It has been a boring last month plus for us White Sox fans after being ambushed by the initial excitement of a rebuild that many of us have been thirsting for for some time.
Finally, some movement occurred Friday, the Chicago Tribune’s Colleen Kane reported that the White Sox signed Peter Bourjos to a minor league deal with an invitiation to spring training.
Bourjos is a 29 year old defense first centerfielder with 7 years of major league experience. I’m personally thrilled by this move as I predicted it in my “season plan” for SouthSideSox. The rationale for a move like this is NOT to quick flip at the deadline (although the extreme tails of the future probability expectations do include that), no, Bourjos is the glove first centerfielder that covers a lot of ground and catches balls you want caught when you have a young pitching staff. He’s insurance for your cornucopia of young outfield options in the minors. Now, the smart money is on Charlie Tilson starting in CF on April 3rd, but if not, I’d expect it to be Bourjos. Regardless of whether Bourjos makes the team and is your starting centerfielder, or Charlie Tilson wins the job and is manning centerfield, this should be the best defensive centerfield the White Sox have had since the Aaron Rowand/Brian Anderson era.
In case you don’t remember some of the CF options over the last decade, I’ll remind you. In 2007, the White Sox used the combo of Jerry Owens & Darin Erstad. By 2008, the White Sox front office had enough of that and decided Nick Swisher should play CF, despite the fact that he was basically a bat first RF for his entire career, you remember how that worked out, so KW traded for Ken Griffey Jr. at the deadline. I know, I know, I was at the BlackOut Game 163 and I remember Griffey throwing out Michael Cuddyer at the plate, but Griffey was fat and slow and awful in CF for his entire Sox tenure.
The next couple of seasons, the Sox used Alex Rios in CF, remember when KW claimed him on waivers to supposedly block a division rival and the Blue Jays just let the White Sox keep him. Goddamn the KW GM years were weird. He wasn’t awful, when he was paying attention. Then were the Alejandro De Aza years, nuff said. We did get a little reprieve when the White Sox traded for Adam Eaton and he wasn’t awful in CF, but they quickly realized he was better in RF, freeing up quite a few innings for the JB Shuck Experience. Yuck.
The White Sox rebuild looks like it is determined to restore competence in many areas in which it lacked the last decade.