GM: White Sox don't have the money for Figgins

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For years now the White Sox have been linked to Chone Figgins via various trade rumors, but now that he’s a free agent general manager Ken Williams made it clear yesterday that he won’t be pursuing the speedy infielder, saying: “We don’t have that kind of money.”
Williams’ sudden lack of interest in Figgins is especially interesting given that he’d just finished talking about the White Sox’s need for “that ideal leadoff guy” and previously indicated that the team wouldn’t be re-signing Scott Podsednik.
However, the Chicago Sun-Times notes that Podsednik may have revised his demands after Williams scoffed at his initial asking price, perhaps opening the door for a return to Chicago. Podsednik hit .304/.353/.412 with 30 steals and 75 runs in 132 games after joining the White Sox on May 1, but hit just .243/.299/.369 in 2007 and .253/.322/.333 in 2008. By comparison, Figgins hit .298/.395/.393 with 42 steals and 114 runs this season and has batted .291/.363/.388 for his career.
There’s no doubt that Figgins is far superior to Podsednik as a leadoff man and the White Sox could clear room for him at third base by playing the recently acquired Mark Teahen in right field, which would also improve their defense. Payroll restraints may simply make that impossible, but it’s also worth noting that Figgins qualified as a Type A free agent in the rankings released yesterday and thus may have fewer suitors now that teams would relinquish their first-round pick for signing him.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.