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caulfield12

Fixing the speed problem while remaining revenue neutral

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1) Acquiring Brian Roberts ($7+ million) for some combination of Swisher, Fields, Vazquez, Dotel and Anderson (but not Poreda)...we might also need to investigate the possibility of expanding the trade to include Mora and Adam Jones, but Roberts is the most important piece. We can also make Richard available, if they are interested. With this move, Ramirez moves to his natural position of SS.

 

2) Bringing back Pablo Ozuna to compete with Getz for the "supersub" role...we've really missed his energy, enthusiam, and crossing first base with his arms wide signaling "safe" to the umps

 

3) Jettisoning Crede, Cabrera and Uribe.

 

4) Targeting Casey Blake for 3B (it's always helpful to have a "warrior-type" player (like Corey Koskie) who has been through the AL Central wars...in fact, if the Twins didn't offer Punto arbitration, I would definitely look at him for the infield utility position as well.

 

5) Targeting Coco Crisp for CF.

 

6) Looking at Figgins, Furcal, Hudson and Grudzielanek as "fallback" positions (Plan B, C, D and E, like we had in CF)

 

If we look at things objectively, it's really not so easy to find fourth starters out there on the market (both trade and FA), so we might have to keep Vazquez, at least for half of 2009, until his value has peaked after mowing down some inferior NL opponents. Then maybe someone will bite. KW is not so stupid as to just give him away. As much as I am disappointed with him, that's certainly not a logical reason to make an irrational move out of anger.

 

Thome and Konerko stay, Swisher goes.

 

I'm ranging from ambivalent to depressed about Dotel, on the books for $6.5 million next season, I would love to see another team come along and try to make him their closer again and take him off our hands. Double prayers answered if someone took an interest in MacDougal, though doubtful.

 

If we use Fields, Swisher, Dotel and Anderson, along with any minor leaguers not named Poreda or Beckham (I know, I know, we couldn't trade him if we wanted to until August)...we should be able to pry lose Roberts and Crisp. This allows us to have the leftover money (saved from Swisher's and Dotel's deals) to invest in Casey Blake at 3B. I think we could sign him for around $7-8 million per season for 2 years.

 

With Crisp, Roberts, Blake (and then any of the other players like Figgins, Furcal, Hudson, even Grudzielanek, Mora and Jones), we'd be a lot more versatile and balanced, adding speed and athleticism while not completely giving up on the power game (Blake, Crisp and Roberts would hit plenty of bombs at US Cellular) either.

 

The main concern with going in this direction is it's actually making the team a bit older, instead of younger (especially if you trade Swisher). That said, we know KW refuses to rebuild, and we have enough younger players (or "in their prime" in the case of Ramirez, Quentin, Floyd, Danks, Buehrle, Jenks and Thornton) that I think it would still be a good mix. Maybe our rotation would be young if we didn't add another starter, but I wouldn't put it past KW to get some additional insurance for Richard/Broadway/Poreda/Carrasco/Horacio Ramirez in the fifth starter's spot.

 

 

 

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I would actually like it if the sox can somehow trade with the Dodgers for Matt Kemp or the Astros for Ty Wigginton.

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QUOTE (caulfield12 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 08:47 AM)
The main concern with going in this direction is it's actually making the team a bit older, instead of younger

 

Great post, first off.

 

Regarding the fact we'd get older -- I see this as the only way. We're locked into PK, Thome, Dye for next year... so since we're not going to raise payroll too much, get some short term older guys that expire at the same time as or a little after PK/Thome/Dye

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QUOTE (SouthsideDon48 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 09:07 AM)
I would actually like it if the sox can somehow trade with the Dodgers for Matt Kemp or the Astros for Ty Wigginton.

 

 

I sincerely doubt the Dodgers would make any of their young guns like Kemp, Loney or Ethier available, except at exorbidant prices.

 

Wigginton's okay...but I prefer Blake because of his career-long familiarity with the AL Central...and I also think former AL Central players are always very motivated when they face their former teams, and CLE will certainly be a big rival of the Sox in the years to come IMO.

 

 

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QUOTE (Princess Dye @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 09:07 AM)
Great post, first off.

 

Regarding the fact we'd get older -- I see this as the only way. We're locked into PK, Thome, Dye for next year... so since we're not going to raise payroll too much, get some short term older guys that expire at the same time as or a little after PK/Thome/Dye

 

This is really the only way KW's going to do it, I think. Then we can add some more pieces like Beckham, Danks and Shelby into the mix in 2010/2011.

