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Jerry_Manuel
07-31-2001, 08:34 AM
(I don't know if he messed up since the following is just rumors)
From the Sun Times:
New Year's comes early for these Sox
July 31, 2001
BY CHRIS DELUCA STAFF REPORTER
Any mention of a white flag touches nerves throughout the White Sox' front office, and the James Baldwin trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers last week doesn't exactly qualify as surrendering. The Sox did that in April and May.

What is happening is a quiet shift of attention to 2002.

Right-hander Dan Wright was promoted from Class AA Birmingham to the starting rotation. Right-hander Jon Garland came from the bullpen back to the rotation. They will start the first two games of a three-game series against the last-place Kansas City Royals that begins tonight at Comiskey Park.

Those are just the first steps in a new phase for the Sox.

Efforts to trade shortstop Royce Clayton, third baseman Herbert Perry or center fielder Chris Singleton before the 3 p.m. non-waiver trading deadline had hit their individual snags, though general manager Ken Williams always keeps his cell phone nearby.

Clayton, Perry and Singleton--and possibly closer Keith Foulke--are not part of that mysterious group of players Williams calls the Sox' core.

The final two months of the season will help determine who's in the core and who's not.

Definitely in: right fielder Magglio Ordonez, left fielder Carlos Lee, second baseman Ray Durham, designated hitter Frank Thomas, shortstop Jose Valentin and pitchers Mark Buehrle, Kip Wells, Bob Howry and Garland.

First baseman Paul Konerko seemed to be in that group last winter, when he signed a two-year, $6.1 million contract. But increased interest in Konerko from other teams and the power-hitting threat of Jeff Liefer have the Sox mulling their options.

Konerko continues to be a hot name on the trading market. Though he leads the Sox with 22 home runs, Konerko, 25, isn't expected to provide as much power as Liefer. But Liefer has been streaky and turns 27 on Aug. 17. The Sox, who nearly ran out of patience with Liefer during spring training, will use the next two months to see where his left-handed bat fits into their future.

The same kind of audition faces Aaron Rowand, who looked as if he would be squeezed out of a talented outfield until he was converted into a center fielder last month. Rowand, 23, is another power threat who has shown an ability to draw walks. Singleton, 28, has frustrated the Sox by his low on-base percentage.

While Singleton offers better defense, Rowand hasn't hurt the Sox in center. The Texas Rangers have taken a hard look at Singleton in recent weeks, and he is expected to be dealt before Opening Day 2002.

Nudging Rowand is Joe Borchard, the Sox' first-round draft pick in 2000. Borchard is expected to be ready for the majors next season and has spent this season trying to learn center field. Having signed a $5.3 million bonus, Borchard won't be stuck on the bench.

Moving to the infield, minor-league sensation Joe Crede is expected to replace Perry at third base next season.

Clayton is signed through next season, and the Sox are hoping desperately to deal him before Opening Day. His $4.5 million salary and low batting average have been stumbling blocks to any deals.

The Clayton-Valentin puzzle has been a constant struggle for the Sox. Valentin clearly is most comfortable at shortstop. Clayton has dazzled defensively, but his offensive struggles have hurt the Sox. Williams realizes pitching and defense are no longer the staples in the American League. A potent offense must come before defense in baseball's new era.

Clayton definitely doesn't fit into the Sox' long-term plans. And according to sources, he didn't fit into their 2001 scenario. Sources say Clayton was acquired during the winter from the Rangers with the expectation he would be dealt before spring training.

The Sox evidently misjudged Clayton's value on the market, and they were stuck with a shortstop they didn't need after they had signed Valentin to a three-year, $15 million contract.

The Sox' best bet for 2002 is to return Valentin to shortstop and leave him there.

Then there is the case of Foulke. Closers with his credentials are a rare commodity. The Sox appear headed to a second consecutive arbitration hearing with Foulke, whose 24 saves in 26 chances give him plenty of ammunition.

By signing Howry to a two-year deal, with an option for a third year, the Sox looked as if they were trying to give Foulke, 28, a gentle shove in his contract talks. Foulke's durability and dominance are enough to include him in that core group.

Looking back, the final two months of the 2000 season provided time for the Sox to plan for the postseason. This August and September, they will be looking much further ahead.

Clarkdog
07-31-2001, 10:32 AM
Clayton definitely doesn't fit into the Sox' long-term plans. And according to sources, he didn't fit into their 2001 scenario. Sources say Clayton was acquired during the winter from the Rangers with the expectation he would be dealt before spring training.

The Sox evidently misjudged Clayton's value on the market, and they were stuck with a shortstop they didn't need after they had signed Valentin to a three-year, $15 million contract.

If this is true, then if your JR, you have to fire Kenny Williams. This incredibly bad decision completely affected the entire 2001 season. It also answers the question of why Manuel was constantly shuffling the lineup. JM was forced to play a player that they really had no room for in an effort to showcase Clayton's value in the hopes that he could be dealt. As we all know Clayton never performed and there is probably no interest in him now.

This is an environment where you are supposed to be trying to win a pennant. How can you focus on winning when your busy shopping a player who plays middle infield on day one of the season?

This led to a team which could not find an offensive groove because there was no consistency, and players looked to deliver individually early on to stay in the lineup, instead of looking to deliver runs as an offensive unit. Injuries aside, that is what led to the early season slide.

From a business perspective the losing affected attendance, and that in addition to carrying Clayton's unneeded salary is a money-losing proposition.

