Kenny Williams is known for taking risks. Some of them work out, others don't. Over the winter, he made a handful of acquisitions that (at the time) I considered highly questionable. Here's a look at five of the biggest pick ups, and how Williams has fared so far.
|2010 - Omar Vizquel||10||31||3||4||1||0||0||2||4||7||0||1||.129||.222||.161|
One of the last remaining players who saw the 80's, Vizquel seems to be taking up a place on the bench but providing little else. He's played 36 innings at second base, 20 at third and just 19 at short.
Contract: 1 year, $1.375 million
|2010 - Andruw Jones||26||92||16||24||4||1||9||17||14||24||6||0||.261||.364||.620|
A whole decade younger than Vizquel (okay, off by one day), Jones' performance has been better than what Chicago might have hoped for. He's had three multi-homer games already this season, so hopefully we don't catch him on a good day. At any rate, his penchant for a walk from time to time and his ability to catch up with anything that hangs still makes him dangerous. He's definitely on pace to smash his home run total from 2009 (17).
Contract: 1 year, $500 K
|2010 - J.J. Putz||0-2||11||0||0||0||0||1||11.0||10||6||6||2||3||16||4.91||1.18|
The 33-year old Putz (he looks like one, doesn't he?) has done pretty well in his role with the Sox. He was bitch-slapped by the Blue Jays a couple days ago, otherwise his numbers would look even better. His big difference this year: some measure of control has returned. It helps that guys are swinging at tons of his offerings outside of the strike zone again. It's early, but it's a good sign for Putz and for Chicago.
Contract: 1 year, $3 million
|2010 - Juan Pierre||31||126||14||29||0||0||0||3||7||7||15||4||.230||.292||.230|
Here, the Dodgers dumped Pierre to free them of his contract. While the Sox only sent a couple of borderline pitching prospects to LA, they did get Pierre's terrible contract. And Pierre who, let's be honest, really wasn't a hot commodity. He's been moved to left field, which has turned his terrible range in center to pretty damn solid in the corner. But that doesn't change the fact that his best asset is still his speed, which can't be used offensively unless he gets on base. And, in spite of his 1-to-1 walk-to-strikeout ratio, he's not really a big base on balls kind of guy...which means his on-base skills are largely tied to his batting average. I don't blame Williams for going out and grabbing a versatile outfielder, but two things play against it: Pierre's contract and Pierre's performance.
Contract: 2 years, $8 million remaining on Chi-Town's books
|2010 - Mark Teahen||29||87||10||20||3||1||2||7||12||23||2||2||.230||.323||.356|
Traded for spare parts that weren't going to get playing time, Teahen has some versatility to him as well. But he's never actually been a good player. A good role player maybe, a good guy to have on the bench probably, but not a guy you want to go out of your way to pick up and give a lot of playing time to, right? At least he's on the right side of 30, which might be the best thing you can say about him.
Contract: 3 years, $14 million
There are a few more we could go over. Ramon Castro, Randy Williams or Jayson Nix, but these are the guys who are actually seeing the field. It's not a bad ratio for successes-to-failures, especially with a couple of cheap gambles on Putz and Jones. What keeps it from being a good crop isn't so much the fact that three of them suck, but the fact that two of them are making way too much money.
Two big games, kicking off tonight. Let's go win.