 

We just don't have any high impact position players in AA/AAA, so we have to stall/delay while waiting. The trick is not go TOO cheap, like Minnesota has done with Tony Batista, Livan Hernandez, Adam Everett, Mike Lamb, Brett Boone, Ruben Sierra, RonDL White, Craig Monroe...you need the "stopgap" players, but they must be capable players, not players 1-2 years from being out of the game entirely.

 

The Twins have done better finding players like Lew Ford and Jason Tyner on the scrap heap and getting something out of them for a short period of time than they have been signing players to FA contracts.

 

Another player we might take a look at is Christian Guzman, who has really turned his career around in WASH. You just don't know how he would respond to playing in "high pressure" games again, but he's another player to keep at least ONE eye on. If we don't bring back Pablo again, I would like to see Juan Castro as our defensive infield sub.

 

 

Edited by caulfield12

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See I wouldn't trade Swisher because we need someone who can draw some walks, make the pitcher throw more pitches, etc. etc. There are too many players on this team that cannot draw a walk and swing at crap pitches! This team can't execute so you better damn believe that Kenny is going to get some guys that can get the job done! I am tired of seeing Uribe strikeout in crucial situations, OC can't hit with runners on, hell the whole damn team can't. But if you get some guys that can, it changes the whole dimension of this team and we are a contender next year. Can you imagine this lineup?

 

2B Roberts

CF Crisp

LF Quentin

RF Dye

DH Thome

C Pierzynski

3B Blake

SS Ramirez

1B Swisher

 

 

 

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QUOTE (MO2005 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 08:55 AM)
See I wouldn't trade Swisher because we need someone who can draw some walks, make the pitcher throw more pitches, etc. etc. There are too many players on this team that cannot draw a walk and swing at crap pitches!

 

This was my thinking at the beginning of the year, but Swisher does strike out a lot. He often cant even get a bat on the ball... so really he's like Thome in the sense that he can walk,strikeout or homer.

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I guess the only disagreement we're going to have is between Swisher and Konerko.

 

I just don't think Swisher is good enough offensively to play 1B on a regular basis. If you could guarantee he would hit at least .250 with 30+ homers and 90+ RBI's, I would think about it, simply because the money saved on Konerko's deal (and we could get much younger and a bit faster) could be wisely reinvested in improvements/changes at 2B, 3B, CF, 5th starter and set-up/bullpen.

 

 

 

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this is my wish line-up

 

Furcal SS

Figgins 3RD

Quentin LF

Dye RF

Thome DH/konerko

A-ram 2nd

AJ C

Swisher 1b

Anderson CF

 

 

then get CC(f*** the yankees kenny under the radar baby)

 

CC

Floyd

MB

Danks

Vaz

Edited by C_LEE45

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Yeah but Swisher or Konerko at this point? Konerko is going to have more trade value and we will get more in a return. It will probably be a 1 for 1 like Garland and Cabrera. Konerko is on a decline plus he is older. His slumps are becoming longer and longer. He is also the slowest person on the team. I have faith in dirty 30 because I think it was just a bad year for him. He has the right attitude and I just like the fact that he does take pitches. (even though a lot are strikes), but I'm tired of people on this board doubting him. If he hits .300 with 35 and 120 next year, everyone will be like I wanted Swisher all along and he is the best. Sometimes you got to look at the intangibles, like what Carl Everett did in 2005. Great Clubhouse Guy, but couldn't hit crap in 2005!! This team just has to get away from the longball first mentality. It didn't work from 2001-2004 with the homerun hitters we had. And it sure as hell doesn't work now! I mean I don't want to talk about the Twins, but did you see how many full counts they work on a pitcher? The Sox need guys to work counts, get back into a fast, running, pitching, and defensive team! It just ticks me off when I see this homerun first mentality that we all know for every major league team, doesn't work. And I don't want to be a downer here, but in those 3 elimination games are offense still was not good. All the wild pitches by Detroit that started the comeback, lack of execution in all three games, hangers right over the plate and us fouling them off..We got lucky that are pitchers pitched so well..but our offense really sucks!

 

Kenny Please all I want for Christmas is to change the dimension of this team and cry small ball!!

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I mean look at what the last 6 world series champions have in common?

 

2001 Diamondbacks small ball,

2002 Angels small ball,

2003 Marlins small ball,

2004 Red Sox small ball,

2005 WhiteSox small ball,

2006 Cardinals same

2007 RedSox same

 

Does Kenny and Jerry understand this? It works, why change it? I almost start thinking sometimes it's about money..What draws more fans?? Homeruns so kids can try to catch a ball

 

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Thought this was interesting...MLB's winningest teams since the beginning of 2005

 

1. LAA Angels +108

2. New York Yankees +102

3. Boston Red Sox +96 (won WS)

4. New York Mets +66

5. Philadelphia Phillies +56

6. Chicago White Sox +51 (won WS)

7. Cleveland Indians +48

8. St. Louis Cardinals +47 (won WS)

9. Minnesota Twins +43

10. Toronto Blue Jays +24

11. Oakland A's +17

12. Houston Astros +13 (lost WS)

13. Milwaukee Brewers +10

14. Detroit Tigers +8 (lost WS, 3 of top 14 teams in AL Central)

15. Chicago Cubs +7 (the most "average" team the last four years, overall)

16. TIE Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and LA Dodgers +2

19. San Diego Padres -13 (but 2 playoff appearances)

20. Florida Marlins -15

21. Texas Rangers -20

22. Colorado Rockies -35 (lost WS)

23. Cincinnati Reds -50

24. Seattle Mariners -56

25. SF Giants -59

26. Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays -66

27. Washington Nationals -79

28. Baltimore Orioles -85

29. Pittsburgh Pirates -110

30. Kansas City Royals -124

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QUOTE (MO2005 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 10:33 AM)
I mean look at what the last 6 world series champions have in common?

 

2001 Diamondbacks small ball,

2002 Angels small ball,

2003 Marlins small ball,

2004 Red Sox small ball,

2005 WhiteSox small ball,

2006 Cardinals same

2007 RedSox same

 

Does Kenny and Jerry understand this? It works, why change it? I almost start thinking sometimes it's about money..What draws more fans?? Homeruns so kids can try to catch a ball

 

 

I don't think you can make an argument that the Red Sox are anything approximating a "small ball" team. When they were at their best, they mixed in great starting pitching (in the playoffs) with a good bullpen, timely hitting and Ortiz/Ramirez raking in the middle of the order.

 

Marlins and Diamondbacks will be remembered for their starting pitching much more than for being "small ball" teams.

 

Also, if you look at overall winning percentage, the LA Angels have been the best team in baseball with their "small ball" approach and huge payroll but haven't reached the World Series in six years, despite having one of the best managers in the game.

 

The White Sox played fundamentally-sound baseball the first 2-3 months of '05, but it was the pitching that really made that team. I don't remember if we led the league in homers, but we were pretty darn close if we didn't. The only aspect that was truly "small ball" was the execution and precision fundamentals of Pods and Iguchi for 2 1/2 months. We also had a lot of sacrifice bunts and flies to generate 1-2 run leads which the bullpen invariably held, mostly accounted for by Iguchi and Uribe.

Edited by caulfield12

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QUOTE (MO2005 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 10:33 AM)
I mean look at what the last 6 world series champions have in common?

 

2001 Diamondbacks small ball,

2002 Angels small ball,

2003 Marlins small ball,

2004 Red Sox small ball,

2005 WhiteSox small ball,

2006 Cardinals same

2007 RedSox same

 

Does Kenny and Jerry understand this? It works, why change it? I almost start thinking sometimes it's about money..What draws more fans?? Homeruns so kids can try to catch a ball

 

Yeah, LOL to saying that the Red Sox played small ball. Both those teams hit a ton of HR and didn't steal bases. The 2006 Cardinals team had basically no speed at all and just got lucky their pitching staff was hot in the postseason. The 2005 White Sox bunted, but they hit a ton of HR and really after April "small ball" was no what drove that offense. Plus, in the postseason just about every big hit was a HR. I will give you that the Marlins and Angels played small ball at times, mostly the Marlins though. The 2001 Diamondbacks had limited speed and hit a ton of HRs.

 

 

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The Angels are in a bad bad division!! Imagine if the RedSox were in that division, they would win like 120 games. That division hasn't been good for awhile since Oakland was good in 06. The Angels are also a different team in the playoffs like there is a curse on them with Boston. We just need to get a couple fundamentally sound players and it will rub off on the rest of the team like it did in 2005. The pitching was great that year, but down the stretch they struggled while the offense did too! When they got into the playoffs you noticed how the offense with their approach could score runs and that relaxed the pitchers. Game 1 of ALDS, Game 2 down 3-0 came back, against the Angels Konerko's 3 and 2 run taters, etc. etc. Yeah they were still hitting a crap load of homers, but there was this confidence between the offense and pitching. The Sox don't have that now and need to get that mentality back. People sometimes don't realize that our offense has a lot to do with our pitcher's mentality. If we can't score runs, then the pitcher is like don't hit a homer, don't hit a homer. Then BOOM, HOMERUN! All I am saying is get some guys here that will play small ball (bunt, get a guy over by sacrifice) then Quentin will be back our RBI machine! Dye will see better pitches, Thome can hit maybe 6th in the lineup for some left handed pop. Get a 1-2 deadly combo that will drive pitcher's crazy.

