Baseball Itch On Arbitration’s Deadline

As I’m going to pick up my lunch this afternoon, 670 AM The Score, treated me to some baseball talk. Barry Rozner, who has been filling in for the vacationing Terry Boers was commenting on how the White Sox should be one of the teams in the conversation as a trade partner with the Diamondbacks for Justin Upton. Let me get this out of the way: I told you so. OK, moving on; I’m glad that other baseball minded people are finally talking about this possibility. Barry was commenting on how Sox GM Ken Williams has a great relationship in trading with the Diamondbacks as well as Williams’ affinity for 1st round draft picks, of which Justin Upton was the 2005 number 1 overall pick.

The hosts continued on and on bantering about why would the Diamondbacks want to trade this player who would potentially be in the $100MM price range if her were a free agent at this time. I can care less as to why the Diamondbacks would want to trade him, I know the talent that I’ve seen Upton display and would be worth any price. Finally they got to mention names going back to the desert and interestingly enough, there haven’t been many trades that Justin Upton would fit into – as they mentioned, fans would have to go back to Roberto Alomar’s trade that sent him away from San Diego.

So I’ll modify my package that the White Sox would send to the desert: Gavin Floyd would have to go as the proven and valuable established major leaguer, though this is where things can get dicey because there are some prospects that the Sox need as a fail safe, including Jared Mitchell, Brent Morel and Jordan Danks. Some people don’t think much of Kevin Towers as a GM and he may very well not be the best candidate for the job, but they’re a baseball operation and there are people that know what they’re doing. I’m not ready to deem the Diamondbacks to baseball hell like the Royals.

There are still holes in the White Sox from top to bottom and that’s scary. Jake Peavy isn’t coming back. I just hope he can be strong enough to stay in shape, build his arm strength and recuperate to throwing condition enough for maybe a bullpen stint or get back for the 2012 season. Chris Sale looks to be the fill in and God willing he’ll show the tenacity and grit with mentors Danks and Buehrle in the rotation. That being the toughest pill to swallow, the Sox need to bring back JJ Putz and may very well have to keep Bobby Jenks simply because there’s no fit replacement for him. I don’t want Teahen, Kotsay or Quentin back on the team they all do more harm than good and if the White Sox want to contend, I’d say that the kids might do a better job than those chuckleheads.

I’m doing my best to stay optimistic this off season. Ken Williams has always been dedicated to the success of the team and that’s my security blanket. He knows when they’re beat but won’t concede until the battle has been waged, like in 2007.

Coming late across the wire: the White Sox did offer arbitration to Paul Konerko and JJ Putz, while declined to offer AJ Pierzynski and Manny Ramirez (who cares). I believe PK and JJ will be Type-A free agents, meaning that if the White Sox had offered arbitration and the players declined, then the White Sox would net 2 supplemental draft picks per Type-A free agent. Sources are saying that the Sox didn’t offer AJ arbitration because they would rather negotiate outside of the arbiter. I hope that the White Sox resign AJ simply out of necessity. He handles the staff well and is a solid receiver. I would expect him to be better offensively simply because he knows that he won’t be traded or unemployed. He’s in great condition and far superior to Ramon Castro and Tyler Flowers on an everyday basis.