Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Winter meetings, Day Two: White Sox strike

Jeff Samardzija has never
had a 10-win season.
The word in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (at least here in the Central time zone) was that the Chicago White Sox had both traded for Jeff Samardzija and signed David Robertson.

The first is a power starter who had a 2.99 ERA last season, the second a closer who racked up 39 saves as the successor to Mariano Rivera as the Yankees closer.

Added to the quick free agent signing of first baseman Adam LaRoche and reliever Zach Duke, plus the anticipated return to health of outfielder Avisail Garcia, these moves had some people proclaiming the Sox contenders in the AL Central for 2015.

I'm not so sure.

Every winter some team makes a big splash in the transactions market and is acclaimed the winner of the offseason, and then those expectations come to naught. Remember the Toronto Blue Jays a couple of winters ago? They added Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson and ohmigosh, what a team. They finished fifth, a.k.a. last.

Activity in December does not necessarily equate to wins in the summer.

Samardzija, LaRoche and Robertson might make the Sox better, Or the Sox might just spin their wheels.

The well-traveled LaRoche is 35 and slashed .248/.347/.429 the past two years combined in Washington. I don't see him as a real upgrade from the debated (and retired) Adam Dunn as the lefty slugger in the middle of the lineup.

Samardzija's reputation, and his talent, outshines his fairly pedestrian 36-48, 3.85 career record. He does represent an upgrade for the White Sox rotation, but his track record doesn't compare to the first three guys in the Tiger rotation, even excluding free-agent Max Scherzer.

The 2014 Sox had a below average offense (particularly troublesome for the White Sox because their home park is a hitters haven) and one of the worst defenses in the league. At the moment they have no obvious second baseman, a problem at catcher and an outfield that figures to display about as much range as the Twins outfield, which is to say not much at all.

I still don't see them as a threat to the Tigers and Royals at the top of the division.

1 comment:

  1. Just saw a report that the twins are seriously interested in Ervin Santana. Why, why, why? I sure hope they "lose" this signing.