At the winter meetings earlier this month, it looked like a foregone conclusion that Kenny Williams would leave Dallas with Carlos Quentin no longer a member of the White Sox. Or, at least, it was speculated, because Quentin is the most expendable asset the White Sox have.
With Dayan Viciedo looking ready for a starting job, Alex Rios having an immovable contract and Alejandro De Aza playing his way into consideration for a starting role, the Sox outfield should be set without Quentin. There's still two months between now and spring training, but with more teams filling outfield holes the market for Quentin has shrunk.
And as we go on, the chances the Sox keep Quentin will increase. If they do, what could that mean?
1. Rios sees his playing time cut: It's not the easiest proposition for a first-time manager in Robin Ventura, but relegating Rios and his 12 million salary to a backup role could be beneficial to the team. In 2011, Rios was worth -0.7 WAR, making it two of the last three seasons he's been worth near or below replacement level. Of course, if Rios rebounds to his 3.7 WAR level of 2010, he'll be wasted on the bench.
2. De Aza is the backup: This would seem counter-intuitive, since he's the only player on the Sox who fits best at the No. 1 position in the lineup. If De Aza is put into a backup role, the Sox would probably have to count on Alexei Ramirez or a hopefully resurgent Gordon Beckham to lead off.
3. Viciedo sees his playing time cut: This is an even less-likely scenario, seeing as Viciedo has nothing left to prove in the minors. Maybe some sort of outfieldDH platoon could be worked out with Viciedo, Quentin and Adam Dunn, with Dunn seeing the least playing time. So maybe this title should be "Dunn sees his playing time cut."
4. The Sox aren't doing anything close to rebuilding: This point seemed to become clear when the Sox signed John Danks to a five-year extension, although they could still look to deal Gavin Floyd. But if the Sox don't trade their most trade-able asset, then no, this team isn't rebuilding at all.