I waited to weigh in on the most recent news involving the White Sox organization until it was official. Mark Teahen is coming to the South Side while Chris Getz and Josh Fields pack their bags for Kansas City. The White Sox wanted the versatile Teahen to add youth to an aging outfield or add experience to a youthful infield depending on what source you asked. The Royals obviously wanted to lower their average team age back down below 28 and Teahen would not help them meet that organizational goal.
When I initially heard about the trade, I figured it was a good trade for two reasons: 1) Josh Fields did not have a spot on this team as the most recent winner of the annual Brian Anderson/Joe Borchard award; and 2) while Chris Getz performed only a little bit off the pace of AL Rookie of the Year, Gordon Beckham, the Sox were smart to sell high on the 26 year old who had outperformed most expectations for him.
Remember at the beginning of 2009, Brent Lillibridge and Jayson Nix were expected to play over Getz. Ignoring Lillibridge’s lilliputian production, Nix remains and could serve the same role as last year (slugging utility man) or could start at 3B if Teahen stays in the outfield.
What’s that? Kenny Williams announced Teahen will start at 3B and Gordon Beckham will move to 2B? Well Crap… as smart as Kenny is, this is a stupid announcement. I’m sure that we’ll hear that he wanted to make this announcement early so that the wunderkind Beckham could spend the entire offseason perfecting the pivot turning the double play from the 2B position. But is this necessary? No!
The Sox had a Rookie of the Year runner-up at 2B in 2008. That same individual, who goes by Alexei Ramirez or “You ‘Effing Moron” depending on your mood, was pretty horrible at SS in 2009. With 75 more total chances in 2009 at SS than at 2B during his rookie year, Ramirez’ error total rose from 11 to 20 total errors. We should have seen this coming as (in an admittedly small sample size) he couldn’t go 24 total chances at SS in 2008 with committing an error. This pace would’ve put him at 23 errors if he played SS full-time in 2008.
So considering that one of the major failings of the White Sox team in 2009 was their collective team defense, wouldn’t the organization want to put the players in their best natural positions? I say make it official: Ramirez back to 2B, slide Beckham to SS (his college position, not his “I played it once in the Cape Cod League position) and then tell newbie Mark Teahen that he’ll play at the hot corner or in RF depending on what they can muster in free agency. While Jermaine Dye is likely out, the Sox could always resign him for cheap and hope he bounces back like he did in 2008 from a similar slump in 2007.
Hell, let’s see if Kenny aims for a Jason Bay or Matt Holliday in free agency, although with their new championship, the Yankees will likely sign them both to 8-figure/year salaries.