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StatManDu
03-28-2008, 11:59 AM
This is attached as well as pasted on this message

Just as Santo=Dorf believed, Scott Linebrink made club history when he signed with the White Sox Nov. 29.

Soon after it was announced the big right-hander was going to sign a four-year deal with the Sox, Santo=Dorf, a veteran and respected poster on at least two Sox message boards (including this one), wanted to know if the team had ever given a reliever that long of a contract.

“Can you look up the last time the Sox gave a big multi year deal to a reliever?” he messaged me. “I can't even recall them giving someone two years with a third year option.”

By digging through White Sox media guides (which list contract status in a players’ bio), I was able to confirm what Santo=Dorf suspected: The Sox had never given a reliever the deal they gave Linebrink in years and most likely in money ($19 million total).

This obviously speaks to the increased value the game is putting on middle relievers and maybe the desperation the Sox were feeling when it came to their 2008 bullpen.
I began my research with Bobby Thigpen in the early 1990s.

“Thiggy,” you recall, saved a still-standing 57 games during the Sox renaissance season of 1990 and was rewarded with a big contract. Following that historic campaign, the Sox signed Thigpen to a three-year contract with options for 1994 and 1995. It would take another 15 years before the Sox gave a reliever that many years.
It should be pointed out here that Thigpen was really the first marquee reliever the Sox dealt with in the “free agent era,” which began in the mid-1970s.

The Sox unloaded Rich Gossage and Terry Forster before they become free agents. Lerrin LaGrow, who saved 25 games for the 1977 White Sox, never made it to free agency. Ed Farmer, who saved a club record 30 games in 1980, did make it to free agency but the Sox opted not to re-sign him. Dennis Lamp became a free agent after the 1983 season but the Sox passed. Bob James broke Farmer’s record with 32 saves in 1985 but best I can tell he was working on a series of one-year pacts until his time with the Sox was finished in 1987.

Thigpen, in essence, inherited the closer’s role from James, which brings us back to the early 1990s.

Here are the relievers the Sox signed to mutli-year deals:

Kirk McCaskill: After he was moved to the pen (where he was effective), the Sox signed the Canadian righty to a two-year deal covering the 1995 and 1996 seasons. McCaskill became a reliever during his three-year contract which went from 1992 to 1994.

Tony Castillo: The left-hander was signed to a two-year deal prior to the 1997 season.

Bill Simas: The former Angel signed a two-year contract for the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

Keith Foulke: One of the best relievers in club history, Foulke worked on a two-year pact for 2002 and 2003.

Bobby Howry: The Sox signed Howry for two years (2002 and 2003) with a club option for 2004.

Antonio Osuna: El Canon was signed to a two-year contract for 2002 and 2003 with a club option for 2004.

Billy Koch: One of the biggest busts in franchise history worked on a two-year contract with the Sox for 2003 and 2004.

Damaso Marte: The enigmatic and – at one point – highly-effective lefty agreed to terms on a three-year contract with club options for 2007 and 2008 on March 5, 2004.

Dustin Hermanson: A key member of the 2005 title team signed a two-year deal Dec. 8, 2004 with a Sox option for 2007.

Mike MacDougal: Signed a three-year deal with a club option for 2010 in December of 2006.

Matt Thornton: Signed a three-year contract with club options for 2010 and 2011 on April 1, 2007.

Octovio Dotel: Signed a two-year pact Jan. 22, 2009.

Notable one-year deals: Roberto Hernandez, Scot Radinsky, Cliff Politte, Shingo Takatsu, Tom Gordon, Rick White.

LoveYourSuit
03-28-2008, 01:47 PM
"RICK WHITE SUCKS !!!"


I used to love hearing those screams for the Sox fandom back when we had him.

sullythered
03-28-2008, 09:50 PM
This is weird. For the life of me, I can't remember Antonio Osuna in a Sox uniform. It wasn't that long ago, and I can remember the season pretty well. The Todd Ritchie fiasco, if the years are right. I vividly remember pretty much everybody else on the roster, but there's some kind of a black hole in my brain for Osuna. I can't explain it.:scratch:

TDog
03-29-2008, 12:09 AM
This is weird. For the life of me, I can't remember Antonio Osuna in a Sox uniform. It wasn't that long ago, and I can remember the season pretty well. The Todd Ritchie fiasco, if the years are right. I vividly remember pretty much everybody else on the roster, but there's some kind of a black hole in my brain for Osuna. I can't explain it.:scratch:


I remember Osuna quite well. He was supposed to be one of those signings that would make the Sox unbeatable in 2001, hence the contract that irritated Sean Lowe. One of the reasons I remember him so well, though was that in 2002, when he came back from his injury, I was sitting next to his pregnant wife during a game at the Cell in which people were shouting obscenities at him.

soxfanreggie
03-29-2008, 08:31 AM
Please don't remind me of Todd Ritchie! I don't want my Saturday ruined already! :D:

russ99
03-29-2008, 12:10 PM
While Linebrink's contract is a team high for a reliever, and largely dictated by current market conditions for a quality reliever - Jenks' contract will blow his out of the water when he becomes a FA in 2 or 3 years. That is if the Sox want to keep him...

btrain929
03-29-2008, 12:15 PM
While Linebrink's contract is a team high for a reliever, and largely dictated by current market conditions for a quality reliever - Jenks' contract will blow his out of the water when he becomes a FA in 2 or 3 years. That is if the Sox want to keep him...

Another interesting scenario that could play out is if Poreda is big-league ready by the end of Jenks' arbitration years/close to free agency, and they start grooming him as a closer. If Jenks keeps up his dominance, you could definitely get a nice return for him. Not that I support it, but I wouldn't put it past the Sox...

santo=dorf
03-29-2008, 02:01 PM
This is weird. For the life of me, I can't remember Antonio Osuna in a Sox uniform. It wasn't that long ago, and I can remember the season pretty well. The Todd Ritchie fiasco, if the years are right. I vividly remember pretty much everybody else on the roster, but there's some kind of a black hole in my brain for Osuna. I can't explain it.:scratch:
remember when he struck out Sosa in the 9th and went nuts? I believe it was the saturday game at home.

CubKilla
03-29-2008, 02:04 PM
The Linebrink deal is disgusting.

And I remember that K Santo. Soso didn't like getting shown up and stared Osuna down. He should have HR-hopped his happy ass right to the locker room.

sullythered
03-29-2008, 02:11 PM
remember when he struck out Sosa in the 9th and went nuts? I believe it was the saturday game at home.
That does strike a chord, but not as vividly as it should. I don't know, maybe I had one of those selective brain injuries that erases a memory or something. I was 22 and 23 years old during the period that he played for us, and I wasn't doing a lot of clean living, so to speak. That might be a contributing factor. Still, I have no problem remembering Dime-bag Simas or Sean Lowe, so who knows...

TDog
03-29-2008, 03:00 PM
While Linebrink's contract is a team high for a reliever, and largely dictated by current market conditions for a quality reliever - Jenks' contract will blow his out of the water when he becomes a FA in 2 or 3 years. That is if the Sox want to keep him...

That is assuming Jenks is still effective in a couple of years. With relief pitchers. With relief pitchers, even stud closers, it can go fast and without warning. Multiyear contracts for middle relief is even more ridiculous.

Lip Man 1
03-29-2008, 07:34 PM
But a way of life TDog, especially when you don't have squat in the minor leagues who can get folks out.

I've had my fill of "pitchers" like Arnie Munoz, Carlos Vasquez and David West thank you.

Lip

russ99
03-29-2008, 08:38 PM
That is assuming Jenks is still effective in a couple of years. With relief pitchers. With relief pitchers, even stud closers, it can go fast and without warning. Multiyear contracts for middle relief is even more ridiculous.

I think the possibility for Jenks to lose it in the next two to four years might have played a part in the size/length of the Linebrink contract, since you can reasonably expect him to step in and close, if Bobby gets hurt or becomes ineffective.

As I recall, Linebrink was quoted that he was looking for a closer job in free agency, which it was why I thought it was a bit of a surprise he signed with the Sox to solidify the setup role. Maybe Kenny made a bit of an "under the table" agreement as part of the deal? Or maybe it simply took that much cash/years to get him to come here.

I'm not complaining. You guys not on the Linebrink fan club might be after a few months. The guy can flat out pitch.

Tragg
03-29-2008, 10:03 PM
I think the possibility for Jenks to lose it in the next two to four years might have played a part in the size/length of the Linebrink contract, since you can reasonably expect him to step in and close, if Bobby gets hurt or becomes ineffective.
.
Isn't there at least an equal chance that Linebrink loses it in the next 2-4 years? Probably a greater chance, as he's the inferior pitcher (by a lot) right now.

russ99
03-30-2008, 09:00 AM
Isn't there at least an equal chance that Linebrink loses it in the next 2-4 years? Probably a greater chance, as he's the inferior pitcher (by a lot) right now.

Agree, but Linebrink is more of a finesse guy. He could lose his control, but the way Bobby pitches isn't good for an arm, and he'd be more at risk.