Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Bobby Jenks on the block? Do they or don't they?

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05-world-series-game-4-bobby-jenks-a-j-pierzynski-celebrate-posters.jpgDETROIT - There already more answers than there will be questions, but the few questions facing the White Sox this offseason are doozies.
None bigger than the do they or don't they concerning the possibility of trading closer Bobby Jenks.
The dos are obvious. Jenks continued to battle injury problems this season, with several of those problems believed to be conditioning - or the lack of - related. He's also seen his production dip for a second consecutive season.
The don'ts would be that moving Jenks elsewhere means making Matt Thornton the closer and weakening the set-up role. Plus, the one strength Jenks has is his short-term memory. Yes, he blew six saves, but he never lets it carry over very long.
So what to do, what to do? That final decision falls on general manager Ken Williams.
"That's a hypothetical question that I'm not going to go to until something changes,'' pitching coach Don Cooper said. "Bobby is our closer. We need someone to close the games. Matt Thornton is definitely a capable guy, but then you have to fill that job. Life without a closer on any team is going to be an adventure, and right now Bobby is our closer.''
How would that change? Well, there is no question the Sox want to upgrade the offense. Doing that through free agency might be hampered by a payroll that could be reaching the ceiling already. That means through trade. And if Jenks can land that offensive piece, then so be it.
Manager Ozzie Guillen had his own opinion, however, and would rather see Jenks in shape rather than elsewhere.
"Tough call,'' Guillen said. "We don't want to trade him, but in the meanwhile, Kenny's never going to say no to any trade if he thinks it's going to help this organization. I still think Bobby's going to be our closer next year. If something happens between now and next year, then we'll make a move. Can Thornton close a game? A lot of people doubt it; I say yes he can. He's got good enough stuff and he's got experience.
"He didn't have any problems with his arm, but his back slowed him down for a couple outings. Obviously, this kid's got to show up in shape. That's his problem every winter. Hopefully, he knows about it. That's his career and that's the way he's going to make money, if he takes care of himself a little bit in the winter. Not just him, I think everybody should. And this comes from Jerry [Reinsdorf]. Jerry said if you don't prepare yourself for next year, well, let us know and we'll do something about it.''

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7 Comments

For the first time , since the world series I feel good about the sox going into the off season!

Don't know what you'd get for him,but for what he'd cost to keep, it'd be beyond dumb not to try to unload this guy.Numbers(era and blown saves)don't justify it.Bye Bobby.

joe,
it looks like your old friend orlando is helping the twins compete for the division crown, similar to his role last year with the sox. so are you rooting for the tigers??

I'm sure there's better options. But this was his first bad year (and he rebounded decently nearing the end), He'll come cheaper than throwing at Valverde or whomever.

Maybe it's time to bring in Jon Link from the farms to push Jenks and see what you have in him as well before you move too soon. Make a clause in Jenks contract and make it incentive laden for conditioning. These are the steps I would take before just giving up.

I love Bobby but I'm all for trading him if we can get some decent position player talent in return...Kenny's strategy of going with a no-hit, no-field lineup this year didn't work out so well

Rebounded decently nearing the end? Really whitesox901? I believe the last game he pitched he gave up TWO HRs, blew the save, and lost the game. There are only 4 others closers in the MLB whose opponent batting average is higher than Jenks'. Absolutely not worth 7 million. I'd rather have him traded and potentially get something WORTH 7 million in return.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on October 4, 2009 1:36 PM.

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