When was the last time Dan & Terry did not pick the Cubs to make the playoffs? It seems like every single year they predict big things for the Cubs.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    wow, a full white sox blog at this time of year. you know bernsy, I kinda miss it when you spread it out to all the teams in your blog post like you used to do.

  • bigtime sucker

    who knows, but i never thought the whitesox would ever be in this position, usually Kenny Williams comes better prepared than this. i am not a white sox fan by any stretch, talking about them makes me a little nautious(spelling) but i have a great deal of envy when it comes to Kenny vs Jim Hendry, so to see Kenny kinda caught with his pants down is kinda suprising. Sounds like the media needs to get out of the way and let him do his thing.

    This road trip could turn D Rose into a superstar. He keeps having 4th quarters like that, and his tier 2 allstar status will receive a major upgrade. if the bulls go 4-3, WATCH OUT, this team could be better than i even thought, although i at this point am still sticking to my 57-25 prediction.

  • Mike in Davenport

    I think that has more to do with the awful division that the Cubs play in.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    this blog won’t let me post long comments anymore. I’m finished with this piece of junk website until it let’s me post full thoughts. I’m just wasting my time trying to RE-SEND every comment.

  • 2nd Half Adjustments

    Why would Omar Vizquel just be the starting second baseman, unless Gordon has lost his wrist?

    And I’m confused about something. Why would you sign Soriano, who is probably going to command roughly the same per year salary as jenks, but also cost you draft picks? Wouldn’t the better option be to sign Jenks and get him to lose mass? What happened to the rumored pursuit of Carl Crawford?

    • ABSHARK18

      I’m not so sure Omar Vizquel is the White Sox starting second baseman to begin with, let alone Brent Lillibridge for that matter. Those were the Sox options at second base when there was so much talk about Gordon Beckham going back to Triple “A” Charlotte when he struggled badly at the plate in the first half of the season, but would miss the last 3 weeks or so of the regular season when he had issues with his wrist. There is someone who has been on the Sox free agent radar for a couple of years who may be a better option iin the event that Beckham would get dealt in the offseason. He’s also a free agent for that matter with the division rival Twins. That guy is Orlando Hudson, who is also a switch-hitter. Just a thought…

  • bigtime sucker

    Kenny always has something up his sleave second half. One thing you always have to remember about K. Will. He is the first sox GM to consistently persuade Reinsdorf to spend money, so i wouldn’t lose hope on crawford until about the second week of spring training or until he resigns with tampa or someother club gets him first

    • 2nd Half Adjustments

      I’d feel better if the Twins weren’t already a markedly better team/organization, the Tigers didn’t have a ton to spend (and weren’t targeting the same guys in Crawford and Dunn) and the Sox had some kind of farm system. I certainly don’t think the Sox are in for an ’07 redux, but they are built to win between 84-88 games and that’s not enough in the division anymore.

  • bigtime sucker

    i liked ron zooks response to the question about the end zone’s proximity to the outfield wall at wrigley. “it will prepare you for the arena league” is actually pretty clever. i give him kudos for actually saying his first interesting thing during his tenure at UofI

  • Redkneck king

    Krafty Kenny is working it this summer

    it’s time to get funky


    The word is Gordon Beckham has already started to workout again after missing the final 3 weeks or so of the regular season with that wrist injury that he sustained at (Not So) Progressive Field August 30th in Cleveland. I have also heard and/or read rumors about Beckham, the Rockies & the Dodgers. Correct me if I’m wrong, I thought the Dodgers already had a second baseman in Ryan Theriot, let alone a bitter Hollywood-style divorce involving the McCourts…That being said, I’m not so sure I believe any Beckham trade rumor with a grain of salt and fully expect #15 to patrol second base for the Sox for many years to come.

  • Chet's Inflated Ego

    Thanks for the Sox talk, Bernsie.
    That line-up he posted is awful…no way Kenny doesn’t improve the team.


    There’s one problem with the White Sox and the name Rafael Soriano as a possible free agent closer. His name is Scott Bora$, and White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is very reluctant at best to deal with the agent who represents quite a few marquee names in Bud Selig’s Major League Baseball. Something tells me he’s closing somewhere other than Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. He won’t be closing for the Rays anymore, but I think Rafael signs elsewhere.

  • meesohawnee

    I see now the FBI is looking into the Cam Newton situation. .. Ah FBI.. over there. I think its the BCS you should be looking at but hey maybe your like our beloved SEC. Too paid off to go to the right places? Only in America huh?
    Everytime Tom Ricketts opens his mouth i want to vomit more and more. Now the unions are pushing things to go his way “cause it will create more jobs”. Ah the convenient excuse. The dumb leading the dumber. If i were the unions id be looking at Tommy Boy as the source of their problem since its his Frat Boyz that are the ones that pushed trillions in bogus loans that led to what was the financial crisis, which would be the root of why the union boyz are sitting at home? Just askin.
    om the politicians is basically ” you better starting writing checks” to our bribe funds,oh excuse me, campaign funds. Werent we there before a short time ago when it started with potty mouth pattie? How soon we forget
    Two tales of misguided angst .

    • BearsFanInHoustonTx

      Ricketts knew how to play it…get the unions on your side – knowing they control the purse strings of city of chicago. Watch what happens during the mayoral election and what backroom play takes place in this regard. If someone wants the mayoral backing of the Union bosses (money)…they will promise to get this passed after the election….just my 2 cents.

      • bigtime sucker

        having that said and all the hullabalo yesterday, the plans ricketts showed off yesterday do present quite a signficiant upgrade to the friendly confines, still don’t like wrangling the publics money for it, but that upgrade would be kinda cool

        just callin like i see it

  • Denver Smeghead

    Catching up on yesterday’s show, and I have to wonder if Bernsey has a poster of Novitski (sp?) up on his wall. After all, Novitski won’t give up on going after Lance Armstrong, and for Bernsey, it’s an obsession.

  • Dan's Ego

    yaaaaaaawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn…congrats on the obvious Dan!

  • Don Merkle

    you don’ worry about Kenny and Sox .He will get ‘er’ done as always. After V-mart for 1st base if doesn’t resign Paulie. Will put Floyd out to Orioles for Luke Scott and another player. AJ will resign with Sox as Kenny knows how important he is with the pitchers. And will be named new Captain if Paulie leaves. Yes Jenks will be gone and a new closer acquired. Gordon Beckham will be at 2nd base for the Sox open ing day and possibly batting 2nd again. Vizquel and Teahen are utility players Jones will be back as will DeAza a speedy good hitting OF and Quentin will DH some . If Victor is signed he can play 1st base and DH some along with Luke Scott at both also if trade is made.


    Baseball is a defensive game. Didn’t Vlad get benched in the World Series?

    Why should a team consider paying millions of dollars to a one-tool player? How far did Thome take the Twins?
    The DH is, now, just another position.
    Can’t win with it!
    Can’t do it!
    what you doin’!

  • Sgt. York

    Is there talk that the White Sox will be called the Chicago Latinos,it looks like that already,well I guess our brothers,sons, and grandsons are out of luck if they are looking for a MLB career,keep on buying those tickets you White fools.

  • Voice of Reason

    White Sox need to buiild up the farm system-we have nothing left at this point. Kenny needs to get even more creative if we are going to be competitive in the next year or two.

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