White Sox' starting rotation, bullpen look solid
When they signed Jake Peavy to a two-year $29 million extension and picked up Gavin Floyd's $9.5 million option on the same day (Oct. 30), the White Sox set their starting rotation for 2013.
Peavy and Floyd join Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and John Danks, who is expected to be fully recovered from shoulder surgery by spring training.
As for the bullpen, the Sox appear to be in good shape with closer Addison Reed, Nate Jones, Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton.
And don't forget about left-handed specialist Donnie Veal, left-hander Hector Santiago, who can also start, and right-hander Brian Omogrosso.
That's a solid group of relievers, so the White Sox' decision to decline the $10 million club option on Brett Myers was hardly a surprise.
Myers is a free agent, and the 32-year-old pitcher is attracting interest — as a starter.
After joining the Sox in a trade from the Astros last season, Myers was 3-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 35 relief appearances.
But the veteran right-hander has been a starter for much of his 11-year career and he'd like to return to the rotation.
Not surprisingly, Myers might land with the Twins.
Minnesota was 66-96 last season and ranked last in the American League with 62 quality starts.
Myers could also return to the Phillies, where he pitched from 2002-09.
While new White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said A.J. Pierzynski could very well return to the South Side, the veteran catcher is rumored to be closer to a deal with either the Rangers or Rays.
Considering he makes his off-season home in Orlando, Fla., Tampa Bay appears to be the ideal fit for Pierzynski, who turns 36 on Dec. 30.
If he does exit the White Sox after hitting a career-high 27 home runs last season, who steps in for Pierzynski?
Tyler Flowers is the obvious candidate, but he had to take a pass on getting needed at-bats in winter ball after fracturing his left hand late in the season.
Flowers has obvious upside — he is a skilled defender and hits with impressive power — but he's played a grand total of 108 games with the Sox over the past four seasons while batting .205 with 12 home runs and 29 RBI.
Most White Sox fans still cringe at the mere thought of Nick Swisher, who spent one forgettable season (2008) on the South Side.
Now a free agent after spending the past four years with the Yankees, the 32-year-old outfielder is attracting plenty of interest.
Expected to land a four-year deal in the $50 million range, Swisher is rumored to be drawing interest from the Red Sox, Braves, Giants, Mariners and Phillies. The Indians are emerging as an intriguing darkhorse team for Swisher.
If you don't think the White Sox struck a good deal with free-agent starter Jake Peavy, wait until Zack Greinke signs.
It's a weak market for quality starters this winter, and Greinke is expected to sign a deal in the six-year, $140 million range.
While the Angels are positioned to keep Greinke, the Dodgers are flush with cash and need a top-end starter.
The Rangers and Nationals are also expected to make big pushes for Greinke, who might make a decision at next week's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.
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