CHICAGO, September 24, 2013 — With the season winding down, the White Sox and the Blue Jays made up a game that was initially rained out on June 2. At that time the Blue Jays were coming off a hot streak that had put them back in contention in the AL East, while the White Sox still had Jesse Crain, Alex Rios and Jake Peavy on their roster. Last night, both teams were out of contention just playing out the string.
The focus for both teams has shifted to next year, and while the Blue Jays will be hoping for better health and looking for upgrades to their rotation, the White Sox may be looking at much more change.
The White Sox began the process of remaking their roster near the trade deadline after having missed the playoffs the last five years. The White Sox shipped Rios to Texas, Peavy and Matt Thornton to Boston in separate trades and Jesse Crain to Tampa Bay. While all these players spent the rest of the season trying to help their new teams reach the playoffs, the White Sox saved a substantial amount of money. The White Sox could face a lot more turnover this offseason.
Speculation began about a month ago that Manager Robin Ventura may not return to the team. Prior to last night’s game versus the Blue Jays, Ventura said that he “wanted to [manage] again. After that you’d like to, but we’ll discuss that after next year, as it has to be both sides (management and the manager), but that’s a discussion for another day. ” It seems like at the very least the White Sox will have stability at the helm heading into next year, but from there it will be interesting to see if GM Rick Hahn brings in any significant free agents and how the rest of the roster unfolds.
Paul Konerko has been a fixture on the Southside since 1999. Since the question arose concerning Paul retiring after this year he has been noncommittal. Friends in the sports world have advised him to take a step back in the offseason and make his decision then, which he seems intent on doing. If Konerko does decide to call it a career, he will do so as a borderline Hall of Fame candidate with a career slash line of .281/.357/.491 with 433 career homeruns, although it is likely that he will fall short in the voting with the current logjam of players stuck in voting limbo.
Adam Dunn stated earlier in the year that he may retire after the season if he was not having fun anymore. This season has been far from fun for many on the team and Dunn has struggled recently, and really all season, posting a .218/.320/.433 slash line. Dunn is scheduled to make $14 million next year so walking away may be difficult, but he has already made over $97 million in his career which should allow him to walk away if that’s what he decides. Dunn sat out last night as the White Sox look to see what they have in some of their younger players for next year. Before last night’s game though Dunn seemed optimistic about next year. He mentioned that the White Sox had some good young arms and many of the September call-ups seemed like they belonged.
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