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Tag:White Sox
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:22 pm
 

Will La Russa return to baseball as a GM?

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Just a few months back, Tony La Russa retired.

Now he's thinking about his next job.

La Russa's visit to the Tigers spring training camp this week gave him a chance to spend time with close friend Jim Leyland, the Tigers manager. But La Russa planned the trip just as much so he could learn from Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers general manager.

His next job, the 67-year-old La Russa figures, could be as a GM.

"I might get a shot," La Russa said Thursday.

If that shot comes, La Russa wants to be prepared. Thursday, when Dombrowski came off the field after the Tigers' workout, La Russa headed to the Tiger GM's office to talk.

La Russa and Dombrowski go way back together, back to when La Russa was the White Sox manager in the 1980s, when Dombrowski worked in the White Sox's front office in his first job in baseball.

La Russa said he also plans to talk to Reds GM Walt Jocketty, who he knows well from their time together with the Cardinals. But La Russa said that out of respect to the Cardinals, who play in the same division as the Reds, he won't be helping out the Reds this spring.

With the Tigers in the American League, there's no such conflict here. But La Russa's visit was based as much on allowing him to learn as it was on anything he could do for the Tigers.

"If I get a shot [as a GM], I want to be prepared," he said.
Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:49 pm
 

Cespedes is a free agent, and bidding can begin

The bidding for Yoenis Cespedes can finally begin.

The 26-year-old Cuban outfielder has established residency in the Dominican Republic, and Major League Baseball told teams on Wednesday that he is now officially a free agent.

But where will he go, how much will he cost, and how fast could he make an impact?

First, the where: Cespedes himself told reporters in the Dominican that the Cubs have shown the most interest in him, with the Marlins, Tigers, White Sox and Orioles also involved. The Nationals have also shown interest in Cespedes, and the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies scouted him, although it's believed that none of the three will be among the top bidders.

The Marlins have made no secret of their interest, but according to sources, Cespedes has told other teams that he would prefer not to play in Miami. He plans to make his home in the Dominican, rather than in Florida, and may believe that the huge Cuban community in South Florida would add too much pressure and too many distractions.

The Tigers have long been interested, with general manager Dave Dombrowski making a surprising trip to the Dominican Republic to see Cespedes for himself. But Detroit's resources for signing Cespedes could be more limited after signing Prince Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract.

How much will Cespedes cost? No one seems to know for sure, but many teams have been in contact with agent Adam Katz, and it seems clear that he'll get more than the $30 million that the Reds paid for Aroldis Chapman.

How fast does he make an impact? Several of the teams that have scouted Cespedes heavily believe that he would be best served by beginning 2012 in the minor leagues. Given his age and the amount of money he'll likely cost, there will be pressure to move him to the big leagues fast, however.

Cespedes is described by those who like him as a Bo Jackson type, with an unusual combination of speed and power.

Cespedes may not have helped his value by playing briefly and ineffectively in the Dominican winter league, but he may have had other motives for playing for Aguilas. It's believed that people involved with the team also have ties to the Dominican government, and that Cespedes' decision to play may have sped up the process of establishing residency.

In any case, that process is complete, and Cespedes is a free agent.

And the bidding can begin.
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:36 pm
 

Red Sox like Oswalt, but does he like them?

The Red Sox like Roy Oswalt. But is the feeling mutual?

The Sox, sources say, have made a significant offer to the free-agent right-hander. Oswalt has yet to accept, raising some doubt about his interest in going to Boston.

Oswalt already told the Tigers he wasn't interested in going to Detroit, sources said, and even a recruiting phone call from Justin Verlander didn't sway him. While he may not have given the Red Sox as definite a "no," it is thought that he would prefer teams closer to his home state of Mississippi.

Oswalt has long shown interest in going to the Cardinals, but it's unclear how interested the Cardinals are in him. The Rangers had interest in him earlier in the winter, but they have since added Yu Darvish to their rotation. The Reds were also thought to be a team that Oswalt would like, but they traded for Mat Latos.

The 34-year-old Oswalt spent most of his career with the Astros, then accepted a trade to the Phillies at midseason 2010. He went 16-11 with a 2.96 ERA in 35 starts for the Phils.

