Productivity was the name of the game yesterday. I was able to scratch several things off my to-do list and so was my favorite team – the White Sox. I completely finished “Assassin’s Creed 2”, which is a top five game for this console generation, was able to watch “Zombieland”, a solid zombie comedy in the same vain as “Shaun of the Dead”, and I’m now getting through “Stargate: Atlantis”. I became a huge “Stargate: SG1” fan after the series left Sci-Fi (now SyFy) though the “Atlantis” series is close, but not the same. The characters have a good chemistry and though the story stays true to the universe. I’m probably more going through it to be able to catch up on “Stargate: Universe”.
“Zombieland” was a good movie in every sense of the word. I like Jesse Eisenberg as an actor. After seeing him on “Conan”, I’m worried that he’s always going to play a neurotic. He’s not plucky by any means but I would hate to see him become character actor. I think he’s a better actor than Michael Cera; so I’ll be happy as long as studios will have Eisenberg as their first choice.
Yesterday afternoon, a flurry of activity picked up steam quicker than a runaway freight train going down hill in the free agent market. The White Sox non-tendered contracts to their closer Bobby Jenks, and a mediocre-at-best reliever in Eric Threets, so money saved by not having to keep Jenks is better served elsewhere. The news that stole the day was that they signed slugger Adam Dunn to a 4 year $56MM deal and then followed that with resigning catcher AJ Pierzynski to a 2 year $8MM contract. Here’s the sweet part in all of this: the Detroit Tigers paid $50MM for Victor Martinez to rotate DH and 1B duties with Miguel Cabrera. Victor Martinez is a defensive nightmare and is no where near the slugger that Adam Dunn has been over his career. Now with the White Sox continue to show a commitment to win while the window is open, they are continuing to negotiate with Paul Konerko and his agent. With their offense reinforced and their catching problem solved, GM Ken Williams can now focus on loading up the bullpen.
Going forward, if the White Sox can’t bring back PK, I hope that they can sign Adam LaRoche. He’s a solid lefty first baseman and won’t hurt the team defensively. I hope that the Sox can keep JJ Putz and make him the closer. Putz has closed before but granted that was in the baseball oblivious land of Seattle, though did total 40 saves in a year the Mariners went to the playoffs so that wouldn’t cause me to worry. My best guess is that the Sox will look for veteran talent to supplement Thornton, Santos and Pena. If the Sox can trade Linebrink I know they’ll do their best to make that a possibility. I know Ken Williams isn’t content and he wants to put the best team he can out on the field.
The Adam Dunn signing is a move that shows he’s in charge of what players will play for the team. Ozzie Guillen made a fuss and big-to-do about not bringing back Jim Thome and the Sox missed his offensive production last year. Ken knows what it takes to win in the American League will will still having the options and pieces to compete with the National League. This is an exciting time of year and I know the ride isn’t over yet, it’s only getting started.
Update (12:37 PM CST): The White Sox free up $5.5MM by trading Scott Linebrink to the Atlanta Braves for minor leaguer relief pitcher Kyle Cofield. I hope this works out better than the Vazquez deal where the Sox received Tyler Flowers and Brent Lillibridge, both of whom are disappointing to say the least.