White Sox 2007 Preview Day Two: Off Season Moves

Day two of the White Sox preview will look back at the moves the White Sox have made this off season. This off season Kenny Williams focused on getting some young arms into the White Sox system. Kenny figures that he will lose Mark Buehrle next season, and the futures of Garcia and Contreras were not set in stone. Garcia could have left, and Contreras in getting on in years. So needless to say the majority of the moves below were to aquire an extra arm or two for the organization.

  • The first moves of the off season was to exercise the options of Mark Buehrle, Jermaine Dye, and Tadahito Iguchi. The notable exception to that list was Dustin Hermanson who was a huge part of the early season Sox run in 2005. That was the first of many players from the 2005 championship team that departed the Sox this off season.
  • The next member of that team to go was Neil Cotts. Neil was thought to be the starter of the future in 2003, but that never materialized. He was a good left handed arm out of the bullpen though. He was traded across town to the Cubs for Pitchers David Aardsma and Carlos Vasquez. Aardsma has good stuff, but not very good control. Maybe Cooper can help Aardsma find his form. If he can that would be a huge boost to our bullpen. If not we will at least be able to answer trivia questions regarding the player at the top of the alphabetical listing of all Sox players.
  • The Sox then signed utilityman Louis Terrero. Louis can play all three positions in the outfield, and may be the end of Brian Anderson in center for this season. Ozzie really likes the guy, and he is versatile.
  • The Sox then traded Freddy Garcia to the Phillies for pitchers Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez. This move at the time was thought to make room for Brandon McCarthy in the starting rotation. Brandon was stirring the pot a little in Chicago about his playing time, and everyone thought that he would now be the fifth starter. Garcia was a big part of the ’05 run, but seemed to not be focused every start. He would get up for the big games though. He will be missed when the big ones come around.
  • McCarthy penciled in as the fifth starter lasted about a week. He was traded to the Rangers along with OF David Paisano for pitchers John Danks, Nick Masset, and Jacob Rasner. Danks and Masset were thought to be in the running to come north with the club in April. McCarthy can now get a fresh start in Texas. I met him last year before a game, and he seemed like a nice guy. I hope that he can get something going for the Rangers. The trade did not deprive us of our 5th starter though. John Danks stepped up in spring training and took the 5th starters job to start the season.
  • Earlier in the post season the Sox resigned Ross Gload. He was then traded to Kansas City for pitcher Andrew Sisco. Gload was a decent left handed bat off of the bench that also helped the ’05 team. Sisco is a 6’10” lefty from Steamboat Springs, Colorado that has impressed the Sox in spring training.
  • The White Sox traded catcher Chris Stewart to the Rangers for pitcher John Lujan. Maybe someday this trade will mean something, but right now it just added another arm to the minor league system.
  • On separate occasions the White Sox also signed free agents Darin Erstad, Junior Spivey, Eduardo Perez, and Toby Hall. Erstad was signed when it was thought that Podsednik would miss the first couple months of the year. Now that Pods looks to start the season with the Sox he is a good option in center as well as a good lefty off of the bench. Spivey and Perez were non-roster invitees. Spivey was sent down to minor league spring training fairly early, and Perez was hurt during the spring. Perez’s hamstring injury made it difficult for management to get a good read on him. He had some good at bats when healthy. Toby Hall gives the White Sox a good option to back up Pierzynski. That is something that the Sox have been lacking the last couple of years. Chris Widger and Sandy Alomar Jr. were just players to give A.J. the occasional day off. Just the other day Hall separated his shoulder playing first base, and will probably be out for the season. The Sox could bring up one of two prospects that are currently with the team in spring training. If that does not work, Sandy Alomar Jr. is currently without work.
  • The biggest signing of the off season in my mind though was Joe Crede. Joe is a great defensive player that is just coming into his own on offense. Joe is a clutch player that the Sox desperately need. It will be nice to see Joe back at third this year.

Here are some other notes on the off season:

  • For the majority of the time we have been hearing rumors of a trade to get Rowand back on the South Side. They started during the off season, and continued into this March. The Sox would like to get some stability back in center, and Aaron would bring that. I don’t think that we have heard the end of this one.
  • Another possibility in center was Willie Tavaras from Houston. The speed that Tavaras brings to the table is game changing. Could you imagine a lineup with Pods and Tavaras at the top? It sounds like the Sox could have had him, but did not want to give up what Houston was asking. John Garland’s name kept coming up.
  • It also sounds as if Juan Uribe may get to play this season after all. He was implicated for a murder in his home country during the winter. Not a lot of info has been available to the press over here, but most of it points to him being innocent. He will start the season with the club, and will keep that great arm at short. His court date was moved back to July in order for the DA to find more evidence. How much longer do they need to drum up some evidence against him? To me that proves that the charges have been drummed up.
  • A lot has been made of the moves to get rid of Garcia and McCarthy. Kenny Williams seems pretty confident in his decisions and says that time will show he was right. I hope he is, because we will have some good young arms.

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