What a difference a day can make for a baseball team during the offseason.
The Chicago White Sox went from watching the reigning American League Central champ Minnesota Twins earn a right to talk to the "next Ichiro," to the Detroit Tigers signing Victor Martinez to bat behind Miguel Cabrera, to arguably becoming the best team in the division with one swoop of signings.
Two days ago, the White Sox were a team with no catcher, no first baseman, no DH and a lineup that would feature Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin in the middle power positions.
With an awful defense, the White Sox were going to ask a whole lot from the team's pitching staff to simply compete.
It looked as though the White Sox would be drowning at the bottom with the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals rather than swimming to the top with the Tigers and Twins.
After parting ways with closer Bobby Jenks, the White Sox signed Adam Dunn to a four-year, $56 million deal, adding a left-handed power bat to the lineup.
We've seen the numbers. His worst on-base percentage of his career in a full season was last season at .356. He's the only guy in baseball who has hit 38 home runs or more in the last seven seasons. He takes pitches, hits bombs, walks and strikes out a lot.
Dunn is entering a hitter's ballpark, but changing from the National League to the American League, which generally is not good for any player. However, in interleague play, Dunn hit .247 with 36 home runs and an OBP of .362 in 478 bats in 134 games. Switching leagues shouldn't be a huge problem.
What was the problem for White Sox fans was whether or not Dunn's glove would be anywhere near the field.
Well, as soon as Dunn was signed, the return of Paul Konerko rumors began. GM Kenny Williams has stated that the White Sox have the resources to bring back Konerko.
Latest MLB rumors had Konerko being eyed by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago Cubs. The Diamondbacks, however, recently withdrew from Konerko.
News out of Konerko camp was that the Orioles offered Konerko a significant deal, however, having Dunn batting behind you with the team you've played for for the last 12 seasons could be hard to pass up, especially in favor of the lowly Orioles.
The grape vine passed a note to this girl in class who whispered to my best friend that Konerko could sign with the White Sox today (Friday).
Rumors aside, the White Sox may have to wait until the winter meetings to go after Konerko, as he is logically going to test the waters.
Rumors moved from aside to in front of us, if the White Sox bring him back, Konerko would sure up keeping a glove away from Dunn, which is huge for the White Sox defensively.
Williams has said the White Sox are going "all in" this season, which seems to mean they are going to spend more than expected. One would think, Konerko, being 34, will not leave unless it is for a contender and with the Yankees going after Cliff Lee, the Red Sox having David Ortiz and the Angels and Rays showing no interest, his best option seems to be Chicago for a little less money.
Then again, athletes tend to surprise everyone, which makes following them such a joy.
Which leads us to the final question among White Sox faithful. Who is going to be catching for this team?
Well, that was also answered late last night, as the White Sox re-signed A.J. Pierzysnki to a two-year, $8 million deal.
Although he can't always hit nor can he throw out batters, the man can call a game behind the plate and has worked with the entire White Sox pitching staff, which is a tough thing to replace.
A lineup of:
Alex Rios (perhaps Dunn)
Adam Dunn (perhaps Rios)
with a starting staff of:
Jake Peavy (Chris Sale if Peavy is out)
doesn't look too shabby.
But, and there has been this but for most of the decade for White Sox fans, is this team good enough to beat the Minnesota Twins?
Unfortunately, that question will have to wait.
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