The Chicago White Sox have until 11 p.m. CT on Friday night to extend tender contract offers to second baseman Gordon Beckham, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, first baseman Dan Johnson and starting pitcher Philip Humber. Beckham and De Aza will certainly receive offers from the Sox based on past production and expected future output, but Johnson and Humber may be on their way out the door.
The payroll for the Sox will push $100 million once again this season, and there isn't a lot of wiggle room for general manager Rick Hahn, but Humber presents an interesting case. The 29-year-old pitcher is a former No. 3 overall pick from the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft, and during his time with the White Sox he tossed a perfect game in 2012 against the Seattle Mariners. He posted an 14-14 record and a 4.79 ERA over two seasons in Chicago, and during that span he was worth $17 million to the Sox by virtue of producing 3.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs.com
Humber's tender offer is roughly $1.1 million, but his value all depends on whether he can recapture any of the magic he had during the 2011 season. Good starting pitching is never cheap, so will Hahn take a low-cost gamble? Here's how Jim Margalus of South Side Sox put it:
"Do you believe a kid from Nacogdoches, Texas, could throw a perfect game, only to be unceremoniously dumped at the end of the year because his team couldn't see how said kid could justify an estimated $1.1 million price tag?"
Meanwhile, Johnson is essentially a career minor-league player who is already 33 years old, so he's expected to be on his way out.