The White Sox are going to have some hard decisions to make this winter. This is how I would go about these decisions if I were the GM of the White Sox:
Paul Konerko: 34-year old righty swinging 1B Paul Konerko played in 149 games for the Pale Hose last season and he was 171 of 548 (.312 avg, .977 OPS) with 89 runs scored, 39 homers and 111 RBIs. Konerko is going to be one of the most sought after free agnets on the open market. VERDICT: I would definitely try to re-sign Konerko because he has been excellent in his career for the White Sox. The 1B market is flooded with good options if I would miss on Konerko.
Mark Kotsay: 34-year old lefty swinging OF/1B/DH Mark Kotsay turned in a decent year as a backup. Kotsay played in 107 games for the White Sox last season and he was 78 of 327 (.239 avg, .683 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 8 homers and 31 RBIs. VERDICT: I would only bring back Kotsay on a deal with a low base salary plus incentives.
Omar Vizquel: 43-year old switch hitting infielder Omar Vizquel actually bumped Mark Teahan out of his starting job at 3B last season. He played in 108 games for the White Sox last season and he was 95 of 344 (.276 avg, .673 OPS) with 36 runs scored, 2 homers, 30 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. VERDICT: I would offer Vizquel about $1 million bucks to return as a utility man but he might actually find a better deal than that on the open market.
Ramon Castro: 34-year old righty swinging catcher Ramon Castro played in 37 games for the White Sox last year and he was 32 of 115 (.278 avg, .832 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 8 homers and 21 RBIs. The White Sox have an option for 2011 on Castro. VERDICT: I would pick up Castro’s option as he’s a pretty decent back up catcher.
A.J. Pierzynski: 33-year old lefty swinging catcher A.J. Pierzynski played in 128 games for the White Sox last season and he was 128 of 474 (.270 avg, .688 OPS) with 43 runs scored, 9 homers, 56 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. VERDICT: Pierzynski’s bat is starting to go and he has never been a good defensive catcher. I would let him go.
Andruw Jones: 33-year old righty swinging OF/DH Andruw Jones still has a ton of power but that’s about all he brings to the party. Jones played in 107 games for the White Sox last season and he was 64 of 278 (.230 avg, .827 OPS) with 41 runs scored, 19 homers, 48 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. VERDICT: I would let him go.
Manny Ramirez: 38-year old righty swinging OF/DH Manny Ramirez played in 24 games for the White Sox last season and he was 18 of 69 (.261 avg, .739 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 2 RBIs. Ramirez played in 90 games overall last season for the White Sox & Dodgers and he was 79 for 265 (.298 avg, .870 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 9 homers and 42 RBIs. VERDICT: He’s gone.
Freddy Garcia: 35-year old righty Freddy Garcia had a solid year for the White Sox in 2010 as he started 28 games in which he was 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. VERDICT: I would let Garcia walk because the White Sox have a loaded rotation already. I would consider signing Garcia back if Jake Peavy has problems in his rehab.
J.J. Putz: 33-year old J.J. Putz pitched in 60 games (0 starts) for the White Sox last season and he was 7-5 with 3 saves, a 2.83 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Putz only allowed 41 hits in 54 innings last season while whiffing 65 batters as he looks like he’s back to top form. VERDICT: I would re-sign Putz with the promise that he could compete in spring training for the closer’s job.
Matt Thornton: 34-year old lefty reliever Matt Thornton pitched in 61 games for the Pale Hose last season and he was 5-4 with 8 saves, a 2.67 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. He gave up only 40 hits in 60 2/3 innings while whiffing 81 batters last season. Thornton is probably the nastiest lefty reliever in all of baseball right now. The White Sox have a $3 million dollar option on Thornton for 2011 with a $250,000 buyout. VERDICT: I would have already picked up Thornton’s option.