The Red Sox would like to add another starting pitcher before spring training, but the options right now seem to be limited. Edwin Jackson is the only other significant free-agent starter on the market, and the Red Sox have talked to him, too. The Red Sox have also talked to the White Sox about Gavin Floyd, but were turned off by the asking price and it seems that a deal for him is unlikely.


Posted on: December 23, 2011 6:39 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 6:45 pm
 

White Sox could still deal Gavin Floyd

Even after signing John Danks to a contract extension this week, the White Sox remain open to trading fellow starting pitcher Gavin Floyd, according to sources.

The White Sox surprised people in baseball (even some in their own organization) with the Danks signing, because they spent the first part of the winter including both Danks and Floyd in trade discussions. The Danks signing had people wondering if the White Sox are still "rebuilding," as general manager Ken Williams said after trading closer Sergio Santos at the Winter Meetings.

The belief now is that Williams will consider offers for Floyd and others, but that he will also continue to maintain a high price tag, as he has all winter. While Williams appears to be open to dealing Floyd, he also seems open to keeping him. Floyd is signed through 2012, but his contract carries an affordable $9.5 million option for 2013.

The trade market for starting pitchers has started to move, with both Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez dealt within the last week. Many teams remain interested in adding pitching, and by waiting, Williams may find himself with the best available pitcher later in the winter.

Floyd, who turns 29 in January, is more than two years older than Danks. Like Danks, Floyd has averaged nearly 200 innings a season since earning a regular spot in the White Sox rotation.



Category: MLB
Posted on: December 23, 2011 6:07 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 6:11 pm
 

Red Sox wanted Gio, keep chasing pitching

The Red Sox, who tried hard but came up short in their bid for Gio Gonzalez, are still determined to add pitching this winter, according to sources.

Red Sox management spent Friday regrouping, after the A's chose the Nationals' pitching-heavy offer for Gonzalez over a Red Sox offer that was built around position players. The Red Sox are still involved with the A's on closer Andrew Bailey, and they've talked to free-agent starter Hiroki Kuroda, as well, but they don't appear to be close on those pitchers or any others.

The Red Sox have also had interest in Gavin Floyd, with people in baseball believing that White Sox general manager Ken Williams remains open to trading Floyd, even after signing fellow starter John Danks to a contract extension this week.

For now, the Red Sox can still said to be "in on everybody," as one source put it this week.

The need is obvious, because for now the Red Sox rotation is just three-deep in established big-league starters, with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. As of now, Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard would be the fourth and fifth starters.

Meanwhile, the Sox still haven't replaced closer Jonathan Papelbon, who left to sign with the Phillies as a free agent.

Gonzalez would have been a solid addition to the rotation, but now he's with the Nationals, instead.

And while the Red Sox continue to preach patience, they also know that they've reached Christmas with their shopping list still full.



Posted on: December 23, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Yankees, Red Sox may not bid high on Cespedes

While the market for Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is unpredictable, the word this week is that neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox plan to be heavily involved.

The two baseball superpowers have both followed Cespedes carefully, and some in the Yankee front office want him badly. But the decision this week, according to sources, was that Cespedes is too raw a talent to justify the price, and may not be suited to playing in a big market, anyway. While the Yankees are not out on Cespedes, the plan as of now is to treat him the way they treated Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, making a modest bid that is unlikely to be successful.

The Red Sox are said to have similar concerns.

People familiar with the international market say that there is also a divide on Cespedes in the Marlins' front office, and that it's not a given that the team will go after him hard. Also, Cespedes has told people that he plans to make his permanent home in the Dominican Republic, rather than in Miami, and may prefer to go to a team other than the Marlins.

The interest in Cespedes remains strong, and the market could change by the time he becomes a free agent, which should happen in January. The Cubs, Tigers, Nationals, White Sox and Rays, among other teams, are still expected to pursue him.

Because of the strong interest, the belief is that Cespedes will still get as much as $40 million, even if the Yankees and Red Sox hold back from heavy bidding. One possible issue is that Cespedes' agents apparently want him to go straight to the major leagues, while many if not most scouts believe that he should spend time in the minor leagues first.

