2 Underrated Moves by the Chicago White Sox That May Go a Long Way

Ernest Shepard@@ernestshepardAnalyst IIIFebruary 12, 2012

Mitch Mustain brings his strong arm to the White Sox pitching mound.
Mitch Mustain brings his strong arm to the White Sox pitching mound.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

On Friday, while former Chicago White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen was sounding off on WMVP-AM 1000, the team made an interesting signing, when they announced that they had agreed to a minor league contract with former college football standout Mitch Mustain. The former USC quarterback has decided to hang up his football cleats and tool his 90 miles per hour fastball.  

It is moves like this one that have put White Sox general manager Kenny Williams on the hot seat. This move is the type of move that usually works wonders for the team.

One can recall the Bobby Jenks signing as a similar move. When it was all said and done, the White Sox were able to get over five good seasons out of a player whose contract they originally purchased for only $20,000.

It was a shrewd business decision that paid huge dividends, much like the Mustain signing.

Mustain, who briefly played in the Canadian Football League last summer, does not have much of a baseball history behind him that will allow anyone to gauge what kind of pitcher he will be. However, he is an athlete, and those are hard to find in a White Sox uniform.

If he can develop a good cut fastball and changeup, Mustain would be a bona fide middle relief pitcher, or perhaps a candidate for closer down the road.

The other interesting move was the signing of the Rays' Dan Johnson. The utility player would fill a need for the White Sox bench if he can make the team. He would allow White Sox manager Robin Ventura more roster flexibility as a left-handed bat coming off of the bench to replace Omar Vizquel. He can also play some third base for the club.

It was another move that has the potential for a big payoff in the future. While I will not predict a World Series for the White Sox, it was shrewd and frugal signings that helped the White Sox win it all in 2005. They won it without the big names, while filling their roster with the Bobby Jenkses and Juan Uribes of baseball.

If they are successful in their 2012 season, remember the names of Mitch Mustain and Dan Johnson.