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Did or did not all of those world series champions string hits together or were they homerun first approach? Boston hits homeruns, but do you notice their approach? It is different than the Whitesox. All good and winning teams will be tops in homeruns, but it's when they are hit and how crucial of a situation it is? It's called being a smart team!

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Did or did not all of those world series champions string hits together or were they homerun first approach? Boston hits homeruns, but do you notice their approach? It is different than the Whitesox. All good and winning teams will be tops in homeruns, but it's when they are hit and how crucial of a situation it is? It's called being a smart team!

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I like the idea of shaking up the team and returning to speed, defense, and pitching. We are way too slow, especially in the middle of the lineup. Sheer power doesn't work for this team...it really doesn't work anywhere. Look at Tampa. This is an energetic, fast team with good pitching. A lot like the Sox in 2005.

 

I don't have a lot of information handy where I could conjur up some trades, but there are certain players we need to keep and certain players we need to rid of. I guess Konerko, Dye, and Thome are here for 2009. That's fine. Konerko should return to form, Dye is solid, and Thome is an okay DH at this point in his career. I like Swisher. He brings an energy to the team that we need. Problem is, he's better at first than in OF. Could be an issue. Cabrera...he gone. He was an experiment that didn't work out. His defense is okay, but we didn't trade for okay. As much as I like Uribe at third, I think he's gotta go. We can find a better hitting third baseman out there.

 

So who do we target? Roberts, sure. Crisp, why not. Do we keep Anderson? I'm on the fence. I think he might actually be better if he got to play all season.

 

Like I said, I can't really serve up some trades or come up with a new lineup, but something has to be done. Hitting the most homeruns in the majors go us to the playoffs...barely. I don't think it will get us much farther. Hey, is Pods available?

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See the Whitesox are a dumb team sometimes. If they need a single, they swing for the fences. A double fences , a walk, they swing at it. The RedSox hit homeruns at the right time to bury a team and gain momentum. Why don't we rephrase and see who's hit the most solo shots this year? Ding ding ding...Whitesox!

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QUOTE (hogan873 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 11:07 AM)
I like the idea of shaking up the team and returning to speed, defense, and pitching. We are way too slow, especially in the middle of the lineup. Sheer power doesn't work for this team...it really doesn't work anywhere. Look at Tampa. This is an energetic, fast team with good pitching. A lot like the Sox in 2005.

 

I don't have a lot of information handy where I could conjur up some trades, but there are certain players we need to keep and certain players we need to rid of. I guess Konerko, Dye, and Thome are here for 2009. That's fine. Konerko should return to form, Dye is solid, and Thome is an okay DH at this point in his career. I like Swisher. He brings an energy to the team that we need. Problem is, he's better at first than in OF. Could be an issue. Cabrera...he gone. He was an experiment that didn't work out. His defense is okay, but we didn't trade for okay. As much as I like Uribe at third, I think he's gotta go. We can find a better hitting third baseman out there.

 

So who do we target? Roberts, sure. Crisp, why not. Do we keep Anderson? I'm on the fence. I think he might actually be better if he got to play all season.

 

Like I said, I can't really serve up some trades or come up with a new lineup, but something has to be done. Hitting the most homeruns in the majors go us to the playoffs...barely. I don't think it will get us much farther. Hey, is Pods available?

 

 

Pods as a regular again?

 

Are you joking? April Fool's?

 

If we want the 2009 version of Pods, then we might trade for Tavares or Figgins, but I don't think either of these is very likely.

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QUOTE (MO2005 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 11:07 AM)
Did or did not all of those world series champions string hits together or were they homerun first approach? Boston hits homeruns, but do you notice their approach? It is different than the Whitesox. All good and winning teams will be tops in homeruns, but it's when they are hit and how crucial of a situation it is? It's called being a smart team!

 

Stringing together hits is not small ball, that is just good hitting.

