Last night the White Sox beat the Rays to snap a seven-game losing streak and before the game manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters that he’s not worried about being fired despite the slow start.
And he said it in typically amusing Ozzie fashion:
I come to work, put a smile on my face, talk to you guys and do my manager’s job and go home and cry. In front of you guys, I’m fine, I’m cool. I got a lot of money. I got a lot of work. If I’m not managing the White Sox, I will manage somewhere else. Maybe Mexico, Japan. I know I will manage in Venezuela. I can do a lot of great stuff in baseball.
This job might just have a title. I might go to FOX. They want me. I can do a lot of stuff. Job security, everyone who sits in this chair, all those guys out there, they are in the same boat I am. As soon as you sign the contract, you are in the hot seat. I [don’t] worry about that. That’s the last thing I even think about.
And he’s right, of course. Guillen may not be the easiest manager to work with from a general manager’s point of view, but a .527 winning percentage and a World Series title in seven-plus seasons with the White Sox all but guarantees he’d land another gig pretty quickly.
And as Guillen also noted, he’s under contract for next season:
I’ve been fired and released before. If I get fired, I can at least enjoy my $2 million or something that I’m going to get next year. I’ll do like Manny Ramirez. I’ll go to Spain for the bullfights and come back for the World Series. I don’t worry about it.
If he does get fired, we can only hope that some reality television producer decides to make a show following Guillen and Manny Ramirez around Spain. I think they could be the next Kardashian sisters.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.