The Cubs, Nationals, Braves and Red Sox, among others, are also said to be interested in Jorge Soler, a 19-year-old Cuban who is also expected to become a free agent this winter. Soler is further from the big leagues, but talented enough that some predict it could take $15 million to sign him.

Because of new limits on bonuses that will go into effect next winter, teams may feel free to bid higher on Cespedes and/or Soler this winter.



Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:05 pm
 

So are the White Sox really rebuilding?

Kenny Williams said the White Sox were rebuilding.

He never said they were trying to lose.

He definitely never said that the White Sox were looking at a long-term rebuilding project.

The White Sox's decision to sign John Danks to a five-year, $65 million contract, after spending the first part of the winter trying to trade their left-handed starter, certainly caught people by surprise. But it may not be the complete about-face that it at first seemed to be.

First off, Danks is still just 26. Even when Williams was talking about rebuilding, he was primarily talking about getting younger. A 26-year-old lefty who has averaged 195 innings a year over the last four seasons fits in perfectly, once you're sure you won't lose him to free agency in another year.

Second, the White Sox knew they were never going to be able to trade high-priced players like Alex Rios, Adam Dunn or Jake Peavy, and almost certainly weren't going to trade Paul Konerko, either. It's not like they were ever going to slash their payroll down to nothing.

Third, the word in both the international scouting community and among White Sox people is that the Sox could be very involved in the bidding for 26-year-old Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who should become a free agent next month.

Fourth, the White Sox play in the American League Central. Yes, the Tigers look strong, the Royals are getting better and the Indians are trying harder, but this is not the toughest division in the game.

In fact, some White Sox people cringed when Williams began talking openly about "rebuilding."

"We are not rebuilding," one of them said forcefully.

Now, with Danks signed, some of those White Sox people were actually talking Thursday about what needs to happen for them to win in 2012.

Chris Sale needs to effectively take Mark Buehrle's spot in the rotation. Peavy needs to be better, a year further on from surgery.

Dunn and/or Rios need to bounce back.

Oh, and someone needs to take Sergio Santos' place as closer.

The Santos trade, to Toronto for pitching prospect Nestor Molina, is the only deal the Sox have made so far in their "rebuilding" winter. It fit the rebuilding mode, although it is worth remembering that while Santos has just two years in the big leagues, he is a year and a half older than Danks.

Perhaps the White Sox will still trade Gavin Floyd. It still wouldn't surprise anyone if they deal Carlos Quentin, especially with Dayan Viciedo waiting (and maybe Cespedes, too).

But a complete rebuilding?

No, that's the team on the other side of town.
Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:05 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 10:00 pm
 

Danks to sign $65 million deal with White Sox

Take John Danks off the list of pitchers on the trade market.

And slow down the rush to say that the White Sox are completely rebuilding.

The Sox have worked out a five-year, $65 million contract extension with their left-handed starter, who they had spent the early part of the off-season offering to other teams in trades. The deal, sources tell CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman, is pending a physical exam and is expected to be announced after Christmas.

The 26-year-old Danks would have been eligible for free agency after next season, which is one reason the White Sox were so willing to move him and also why they had trouble getting what they wanted for him on the trade market. Danks, a 15-game winner in 2010, slumped to an 8-12 record and 4.33 ERA in 2011, his worst year since he was a rookie in 2007.

While some people asked quickly whether the contract would simply make Danks easier to trade, it's highly unlikely that the White Sox would trade him now. At his age and talent level, he fits more (now that he's signed) as the type of player the Sox would be trying to acquire than one they would want to move.

More likely, the White Sox will now attempt to rebuild around him, perhaps speeding up general manager Kenny Williams' building process.

Williams had declared the Sox open for business as of the general managers' meetings in November, and when he traded closer Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays during the Winter Meetings, Williams openly used the "rebuilding" word when discussing his team.

Williams has been willing to trade Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin, Matt Thornton, Gordon Beckham and others. It's not yet clear how or whether signing Danks to an extension will affect those plans.


Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com