Bobby Jenks

Bobby Jenks thinks he was disrespected by the White Sox

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MLB.com’s Scott Merkin caught up with Bobby Jenks, and it seems that the White Sox’ former closer isn’t entirely pleased with his departure from the Windy City:

Confusion began after free-agent slugger Adam Dunn and the White Sox agreed upon a four-year, $56 million deal. Dunn had worn jersey No. 44 in the past, but that number belongs to starting pitcher Jake Peavy. According to Jenks, the White Sox informed his group how Dunn instead would be wearing No. 45 — Jenks’ number. That decision, Jenks claims, pretty much spoke volumes about the White Sox desire to keep him.

“Once they signed Adam Dunn and gave him my number, I knew it was official,” Jenks said. “With that move right there, even though they talked to me after [Paul] Konerko and Dunn signed, it was almost like an afterthought, I felt. They never made it seem like they wanted to bring me back.”

On one level I sympathize — telling someone you gave away their number isn’t the best form on the planet — but really, Jenks didn’t expect to come back, did he? The White Sox had been fairly hostile to him as far as these things go for over a year. They got on him about his weight. They jerked him in and out of the closer’s role.  He was making $7.5 million and would have commanded a raise if he came back, so the writing was on the wall, was it not? Manners still matter, of course, but it’s not like Jenks had a reasonable expectation of wearing 45 in Chicago next year. And as it happened, Dunn chose a different number anyway.  For their part, the White Sox say Jenks misunderstood the whole matter.

More interesting than the number flap, though, was that one team was interested in Jenks as a starter:

Other teams besides Boston had interest. Jenks listed those opportunities from closing for Tampa Bay to starting — yes, starting — for the Texas Rangers. Jenks was a starter for five Minor League seasons with the Angels before being converted to the bullpen when joining the White Sox.

“Starting has always been in the back of my mind,” said Jenks, who added how he tossed around the idea with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper during his final month of 2010 inactivity due to ulnar neuritis.

Can’t say I could see that happening. Maybe Texas, a year after their success with the C.J. Wilson experiment, thinks they can turn anyone into a starter?  If so, prove it:  Kyle Farnsworth is available.

Doesn’t anyone want to sign Edwin Encarnacion?

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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OXON HILL, MD — Edwin Encarnacion began the offseason as, arguably, the second most desirable free agent on the market. As the Winter Meetings approach their end, however, he is a man without a team. And may not have a team any time soon.

Many teams have been rumored to be checking in on Encarnacion, but the defining trait of his free agency thus far has been clubs taking a pass. The most recent one being the Rangers, who are reported to simply not have the money to sign him, despite him filling a clear offensive need in Texas. Maybe the Rangers would be more competitive on the free agent market if they had a new stadium. Who knows?

The Blue Jays, for whom he most recently played, offered him a four-year, $80 million deal that most figured was a lowball, and when he rejected it, they moved on to Kendrys Morales. The Red Sox acquired Mitch Moreland. The Yankees are reported to be passing. The most recent team linked to Encarnacion is the Indians, who are reported to have an offer out to him, but at this point it’s likely far lower than what most free agent watchers thought he might get a few weeks ago. A four-year, $90 million deal did not seem crazy for him in October. In December, there is speculation that he could be had for $60 million over that same term which, frankly, would be a bargain. That’s less than Mark Melancon, the third best closer on the market, got from the Giants.

There have been a lot of remarkable things that have happened in the past few weeks, but one of the most unexpected things would be one of the top bats in the game getting second-tier closer money.

Late Athletics broadcaster Bill King wins the Ford C. Frick Award

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CSN Bay Area
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OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.

King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.