With today’s non-tendering of closer Bobby Jenks, the current White Sox roster shows Mark Buehrle as the sole holdover from the 2005 World Champions.
Depending on what transpires on the free agent market, Buehrle may yet have company if the South Siders sign Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski or Freddy Garcia. If I were a betting man, I’d say A.J. has the best chance of returning, with Garcia possible and Konerko doubtful. Regarding Paulie, the latest scoop has the Sox closing in on slugger Adam Dunn, which may or may not signal Konerko’s exit. Although I won’t believe it until it happens, the long-time Sox first baseman may be headed to Baltimore, which has already made him an offer.
I would be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to Jenks. He recently wore out his welcome with his weight problem and heartbreaking series of blown saves, but for the most part he was a godsend. Coming on strong during the ’05 season when Shingo Takatsu failed and Dustin Hermanson couldn’t stay healthy, he was money as the Pale Hose closer in their successful run to glory and continued his excellence for most of the five years since. And who can ever forget Ozzie’s hilarious call to the bullpen in the ’05 Series for the hefty Jenks (pictured above).
Whether it’s free agent J.J. Putz, Matt Thornton, Chris Sale or a wild card addition, the Sox will have a new closer and a revamped bullpen. It’s a little scary not knowing what will happen, but I, for one, think it’s time for a change.