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QUOTE (whitesoxfan99 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 10:49 AM)
Yeah, LOL to saying that the Red Sox played small ball. Both those teams hit a ton of HR and didn't steal bases. The 2006 Cardinals team had basically no speed at all and just got lucky their pitching staff was hot in the postseason. The 2005 White Sox bunted, but they hit a ton of HR and really after April "small ball" was no what drove that offense. Plus, in the postseason just about every big hit was a HR. I will give you that the Marlins and Angels played small ball at times, mostly the Marlins though. The 2001 Diamondbacks had limited speed and hit a ton of HRs.

 

Speed will keep an offense balanced and consistent. The Twins are a prime example of this. Speed also changed the entire dynamic of how the opponent plays their defense. (Watching this White Sox team play, this is no secret.) Power added into this equation will make an offense elite. I'm not a big believer in the stolen base, but I am a believer in going 1st to 3rd on a single. The Red Sox at least had a number of runners that could apply pressure on the basepaths, even if it wasn't via the stolen base.

 

That said, I don't think the decision needs to be between Konerko and Swisher. I think they need to make a decision between Dye and Thome. If you keep the core of Konerko, Thome, Dye, AJ, they're not much better off speed-wise no matter where they improve unless they can find a 3B who can burn the basepaths.

 

I agree that Swisher can't carry the load at first base; this is traditionally a power position with players that don't run very well. It's one of the four positions on the diamond where I'm openly willing to sacrifice speed for power, defense or other intabgibles (the other three being C, 3B, DH.) Dye doesn't fit the bill as a right fielder anymore. He's slow, can't cover the gap or line very well, and he doesn't limit doubles to singles and won't often keep a runner from scoring from 2B on a single, or a runner from going 1st to 3rd on a single if he has to move to get the ball. Carlos Quentin can do this and has the arm to play the position. Move Swisher to LF permanently because that's where he fits on the field best. He doesn't have the arm to play RF, nor the power to play 1B, but has enough speed to patrol the corner OF positions. Then, obviously, decide whether they want to keep Dye in the line-up as DH or not. If so, don't bring Thome back.

 

I don't like the idea of Figgins at 3B. It'll keep Dye in RF which will hurt the OF defense. He also has a noodle arm which won't translate well at a position that requires a power arm. I'm all for putting him at 2B. Which brings me to my next point: the Sox cannot go into 2009 with the idea of playing Uribe every day. His above average defense at 3 positions gives him value as a bench player as does his power, but he has no plate discipline what-so-ever. Automatic outs in an American League line-up are not a good thing.

 

As we all know, CF should be one of the main priorities for KW in the off-season. They simply can't go into next year with the idea of Swisher/Griffey in CF. They can't play the position the way it needs to be played.

 

And last, Figgins/Roberts need to be the main targets for KW this off-season. Without them and without Cabrera, they don't have even a decent lead-off hitter. Swisher is the only potential candidate, but I'd rather not see him there.

 

I believe that just shifting Quentin to RF and permanently moving Swisher to LF vastly improves their overall defense and paints a clearer picture of where the holes are. Quentin/Dye/Konerko or Quentin/Thome/Konerko is enough power. All four together in the same exact spots next year is a bad idea. Swisher, all though he had a poor year at the plate, is not the problem.

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QUOTE (MO2005 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 10:07 AM)
Did or did not all of those world series champions string hits together or were they homerun first approach? Boston hits homeruns, but do you notice their approach? It is different than the Whitesox. All good and winning teams will be tops in homeruns, but it's when they are hit and how crucial of a situation it is? It's called being a smart team!
Getting hits with RISP isn't small ball. Also none of the past 7 world series winners were small ball teams. Not sure where you got that idea. There's no sure-fire answer to win the world series -- even if there was, I'd vote for a good bullpen or dominant starting pitching more than I would small ball.

 

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QUOTE (caulfield12 @ Oct 4, 2008 -> 10:31 AM)
Pods as a regular again?

 

Are you joking? April Fool's?

 

If we want the 2009 version of Pods, then we might trade for Tavares or Figgins, but I don't think either of these is very likely.

 

Yes, my comment about Pods was in jest. But someone like the 2005 Pods is what we need. Who is that? I'm not sure.

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I never said it was just stringing together hits, but the walk or hit first, then the bunt or hit to the opposite side to get him over, then stringing together hits to keep the line moving. It always starts with fundamentals and small ball of executing......

 

Seriously I would think that some on soxtalk whitesoxfan99 and almagest are baseball analysts or baseball insider's, but then I realize..nope just employees at McDonalds!

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