Posts Tagged ‘Omar Vizquel’

Chicago White Sox Unretire Number For Vizquel

February 9, 2010

There is a pretty cool story coming out of Chicago. And no it’s not that Chicago Bears’ coach Lovie Smith got fired or Chicago Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry figured out how to be a major league GM.

The Chicago White Sox are the team in Chicago that is doing a cool thing.

Vizquel will wear No. 11 with the Chi Sox

The White Sox are unretiring Luis Aparicio’s No. 11 and giving it to newly signed SS Omar Vizquel. As long as the player whose number is being unretired doesn’t have a problem with this, then this is completely fine by me.

Aparicio clearly doesn’t have a problem with this.

“If there is one player who I would like to see wear my uniform number with the White Sox, it is Omar Vizquel,” Aparicio said in a statement through ESPN.com. “I have known Omar for a long time. Along with being an outstanding player, he is a good and decent man.”

What’s cool about this is that it’s one Venezuelan Hall of Fame shortstop giving his number to another Venezuelan future Hall of Fame shortstop. When Vizquel does hang up his spikes, he will be a HOF’er.

I think it’s great when a player of today remembers of the players of yesterday. If Vizquel can get just one fan to find a new found appreciation for Aparicio, then this decision is worth it.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

White Sox Continue To Add, Trade For Juan Pierre

December 15, 2009

Guess which team has been the most aggressive this offseason?

The New York Yankees? Nope. The Los Angeles Dodgers? Not even close. The Boston Red Sox? Maybe.

How about the Chicago White Sox? Bingo.

On top of adding Jake Peavy and Alex Rios towards the end of last season, the White Sox have added Mark Teahen, Omar Vizquel, Andruw Jones, JJ Putz, and now they have added Juan Pierre this offseason.

According to various sources, the White Sox have acquired Pierre from the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor league pitchers. The Dodgers will get to pick two minor league pitchers from a list provided by the White Sox.

Pierre is waving goodbye to LA

Pierre has two-years and $18.5 million remaining on his contract. However, the Dodgers will pay $10 million of Pierre’s contract. The White Sox will pay Pierre $3 million in 2010 and $5 million in 2011.

The White Sox are really being aggressive this offseason. There is no reason for the White Sox not to be aggressive playing in the weak AL Central.

The Cleveland Indians are rebuilding, the Kansas City Royals are a mess, and the Detroit Tigers are selling off pieces left and right. That leaves just the White Sox and Minnesota Twins to compete in the AL Central.

Does Pierre put the White Sox ahead of the Twins in 2010? Probably not because I really don’t see how the White Sox are better because of this trade.

Player A hit .308 with zero home runs, a .365 OBP, a .392 Slugging Percentage, and 30 stolen bases in 2009.

Player B hit .304 with seven home runs, a .353 OBP, .412 Slugging Percentage, and 30 stolen bases in 2009.

The difference between these players is negligible. Player A is available via trade and Player B is available via free agency. So if all things are pretty much equal, wouldn’t you go with the player that is going to cost you less?

Player A is Pierre and Player B is Scott Podsednik.

I have no idea what prospects the White Sox are giving up. But I don’t care if they include me in the deal–a prospect is still a prospect and a prospect is a commodity.

Why give up two prospects and pay Pierre when they could have had essentially the same player (Podsednik) for no prospects and probably less than what they are paying Pierre?

I don’t get it.

I like the fact that the White Sox are being aggressive, but sometimes they would be better off making the simpler move. The simple move here would be to just re-sign Podsednik.

As for the Dodgers, this is a pure salary dump. The Dodgers are in such a financial mess right now that saving $8 million is a big deal for them right now.

I’ll update this story once it’s confirmed what prospects are going to the Dodgers.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

New York Mets Re-sign, Overpay Alex Cora

December 1, 2009

According to the Associated Press, the New York Mets have re-signed utility infielder Alex Cora to a one-year, $2 million contract with $2 million vesting option for 2011 if Cora starts 80 games.

Cora is a "Veteran Presence"

This is a classic “Veteran Presence” vs. “Glue Guy” signing by the Mets.

My definition of a “Veteran Presence” is a washed up player, who tries to latch on with a team. They really have nothing to offer a team except being a good clubhouse guy.

Cliff Floyd last year with the San Diego Padres is a perfect example of a “Veteran Presence.”

My definition of a “Glue Guy” is a veteran guy, who still has something left and comes to a new team and brings them together both on the field and off. The greatest example of a “Glue Guy” would be Terry Pendleton of the Atlanta Braves in 1991.

The Mets decided to re-sign a “Veteran Presence” in Cora. Normally I don’t have a problem with a signing like Cora. Most teams in baseball have a player like Cora on their team.

However, paying a player like Cora $2 million is ludicrous.

Look at it from this perspective. The Chicago White Sox just signed Andruw Jones and Omar Vizquel for a COMBINED $1.7 million.

Vizquel, despite being 43-years-old can still play defense with anyone. Jones still has the ability to hit a home run off the bench.

Cora has the ability to do neither. Cora’s OPS dipped from .719 in 2008 to .630, he can’t hit for power off the bench, and at 34-years-old (Cora will be 35 at the end of next season) Cora is a mediocre fielder at this point in his career.

Why Mets GM Omar Minya felt the need to sign Cora for $2 million at the beginning of the free agency period is beyond me. There were no other teams in on Cora.

Minaya could have waited until February to sign Cora and probably could have signed him to a deal anywhere between $500 thousand and $1 million.

Essentially what Minaya did was bid against himself.

A move like this shouldn’t be surprising to Mets fans because this is the same GM who gave a 48-year-old Julio Franco a two-year contract in 2006 when no other team was even willing to give him a one-year deal.

The more moves the Mets make, the more I am convinced they have no clue how to do business. Signing a “Veteran Presence” to a $2 million contract is just another example of that.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Chicago White Sox Sign Omar Vizquel

November 23, 2009

I love when teams make good personnel decisions. It makes me giddy.

Today, the Chicago White Sox signed SS and future Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel to a one-year, $1.375 million deal. Vizquel, who is 43-years-old hit .266 with a .660 OPS in 2009 with the Texas Rangers.

Vizquel can still pick-it at SS

I really like this move for the White Sox.

Vizquel will serve as a backup infielder and as a mentor to Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham. Who better to serve as a mentor to a young middle infielder than one of–if not the best defensive (cue Cardinal fan crying Ozzie Smith here) shortstop of all time.

The Rangers used Vizquel in this role last year for Elvis Andrus and that worked out quite well.

Not only will Vizquel serve as a mentor, but he can still pick-it with anyone defensively. He is not a washed up player, who is just looking to hang on. AKA: “A veteran presence.”

Vizquel played 62 games in the field last year at short, second and third, and didn’t commit an error. His UZR at shortstop was 5.3, which is very, very respectable. He also had a 3.3 UZR at third, which was better than Michael Young and David Wright.

The 11-time Gold Glove winner will be entering his 22nd season in the major leagues.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg