The disaster that was the 2011 Chicago White Sox has finally come to an end. One thing that will be certain is that change is definitely on the horizon. The Sox need a new manager in addition to some changes on the roster. Listed below are what I expect those changes might look like.
Kenny Williams has stated that he has a short list and is ready to act fast. Buddy Bell has already removed his name from consideration which I feel is a good thing. Bell hasn't really wowed in his past managerial gigs so let him keep his role in the scouting department. I feel there are three names on Kenny's list. Sandy Alomar, Jr, Tony Larussa, and Dave Martinez.
Sandy Alomar has been rumored for years to be ready to manage a big league team. Recently he has been on Manny Acta's staff with the over achieving Cleveland Indians. I like Alomar as a choice. Former catchers have had a lot of success as managers, Mike Scioscia, Bob Brenly, Joe Girardi, etc. Sandy would be a lot different than Ozzie in that he seems a little more on the laid back side, but would be respected by his team like Guillen was.
Dave Martinez is another former White Sox player who is ready to manage. He has been Joe Maddon's right hand man with Tampa the past few seasons and as the Rays continue to impress so does Martinez. Much like Alomar he is on the quiet side at least to the public, but would be respected by his squad.
Tony Larussa is an interesting selection. The former Sox manager has publically stated he wants to manage only a few more seasons and then move into the front office. The White Sox could give him the opportunity to do both. Larussa and Reinsdorf are great friends and it wouldn't be shocking to see Larussa come back for two or three seasons to manage the Sox and then move into a Team President role.
If I had to select who I think will get the job I would have to go with Sandy Alomar. I like the move and think some new life is what this team needs. We should know soon.
The White Sox had a talented roster that severely underachieved this past season. A lot of the roster is still locked up for 2012, but some decisions will need to be made. I've listed below the current roster and what I would do with each player for next season.
Dylan Axelrod- Definitely worth a look in 2012. Could be a fifth starter or long reliever. Will get a long look in Spring.
Mark Buehrle- The face of the White Sox for the last 10 years, I think has made his last appearance. Unlike Konerko last season, Buehrle will be sought after by a lot more teams in free agency and should get paid quite well. A left hander who will give you 200 innings every season is such a luxury. I'd love to have him back, but would be surprised if he was.
Jesse Crain- Signed next year and will continue to be key RH setup man.
John Danks- With Buehrle likely gone Danks will likely become the staff ace in 2012. Hopefully will get off to a better start.
Gavin Floyd- Possible trade candidate in the offseason because he might have peaked. If not will be a middle of the rotation guy.
Jason Frasor- Has an option for the club to pick up in 2012. Hasn't been too bad so think he'll be back.
Philip Humber- His first half of the season has warranted him a spot in 2012. Plus he is very affordable,
Josh Kinney- Most likely will return to minors.
Shane Lindsay- Nice story but not sure he has a place on this team.
Will Ohman- Signed next season and expect he will be back to fill that middle inning left-hander role.
Jake Peavy- Signed for a lot of money and no chance to move him. He'll be back and hopefully to his old form.
Addison Reed- May get a look in spring training and could make club as a middle reliever if others get traded.
Chris Sale- I expect him to replace Mark Buehrle in the rotation.
Sergio Santos- No reason to think he won't be closer in 2012.
Zach Stewart- Will battle for fifth starter spot. Worthy of a roster spot.
Matt Thornton- Looks to be late inning left-handed setup man.
A.J. Pierzynski- I think part of the new look White Sox should include trading A.J. He makes a decent buck and I think Tyler Flowers is ready to be everyday catcher.
Tyler Flowers- Ready to be starting catcher, but that all depends on what happens with A.J. I hope Flowers is the starting catcher.
Gordon Beckham- No reason to think he won't be starting second baseman again. Would like to see him live up to all the hype. Still don't know if he'll ever be a star.
Paul Konerko- The Captain will be back at first base once again.
Brent Morel- Morel had a nice finish to 2011. Great glove and started to hit. Should be 3B for a long time on South Side.
Alexei Ramirez- Will be your starting shortstop once again.
Omar Vizquel- I think Omar may be joining Ozzie on South Beach. Don't think he'll be back.
Brent Lillibridge- Super utility man will be back in that role next year.
Adam Dunn- Well you know it can't get worse for Dunn in 2012. Hopefully things will get back to normal for Dunn next season.
Alejandro De Aza- Should be your starting left fielder and lead off hitter in 2012.
Juan Pierre- Will be elsewhere in 2012. Great guy who works hard, but time for a change.
Carlos Quentin- Ready for a contract, but I think that'll be elsewhere.
Alex Rios- Still owed lot of money and will be back. So much potential. Would be nice if he lived up to it.
Dayan Viciedo- Should be starting right fielder next season.
The A.L. Central will only get better in 2012 and it will be interesting to see where the White Sox are in that mix. There will be changes, but most of those will be in-house. Don't expect any major free agent signings in the offseason. This team has talent and if they live up to it could be in contention. It's going to be an interesting offseason.