This is a team that with the right leadership can win a World Series and make the team profitable. Kenny Williams is not that guy.

harwar
07-31-2001, 11:04 AM
All that is true.Jerry Manuel was in an impossible situation.I blame Jerry Reinsdorf not Ken Williams.In his haste to be the first team to have african-americans as manager and general manager(the press releases were flying after KWs' hiring) JR tore this team apart.Ken Williams was not ready to be a big-league GM.However;Neither JM or KW are going anywhere.Next year we are going to have to win in spite of them,not because we have them at the helm.

rmusacch
07-31-2001, 11:20 AM
Didn't Valentin sign a 5 year contract?

Soxboyrob
07-31-2001, 11:25 AM
Originally posted by Clarkdog

From a business perspective the losing affected attendance, and that in addition to carrying Clayton's unneeded salary is a money-losing proposition.


The fact remains that without Clayton, we'd have been without a servicable shortstop for much of this season due to Valentin being gimpy for half of this year. During the time(about 2 months) that Valentin has been unhealthy, Clayton has hit about .325 and played nearly flawless defense. I don't mind getting rid of Clayton if we find a capable replacement, but we can't count solely on Valentin at this point. For as much as we hammered Clayton when he was horrible, we owe him his due when he's not.

Jerry_Manuel
07-31-2001, 11:58 AM
Didn't Valentin sign a 5 year contract?

No it was 3.

Clarkdog
07-31-2001, 01:03 PM
For as much as we hammered Clayton when he was horrible, we owe him his due when he's not.

I am not hammering the play of Clayton, as much as the poor thinking that went into his acquisition in the first place. If this story is true, the White Sox never intended that Clayton see any playing time. They thought he could be dealt before opening day. The entire league called KW's bluff. THE ENTIRE LEAGUE. That poor thinking affected the entire season, the team has been out of sync, because you have a player positioning conflicts due to the Clayton, Valentin, Singleton, Perry and the need to platoon.

I agree that Clayton has filled in nicely in light of Valentin's gimpiness. But Manos is the heart of this team, and if available he needs to be in the lineup, and playing the position where he is most comfortable. He is our shortstop, not a utility player.

If we didn't sign Clayton in the off-season, we could have acquired Clayton or any shortstop mid-season in light of Valentin's injuries. You also had Graffanino.

The point is the Sox hamstrung themselves into a terrible roster situation that affected the overall decision-making and play of the ball club in a season that they were chasing a pennant.

That is mismanagement.

PaleHoseGeorge
07-31-2001, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by rmusacch
Didn't Valentin sign a 5 year contract?

Valentin signed with the Sox before Thanksgiving, 2000. He is under contract through 2003 with a club option on 2004.

PaleHoseGeorge
07-31-2001, 01:24 PM
Clayton definitely doesn't fit into the Sox' long-term plans. And according to sources, he didn't fit into their 2001 scenario. Sources say Clayton was acquired during the winter from the Rangers with the expectation he would be dealt before spring training.


I'm not sure I believe this given that Chris Deluca is the source. He hasn't had the track record of Rogers to accurately report inside Sox stuff.

However, if it is true it's a huge indictment of KW's ability to be general manager. Here it is everyone in the world focusing on winning a championship ("IT'S TIME") and the general manager is spending time and attention with schemes to acquire and deal players he knows he doesn't need? That's insane.

Once KW signed Valentin, the need for Clayton was nil. We gave up Myette for a guy who hurt us both offensively AND defensively (apologies to Deluca who apparently believes the charade Reinsdorf's official scorer is playing on behalf of both Durham and Clayton).

I won't get into the whole "who deserved it, Williams or Evans?" debate. I haven't a clue who was better qualified. By all accounts they both had been around forever and were being groomed for GM spots.

I know this much: KW has embarrassed himself repeatedly as a rookie GM. The Sox are in worse shape now than they were when he took over last October.

Guess who is ultimately to blame?

"Don't look at me, I just work here. Oh wait, no I don't."
:reinsy

Paulwny
07-31-2001, 01:30 PM
I believe a trade fell through. Last spring there were numerous postings on the quantity of infielders we had.

Chisox353014
07-31-2001, 01:44 PM
Wow, if that really is true about intending to trade Clayton before opening day, then this organization is even more screwed up than I thought. I mean, what did they realistically think they were going to get for a guy coming off a .240 year with a questionable clubhouse reputation?
I don't know about you guys, but I am really concerned that KW is going to destroy what potentially could be a great team for years to come. There will be no excuse for this team if it doesn't improve significantly next year. We'll have the core of the 2000 lineup back together with Frank returning and our pitching should on par with 2000 as well. Actually, we'll have so many pitching options next year with everyone coming back from injury that we will pretty much have to unload some excess baggage. With the caliber of pitcher that we should be able to offer teams in a trade this offseason, we should have a genuine major league player at either C, 3B or CF by Opening Day. Right now, I have zero confidence that KW will be able to get anything useful back in any trade. The way things have been going lately, we'll probably sign Embree to a 4-year deal and trade Foulke for Augie Ojeda.

oldcomiskey
07-31-2001, 06:11 PM
and just how do you feel we are worse off--EVERYBODY is HURT. Im more worried about what to do with Jose Canseco who has contributed much to my surprise... Do you trade Perry and put PK at 3rd? Do you trade Singleton and move Magglio to CF? Or do you just trade Canseco?

KingXerxes
07-31-2001, 06:13 PM
I don't think anybody would be even remotely interested in Canseco.

oldcomiskey
07-31-2001, 06:19 PM
are you saying he hasnt contributed or is too old? And its not what you think that matters anyway--me either for that matter--but Ill bet it will be addressed

KingXerxes
07-31-2001, 06:22 PM
I think they'll release him later in the year - unless they do move closer to playoff contention. Somebody may then pick him up under the 40 man roster, but I don't think anybody is going to give up anything for him to be honest.