So after starting this post two weeks ago (I kid you not--two weeks), a ton of free-agents have been signed to ridiculously rich contracts. My personal vote for most ridiculous thus far is Gary Matthews Jr.'s 5 year $50 million deal. While the Cubs may regret their borderline absured Soriano contract in 4 years or so, my money's on the Angels regretting the Matthews contract in oh, about 6 or 7 months. Plenty of bloggers have talked about this with more depth and knowledge than I will here, but what it boils down to is that the 32-year-old Matthews cashed in on a career year that far, far, far outpaced his previous production. I could cite a myriad of stats to illustrate this point, but I'll just steal this one from ESPN: "Matthews posted a career-high .313 batting average for the Rangers this year; that's 50 points higher than his career average (.263) and 58 points higher than his 2005 mark (.255)." Enjoy your new outfielder, Angels fans.
Anyway, on to the White Sox. Constructing a free agent wish list is pretty much completely a waste of time in the case of the White Sox, since their acquisitions will almost certainly come by way of trade, particularly of a starting pitcher (I'd rather see Contreras go first, followed by Garcia, Buehrle, Vazquez, and Garland... and most of that has to do with age... Contreras is about 45 now, right?). Anyway, since a free agent wish list is a complete waste of time, it seemed perfect fodder for a blog post.
As I (and virtually all the White Sox blogs I read) see it, the Sox could most benefit by upgrading in the outfield (I'm looking at you Podsednik--I'm giving BA a free pass for last year and I hope Ozzie and Kenny do too), the bullpen, and backup catcher. So now that a bunch of overpaid outfielders are already off the board (oooh, Soriano would have looked good in left and leading off... for the next 4 years, not the next 8), who's left?
JD Drew -- I do NOT want JD Drew on my team. Luckily, there's virtually zero chance of that because Kenny's not gonna throw the kind of money and years at Drew that he's going to get from some idiotic team (here's looking at you, BoSox).
Aubrey Huff -- I'm not thrilled about Huff; he's 30 and he hasn't really been that good since 2004. He may be over the hill, and if he replaces Podsednik there's no one to leadoff. Sorry, Aubrey, you have a girls name anyway.
Raul Mondesi -- Hahaha. I'm just bullshittin'. But that was fun, no? (aside: I hate Raul Mondesi for ruining the value of his Upper Deck die cut platinum plus baseball card that I so coveted when I was 13 years old. I should have sold that fucker when I had the chance).
Kenny Lofton -- Kenny fits the prototype for who the Sox would need to kick Podsednik to the curb. Yeah, he's ancient (he'll turn 40 next season!), but he last year he hit .301 with an OBP of .360 and stole 32 bags, only getting caught 5 times. Compare this to Podsednik, who hit .261 with an OBP of .330, stealing 40 bags and getting caught 19 times (19!!! That floored me; I knew he was bad, but that number is astronomical). Kenny'd also be a relatively cheap, short-term contract. Plus, I like Kenny. He has a pretty smile. And he's from East Chicago.
Dave Roberts -- He's got the edge of 5 years of youth on Kenny, but he'd come at a higher price and a longer-term deal. Last year was pretty much a career year for Roberts, hitting .293 with an OBP of .360, stealing 49 and getting caught 6 times. Red Sox fans can verify that Roberts is capable of coming up with a clutch steal, too. I don't think there's a wrong answer between Roberts and Lofton--we just desperately need to replace Podsednik (I love you for your 2005 early season stealing and postseason homers, Scott, but you just flat out suck ass now. Sorry.)
Well, I think that pretty much does it. I could toss out names for bullpen and catching help, but rest assured that they'd pretty much just be random names that I happened to recognize, without any real concept of if they'd amount to shit or not. This is why I'm not a GM. That said, please sign Dave Roberts or Kenny Lofton, Kenny. Please...