That sound you hear from the South Side of Chicago is a collective sigh of relief from White Sox fans, as Paul Konerko agreed to a 5-year, $60 million contract to remain with Chicago, according to ESPN. Konerko is not exactly Albert Pujols, but the alternatives if Konerko didn't sign were not very appealing. Baltimore (who reportedly offering Konerko $65 million) and Anaheim will have to look elsewhere for offensive production.
Like last year's offseason, ESPN.com has done a great job of organizing the ongoings of the hot stove league this year. One link I visit frequently is the Free Agent Tracker, which, well, I think you can figure that out for yourself.
Another starter from the White Sox World Series team is gone: Aaron Rowand and 2 minor leaguers have been traded to Philadelphia for Jim Thome and $22 million (pending a physical). This is a very bold move by Chicago GM Ken Williams, and the success or failure of this trade all rests on the health of Jim Thome. Unfortunately, that's not a good bet considering Thome's recent history and age, but if the left handed slugger can put together a couple offensive years similar to his prime, Chicago will have a potent lineup to go along with their stellar pitching, especially if they can re-sign Paul Konerko.
From the Phillies standpoint, Thome's departure gives them a chance to play Ryan Howard every day, and Rowand is a solid, affordable outfielder who will help the team in the field and at the plate.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from The Commish Online! My gift to you is my fearless football forecast:
Take Detroit and the 3 points, and take Denver giving 2.5.
With the Marlins sending off Beckett and Lowell to Boston and likely shipping Delgado to New York, this is starting to look a lot like the Marlins after their surprising World Series victory in '97. The dismantling has begun, but it may pay off in the long run. Lowell was a high priced commodity and Beckett's regular season history is simply average. Delgado is a pure hitter, but playing a better "value" first baseman will give Florida more leverage for the other positions needed to fill.
Defense matters, and thankfully the writers agree, naming Alex Rodriguez the 2005 AL MVP, edging out DH David Ortiz.
With most of the hardware dished out (still awaiting the MVP awards), ESPN has a nice rundown and who's won what so far. Who had Colon and Carpenter as Cy Young winners at the beginning of the year? Didn't think so...
For those of you not "in the know," today is the 50th anniversary of the day Doc Brown invented time travel. Unless you have a DeLorean in your possession, you probably can't make it to California in time for the big celebration. Instead, pop in the DVD or VHS of Back to the Future and relive the greatest movie of all time on a special anniversary. If you don't own a copy, then you are not American. In that case, visit BTTF, an excellent website for all things McFly.
With the baseball season behind us, TCO will still keep you up to date on the important happenings about what's cooking on the "hot stove," but we may also veer from baseball a bit to keep your interest in these winter months. Expect some football prognostication, the occasional basketball reference, and a few Foul Territory articles in the coming months.
The Gold Gloves were announced for both leagues, but you will notice I have not provided a link to view the winners. All you need to know about this lifetime achievement award is that Rafael Palmeiro won the Gold Glove at 1B in 1999 despite playing just 28 games in the field that year.
Surprising news in Boston: young GM Theo Epstein has resigned rather than accepting a 3-year deal reportedly worth $4.5 million.
Already making hot stove moves right after winning the World Series, the White Sox will not be bring back Carl Everett in 2006. On the player's side, Frank Thomas (in a no-brainer move) exercised his option for 2006 which will pay him $10 million next year. The White Sox can counter by buying him out at $3.5 million. The smart money says GM Ken Williams will buy out Thomas and possibly negotiate a smaller deal, likely with hefty incentives.