Friday, November 20
Baseballs free-agent market opened for business at 11 p.m. on Thursday night. All of the free agents you want (and can afford) are there on the shelves. Jason Bay, John Lackey, Matt Holliday, Chone Figgins, Jermaine Dye, etc.
But as I write this 12 hours later, it hasnt exactly been a Black Friday Thanksgiving stampede of general managers ramming themselves through the front door of the Baseball Free Agent Store, shelling out wads of cash for John Q. Overpriced Center Fielder or the Scott Boras Overhyped Client of the Week.
At least not yet.
Maybe its a sign of the times. Maybe teams (other than the Yankees and Red Sox) are choosing to sit on the sidelines with the hopebelief that many of these players will be left unsold after the holidays, and they can hunt for bargains when the players end up at the Lighthouse Outlet mall in Michigan City, Ind., come January.
As for the White Sox, they are gradually plotting their course for next season, and putting a priority on defense.
Ken Rosenthal reported Friday morning that the Sox are close to signing a one-year deal with 11-time Gold Glove shortstop Omar Vizquel to be a three-tentacle utility infielder, playing shortstop, second base and third base. Yes, Omar is old. Hell turn 43 in April.
But he is still in great shape. He didnt make a single error in 62 games last year with the Rangers. Think Juan Uribe without the strikeouts and large booty.
What do Sox fans think about Vizquel? Heres what some of you sent back to me on Twitter:
OneOfTheMikes@ChuckGarfien: I like the defense and versatility it provides, and its hard to be as bad as Lillibridge was with the bat. So yeah, thumbs up
Kaufmak@ChuckGarfien: Vizquel is getting long in the tooth, but still plays a solid SS and I'm guessing BA is in the high 200s. Me likey.
Lawry29@ChuckGarfien: Love it ... amazing defense
discodan42@ChuckGarfien: No. Isn't he collecting social security?
mukite@ChuckGarfien: Can Omar play manager instead and have Ozzie be shortstop when needed?
Good stuff. And for the record, Vizquel batted .266 last season with a .316 on-base percentage. He even hit a home run. His last Gold Glove came in 2006.
In other news, the White Sox are still looking for someone to play right field. They bought out Jermaine Dyes contract two weeks ago. The Sox could bring him back at a lesser price. Thoughts?
ChiSoxExaminer@ChuckGarfien: as a DH maybe, as a RF no. But JD says he only wants to play RF ... so no.
OneOfTheMikes@ChuckGarfien: Thanks for the memories Jermaine, but your .184 second half bought you a one-way ticket out of Chicago.
pirate_prentice@ChuckGarfien: Time to move on. I love Jermaine, but I don't think he fits into what the Sox need to do.
Not much love for Jermaine.
Yesterday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Yankees are quietly shopping former Sox outfielder Nick Swisher. So soon? A Yankees official said today that the report is untrue, but before he did, I got this reaction via Twitter:
bengarmoe@ChuckGarfien: I only want Swisher if we can get Erstad, Anderson and Mackowiak for an an outfield all-decade bust team.
EversoleJ@ChuckGarfien: How could someone not like his childish behavor? Oh yes, this is professional sports, not the Alpha Beta Phi House.
ryanwallace@ChuckGarfien: Surprise, surprise! Tell them they can have Jeff Marquez, but Jhonny Nunez is untouchable.
joelshoe@ChuckGarfien: We should try to get Wilson Betemit back, and re-acquire Swisher for Betemit. Joking, but he would fit well at DH, I think.
KimmyisAwesome@ChuckGarfien: to quote Journey, I would welcome @NickSwisher with "Open Arms.
I dont think Ozzie would.
And finally, fill in the blank: On Opening Day, the White Sox leadoff hitter will be________
TiffanyHeyy@chuckgarfien: SCOTT PODSEDNIK
Princesss919@ChuckGarfien: Scotty Pods (I hope)
OneOfTheMikes@ChuckGarfien: Johnny Damon